Christine Counsell taught history in state schools, in Gloucestershire and Bristol, for 10 years, holding positions as head of department, head of faculty and deputy headteacher and as local authority adviser for primary and secondary schools. After leading one of the first school-centred initial teacher training programmes (secondary history) for Gloucestershire’s headteachers, she was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge in 1997. There she built a history PGCE course which became renowned for a community of school-based subject mentors who, unusually, shared responsibility for the scholarly content of the course and engaged in extensive reading of research with their trainees, applying it in the school context. While at Cambridge, Christine was awarded the Pilkington Prize for outstanding teaching (2006) and the Cambridge University Students Union ‘student-led’ award for outstanding lecturing (2015).
Christine has carried out wide-ranging national and international work on curriculum policy and teacher education, working with teachers, scholars and policy-makers in America, Australia, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East.
Editor of the journal Teaching History, since 1998, Christine has also published widely, including academic works, practical guides and classroom resources. In 2015, she served on the DfE’s Workload Challenge group for Planning and Resources. In 2016, Christine was appointed Director of Education at a Norfolk-based Multi-Academy Trust, where she launched a Trust-wide knowledge-rich curriculum for primary schools, secured DfE funding to establish the long-term impact of a broad curriculum in boosting reading standards for disadvantaged pupils, implemented processes for Trust-wide collaborative curriculum design in secondary subjects and founded a large SCITT, distinctive for its subject-specificity. Christine is now an independent education consultant specialising in curriculum and teacher development, working nationally and internationally. She is also a member of Ofsted’s Curriculum Advisory Panel advising on the 2019 Ofsted framework.