Laura Kayes

Often Teaching, Always Learning



A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.'

— Helen Keller.

Except, rather ironically, it can feel a little unfashionable to have questions when you work in education. It can seem like everyone around you has effortlessly absorbed masses of information that you vaguely recall skimming in an email last year but now apparently forms the structural foundation of education reform and ultimate pedagogical breakthrough, and anyone who has not yet memorised the entirety of both is now failing everyone, and must hand in their lanyard immediately.

I hope that this blog will provide a tiny voice of challenge to that stifling environment. I hope it will create a curious space where I can share my observations of the educational everyday, or my thinking around my research, and others can reach out to agree, or ask those crucial questions, or challenge that thinking. I believe strongly that the fear of failure and the finger of blame that chokes our sector is detrimental to our progress, but that it can be eroded by bravery, kindness and enquiry.

About Me

I am an advanced practitioner in a large further education group in West Yorkshire, where I work with the central teaching, learning and assessment team to facilitate reflection, sharing and development of practice in line with individual and departmental priorities.
I am a music and performing arts teacher, now working predominately within higher education in further education settings, with a keen interest in the development of students' academic writing skills.
I am working towards my Doctorate in Education with the University of Sheffield, and am supported to do so by the Research Further initiative; co-created by the Association of Colleges and NCFE.
My research interests lie in poverty, further education, teaching and learning. My thinking in these areas is heavily influenced by theories of social justice, cognitive justice and critical pedagogy.
I am a Glaswegian who has been living in Leeds since 2015. I'm a dedicated pet-mum to two dogs, two cats, four chickens and one bearded dragon. When I'm not admiring their infinite loveliness I can be found bouldering, writing, playing violin with the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, embroidering swear words, or wandering the outdoors.

The Dogs

The Chickens

The Cats

The Dragon