Who are the Primary Education Tutors

Who are the Primary Education Tutors

Jan Ashbridge – Principal Lecturer, PGCE Primary

Graduating from our Lancaster campus in 1991, I worked in schools as an Early Years Specialist and then for Cumbria Local Authority as a Senior Advisory Teacher before coming to work at the University of Cumbria in 2007. I am currently the Principal Lecturer having oversight of the PGCE Primary across the University and School Direct programmes. My highlight of this academic year was presenting the ‘Primary School of the Year’ at the Lancaster Guardian Education Awards.

I focus on Phonics and English, as one of my key areas of interest is in young children and early literacy. Apart from literacy, my other passion is walking and enjoying the amazing landscapes and wildlife around Lancaster and the Lakes.

Jan Ashbridge sunset view , Jan Ashbridge sunset view

Oh and tea. I really like tea.


Mike Toyn – School Direct PGCE Primary Programme Leader

I completed my PGCE with St Martin’s at Ambleside and taught at Castle Park School in Kendal before starting work with the University. I gained my MA in Digital Technologies, Communication, and Education from Manchester University in 2012. In 2018 I completed my Ph.D. in Technology Enhanced Learning with Lancaster University.

My role as programme leader is to work with both the tutors and schools involved in our school Direct alliances to ensure they provide high-quality provision for their students. This ranges from holding School Direct Development Days to bringing all involved together to discuss programme developments through to presenting student grades at academic boards.

The role is fascinating, stimulating, and constantly challenging. I’ve been doing it for 5 years. There are two times each year I particularly love: the first day of term in September when I get to meet the new students and graduation day when I get to see the same students have their achievements recognised.

Mike Toyn Cycling, Mike Toyn Cycling

I LOVE cycling and particularly enjoy tandem touring around Europe every summer.

Ian Todd – Primary PGCE Tutor

I never wanted to be a teacher and certainly not of primary-aged children! Then as part of my undergraduate degree in Modern Languages at the University of Salford, I did a year abroad, spending the second 6 months in a tiny village in rural Spain, where I worked as a language assistant in a primary school and absolutely loved it.

The joy of getting to know students and having them leave you knowing more than they did when they arrived is something that has never left me and spurred me on as both a Teacher, a Primary Head, and now in my role as a Personal Tutor on the Primary PGCE course. My favourite parts of the job are still teaching and getting out into schools, I see relationships as being at the heart of everything I do, something I try to instill into my students as they take their first tentative steps into school.

Outside of work, I enjoy being active: I have always liked swimming, cycling, and racquet sports and I love skiing, even though my older knees no longer keep up with those of my teenage sons! I have also just discovered the joys of Parkruns: I am completely new to running, so doing 5K at 9.00 am every Saturday morning was not initially my idea of a good weekend but the camaraderie and inclusive nature of them, not to mention the large breakfast afterward, have made them really rewarding.

Adrian Copping – Campus-based PGCE Primary Programme Leader

I completed my BA QTS with St Martin’s College in Lancaster and taught at Mere Brow CE Primary, near Southport, and then Dallas Road Primary in Lancaster before starting work with the University. I gained my MA in Education from Lancaster University in 2010. I am currently studying for a Ph.D. part-time at Lancaster University, looking at creative thinking and children’s writing. I had my book ‘Being Creative in Primary English’ published in 2016.

My role as programme leader is to oversee the courses on our three main campuses at Carlisle, Lancaster, and London. The role is fascinating, stimulating, and constantly challenging. I’ve been doing it for 5 years. Alongside this, I work as a personal tutor, and module leader and specialise in primary English and Music. I thoroughly enjoy working with our students, facilitating their learning, having a great laugh with them, and seeing them develop into excellent teachers. It is a real privilege.

I do a lot of teacher-in-role work and can occasionally be seen in school as a professor, or Victorian butler solving mysteries with children.

I love History and have been an active member of The Sealed Knot Society for many years. I currently play drums and saxophone in a street band and sing in a local community choir.



Want to find out more?

You are ready to take that next step. Ready to make that life-changing decision and work towards your career goals. By downloading our prospectus you will have the world at your fingertips.

You can browse our 100+ unique course options and have access to finance and support information to get you started. Discover all of the courses available to you from Arts to Zoology – we’re excited to see what you choose.

Order a Prospectus