Ted Wragg awards

The Ted Wragg Awards for Outstanding Trainees are in honour of Professor Ted Wragg, a nationally recognised advocate of the teaching profession and a man who inspired a great many of today’s best teachers and teaching practices. These awards have been developed to recognise, encourage and financially reward our best PGCE trainees.

Unlike a scholarship, recipients will not be selected based on entry criteria – instead they will be judged on their year as a trainee. Therefore, everyone comes into this equal. Trainees are selected because they not only proved they will make outstanding teachers, but helped others to become the same. Typically, awards are £500

Ted Wragg was Emeritus Professor of Education at Exeter. He taught in primary and secondary schools and in two universities. He obtained his BA, a First in German, at Durham University, his MEd at Leicester and his PhD at Exeter University. He officially retired in 2003 but remained extremely active as a writer, researcher, teacher, broadcaster and adviser. He still taught students and mentored academic staff.

During his 34 years at the University of Exeter, Ted Wragg secured millions of pounds worth of research projects and wrote 800 academic articles and 50 books. He made many important contributions to UK education policy.

He served as a member of the Board of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. He was the former President of the British Educational Research Association, an adviser to a Parliamentary Select Committee on the attainments of school leavers, and chairman of the Educational Broadcasting Council of the UK. In 1992 he chaired the Research Assessment Exercise Panel for Education. He was Chair of the judging panel for 'The Platos', the annual awards for outstanding teachers.

He authored over 50 books on a wide range of topics, including teaching skills, teacher appraisal, literacy, research methods, teacher training, assessment, curriculum, many of which have been translated into other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Polish and Portuguese. He also wrote a 120 book reading scheme and produced two CD ROMs, a DVD ROM, and many videos and audiotapes.

He was a regular columnist in the Guardian and Times Educational Supplement. He was the presenter or contributor to numerous radio and TV series and items on education.

A fundamental part of our PGCE programme is the sharing of experience, good practice and support not just from staff to trainee but between trainees themselves. We are looking for and rewarding excellent trainees because we know they are an important part of creating a programme that encourages all trainees to succeed and become great teachers.

So, what makes an excellent trainee? We are looking for those who demonstrate good subject knowledge, excellent communication and people skills. Excellent trainees are creative, able to think on their feet, confident and infuse enthusiasm both in the classroom and in their fellow trainees. Most importantly, we are looking for those who show us they are passionate about helping people learn and enjoy the challenges and rewards that teaching offers. If you think this describes you, then we want you on our course.

Unlike a scholarship, recipients will not be selected based on entry criteria – instead they will be judged on their year as a trainee. Therefore, everyone comes into this equal. Those that are selected will do so because they not only proved they will make outstanding teachers, but helped others to become the same.

All PGCE students are eligible and will be considered for this competitive award. There is no application process. The awards are handed out towards the end of the training year. Trainees will be selected based on consultations with school mentors, tutors and course leaders. The number of awards handed out each year will vary.   Last year 20 trainees received the award. Typically, awards are £500.

Similar to the NCTL training bursary, the money is tax-free and will go directly to the awardees. These awards are discretionary and therefore will be administered based on the judgements of the School, the merits of each trainee and the needs of the PGCE programme. The School may reserve some awards for specific subject areas.


  • PGCE English: Hilary Kinch           
  • PGCE Humanities: Emily Baxter 
  • PGCE Mathematics: Todd Withers           
  • PGCE Science: Helen Ryland       
  • PGCE Teaching & Learning: Lydia Ferris 
  • School Direct@Exeter: Ben Dawe            
  • School Direct Distance: Debbi Williams and Jo Daniel       


  • PGCE Mathematics: Amy Cockburn
  • PGCE Science: Danielle Poulton & Siobhan Fenner
  • PGCE Dance: Sarah Dee
  • PGCE English: Karina Dias Rios
  • PGCE Modern Foreign Languages: Stephanie Scullion
  • PGCE PE: Sophie Appleby
  • PGCE History: Jack Pettitt

The Exeter approach to creating reflective teachers is something which I see as unique because it encompasses all aspects of your practice. There are occasions where you may reflect on a very specific part of a lesson, or a whole Standard, but always there are chances to connect practical experience and reflection with understanding of policy and research.

Having time to work with other students in groups to learn about the curriculum subjects or with a partner student during the first placement also makes the process far more rewarding. You grow a support network around you with people who are in similar situations, again encouraging evaluative discussions and constructive feedback. This gives you the foundation to become a confident and independent teacher and encourages you to forge close relationships with the staff you work with in placement schools

Hilary Kinch, Primary PGCE English and 2016/17 Ted Wragg Award winner