The University of Birmingham Dubai has appointed a new Director of Education Programmes for the School of Education in Dubai, as well as a new lecturer for Inclusion and Special Education Needs (ISEN), to support the university’s unique ISEN PGCert qualification.
Dr Anne Raynor has been a senior leader in secondary schools for many years across the UK and UAE, as well as head teacher of a number of special schools and a school’s inspector. She is a British Psychological Society registered specialist assessor for SpLD and was awarded an MA in Counselling Children and Young People in 2008. Her work encompasses SEN and inclusive education, second language acquisition, and educational leadership. She has a particular interest in inclusive education policy in the Middle East; middle leader development through appreciative inquiry; and school improvement leading to inclusive barrier- free education in international schools.
Dr Raynor will be joined at the Dubai campus by Sarah Benson, Lecturer in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs. Sarah is familiar with the region, having served in the American Peace Corps where she studied Arabic language and culture, and provided training to Jordanian special education teachers. She has published manuscripts on Jordanian inclusion policy and practice; in addition she has worked closely with research efforts to make the science curriculum accessible to students with learning disabilities. Now her personal research interests lie in the policy and practice of inclusion and special education needs within the MENA region and she continues to engage in scholarship activities to promote strong policy and inclusive practices in the MENA region.
Their appointments are a significant milestone for the University, and for the education sector in the UAE, supporting the UAE Government’s National Agenda and the new Inclusive Education Policy Framework for schools. The arrival of these two highly-qualified and experienced ISEN academics at the School of Education will contribute to the quality of teaching in the UAE, and support the Ministry of Education’s aim of enhancing the status of teachers in the UAE.
University of Birmingham Dubai Provost, Professor Glyn Watson, said: “We are delighted to welcome Anne and Sarah to our growing School of Education team here in Dubai. Both are highly qualified academics with a great deal of experience in their chosen disciplines. They join a already strong team of talented and dedicated academics and a vibrant student community who all share the University’s commitment to providing the best possible learning experience for our students and developing the profession here in Dubai, as well as the broader UAE. Their extensive experience in ISEN education, in particular, will supplement the vision of the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework; and strive towards improving and increasing inclusive school practices across Dubai and around the world.”
The University of Birmingham School of Education was founded in 1896, and has an outstanding reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching and research in a wide range of areas of education practise and policy. Ranked 25th in the world in the QS World Rankings, the School of Education has a long tradition of providing high-quality teacher training programmes in Primary and Secondary education.
As the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in Dubai, Birmingham offers programmes in teacher training, business, economics, computer science, and mechanical engineering, as well as teacher training, and has recently announced new courses in accounting and finance, money banking and finance, psychology, and international law and globalisation for 2019.