Headteacher becomes first Doctorate graduate

Published: 6 May 2015 at 14:20

Primary school head completes Anglia Ruskin qualification to achieve academic ambition.

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Children at an Essex primary school will reap the benefits after its headteacher became the first student to complete Anglia Ruskin’s revised Doctorate in Education qualification.

Nick Rudman, head of Maylandsea Primary School, completed his part-time study in three years and seven months to become the first graduate from the course, which was reshaped four years ago to ensure candidates made more rapid progress.

Dr Rudman wrote his thesis on whether homework was valuable and worthwhile for primary school pupils and sought the opinions of parents of children at his school as well as teachers and pupils themselves. Amongst his conclusions was that while homework can give parents a window into their child’s school life, it can also be a challenge for families and it is important that children develop good routines and the work is meaningful and fun.

Dr Rudman said:

“Studying at doctoral level has given me new insights into educational theory and research. My thesis provided opportunities for me to understand more about the views of parents, pupils and teachers. I was able to use this information to construct a framework for homework which I hope will benefit everyone in our school.

“Professional doctorates allow students to blend academic work with the very real priorities of their working lives. I was encouraged to present my work at conferences and to publish extracts of my writing in peer-reviewed journals. Not only have I achieved my academic ambition but I have also grown and matured intellectually and emotionally as a result of these broader opportunities.”

Geraldine Davis, Director of the Doctorate in Education at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Our team made changes to the Doctorate in 2011, structuring weekend workshops, peer review and plenty of academic critique, meaning candidates make more rapid progress with their projects. We are delighted to have our first success. Given the norm for full time students is three years and part-time up to six, Nick’s achievement shows really strong progress.”

An information event on the Doctorate in Education is taking place on Thursday 11 June from 5pm until 7pm at Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus. The event is open to any education professional with a Masters degree. To register your interest or to book a place, e-mail vicky.stevenson@anglia.ac.uk before 5 June.