Suzanne Burley is an example of someone who really understands London’s educational environment. Having started off as a secondary school teacher with experience teaching at a variety of different schools, Suzanne knows what it takes to inspire and prepare students for their futures.
“I started life as a secondary school teacher and taught English, Media and Drama,” she said. “I began my teaching career in Tottenham and then moved to Hackney, before moving to Enfield, so I’ve always taught and worked with young people in London schools.”
This experience makes Suzanne an ideal educator for new teachers, and it was a drive to develop others that brought her into the university sector.
“I wanted to go into Teacher Training and that’s why I came to London Met – to train secondary English teachers,” she said.
Suzanne has acquired considerable knowledge and skills around teaching throughout her career, and she has used this knowledge to help lecturers teach and prepare London Met students for their bright futures in the working world.
“My experience of working in secondary education state schools has been absolutely crucial to my ability to work at university because you have an understanding of where a lot of our students are coming from. A lot of them have come from the communities that are represented in the schools.”
Since joining Higher Education, Suzanne’s talent and expertise quickly progressed her to a role as an Academic Leader and then later to an Associate Dean.
As the Head of School of Social Professions, Suzanne has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve for London Met and its community.
“My overall aim for this particular School is that we become a provider of choice and I want to work with staff to begin that process. I want staff to work together in the School of Social Professions so that people can develop and learn good practice from each other. I want to focus on the common element that we are engaged in working with people to become practitioners in a particular profession.
“It’s about collaboration around a particular objective which is about providing for our London community.”
Suzanne has achieved much in her career, having written her own book and having much of her work published. But for Suzanne nothing comes close to the rewarding feeling that comes with seeing students achieve.
“Another personal achievement is the satisfaction of seeing people I’ve taught go on to succeed. I’m constantly getting reminders of that. Seeing that I‘ve had an impact on people’s lives and developing those personal relationships is a big achievement for me.”
Suzanne has a number of interests that she likes to invest her time in when she gets the chance.
“My degree was in English Literature and Education so I’m an avid reader. That’s a big interest of mine. I enjoy the theatre and film and I love walking. I play tennis, I swim, I go running. I also have an allotment and I love going on holiday, travelling and seeing friends.”
Above all else Suzanne’s biggest interest is her family.
“I have a family. I have three children and they’re an important part of my life.”
So what does Suzanne enjoy about working at London Met?
“I like the people. I enjoy the people I work with. I enjoy the student body. I enjoy the diversity. I enjoy the fact that it’s in London. It’s an urban edgy environment and I enjoy that. It’s also a reasonable distance from where I live. It’s part of my community. I’ve always lived and worked in north London.
“London Met has provided me with new experiences and new opportunities. I find it to be a fruitful and stimulating environment in which to work.”