Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell


I studied Maths at the University of Hull where I obtained a BSc in Mathematics with Statistics. I then went onto work in Industry as a corporate trainer for a large graduate recruitment company.  After seven years I returned to academia to undertake a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Leeds in Mathematics and worked as a teacher in the Further Education sector, Secondary and finally as head of Maths in a large inner city secondary school. Teaching led to a real interest in Maths pedagogy, subject and curriculum knowledge and I joined Leeds Trinity University as the Maths Post Graduate Certificate in Education programme leader in 2010.This role entailed introducing trainee Maths teachers to the key roles, responsibilities and skills of Maths teaching including school liaison and support, observation of teaching and learning, diagnosis of individual trainee needs, and continuing training and development. I undertook a Master of Arts in Education where I became particularly interested in the role of Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses and the level of subject knowledge required to undertake an Initial Teacher Training Course. 

In 2013, I designed and delivered a high- quality professional Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course targeting those candidates in the region wishing to uptake a Mathematics PGCE course but requiring subject refresher before commencement. I pioneered on-line assessment modules, using the Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle enabling the course to be delivered with an effective mix of blended learning components.

In 2015 I structured a new School Direct Secondary PGCE for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM subjects) as well as designing an effective strategy to recruit high quality candidates in response to the Department of Education’s remit to recruit and train more Maths teachers. The programme also included teaching and leading two thirty credit modules which made up the Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Maste’rs level. I also taught on the MA in Education programme covering two modules which included Contemporary Issues in Education and Research Methods leading to the Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Other responsibilities also included dissertation supervisor for the Masters of Arts in Education Programme within the Institute of Childhood and Education Faculty and the delivery of Maths pedagogy to undergraduates within the Primary Education Faculty.

In 2016 I became the PGCE Programme Co-ordinator for Secondary Education and was responsible for programme delivery across University Led, School Direct and the Leeds Scitt course. Accountable for internal systems, processes and quality and audit requirements for Ofsted and ensuring each programme met the needs of the Department for Education ITT criteria. I manged the team to deliver nine subjects at secondary level, including professional education and some primary PGCE components due to staff absence. I delivered the Professional Education Studies programme, which gave trainees an introduction to an overview of overarching important topics and issues which would inform their practice and their professional values as they progressed through their ITT year.

In 2020 I took on the role as Academic Partnership Lead and became responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the universities’ partnerships across School, Multi- Academy Trusts , and key educational stakeholders . I have tendered and won new contracts to launch and deliver the Early Career Framework which provides an entitlement of two years professional development for Early Career Teachers, as well as winning contracts to deliver the suite of National professional Qualification for the continuous professional development of teachers. A large part of this work also entailed developing relationships with SCITT directors, as the University also delivered the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) to four School Centred Teacher training (SCITT) providers across the North of England. This included also having a thorough understanding of the Implementation of the ITT (Initial Teacher Training) Core Content Curriculum and providing guidance for the submission of the ITT Accreditation documents for the ITT market review. 

I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in July 2021. 


  • Programme Manager

Research interests

My research interests centre on maths teacher knowledge, skills, and pedagogical strategies. I am particularly interested in the extent of subject knowledge, curriculum knowledge and content knowledge required to commence a Secondary Initial Teacher Training course and train to become a secondary maths teacher (bell-c-towards-solving-the-recruitment-crisis-in-maths-teaching-the-role-of-subject-knowledge-enhancement.pdf (

I represent the Initial teacher Training (ITT) sector on the West Yorkshire Maths Hub strategic board. I have attended and presented at sessions hosted by the National Centre of Excellence in the teaching of Maths which are hosted for local and national Maths ITT leads. 

I am currently part of an action research project which focuses on how tuition supports Initial Teacher Trainees to adapt their teaching of Mathematics in a responsive way, whilst adhering to the principles of a Mastery approach. This focuses specifically on what adaptive teaching and classroom strategies look like and how these differ from traditional methods of teaching which have often involved differentiation of materials for different groups of pupils in the classroom. This suggestion is that adaptive teaching is based on the discipline of noticing, interpretation of the behaviour and then decision about next steps. Initial findings and the purpose and the rational for the research was presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) event, hosted for practitioner research in Mathematics Education.      

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education
  • BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Statistics

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Prince2 Practitioner Certificate in Project Management
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Authortity
  • Associateship of Chartered Insurance Institute
  • External Examiner for St Mary's University

Student education

I am the Programme Leader for the Post Graduate Certificate in Education and work with School Centred Initial Teacher Training Providers to provide the Level 7 Master’s credits to complement Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).