Anna Blackett

Anna Blackett

  • 1.26 Lawrence Stenhouse Building

Personal profile


Anna Blackett works as Lecturer in Education and Widening Participation Academic Lead in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She also holds the posts of Director of Employability and Deputy Senior Adviser in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. She joined the UEA in 2021.

Anna started her career in the marketing department of Aviva and changed tack to become a primary school teacher working in West London with a BA (Hons) in Education (QTS) from Brunel University. She relocated to Singapore as a teacher and moved on to become deputy head, then headteacher. Alongside this role, Anna led teacher training programmes for the Ministry of Education in Singapore, volunteered for a charity in Cambodia, designed teaching sessions for Star Cruises (Hong Kong) and supported the set up of a creative play nursery in Shenyang, China.

Upon moving back to the UK, Anna worked as an international curriculum consultant and recruiter until joining the School of Higher Education at City College Norwich. She led the FdA in Early Years and taught on the BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth degree. She was seconded to work as an Academic Lead with a responsibility for marketing, for a two year fixed term. Following this, Anna developed and led the BA (Hons) Additional Needs and Disabilities (Children and Young People). Having led and participated in degree validations and revalidations for several higher education institutions, she has a keen interest in creative and accessible assessment design.

Anna has a continuing love of travel adventures having lived in the UK, France, and Singapore, exploring throughout South East Asia and Australia. She has organised educational trips to New York, Berlin, Reggio Emilia, Budapest, and Krakow, to enable undergraduate students to experience international pedagogical perspectives.

Anna has a Fellowship of Advance HE.

Teaching Interests

Anna is based in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning (EDU) in the Faculty of Social Sciences (SSF) teaching modules on the undergraduate courses BA (Hons) Education and BSc (Hons) Physical Education, Sport & Health (PESH). Anna also supports dissertation students on both degrees.

Anna has a keen interest in the development of employability skills and opportunities through embedding these in the curriculum. Favoured areas of teaching include academic and professional development, creativity in childhood, health and wellbeing and supporting children with additional needs.

Key Responsibilities

Anna has responsibility for developing Widening Participation and Outreach work across SSF, with a focus on EDU. She liaises with course directors on undergraduates and postgraduate courses regarding widening access, participation and employability. Anna led the Make It Count project in 2022, which sends UEA students into local schools as mentors. She presented an evaluation summary of this project at the NERUPI conference (2022). Other Outreach programmes supported include subject insight sessions in schools, insight days on campus, ‘Preparing for SSF’ and sending student mentors to IntoUNIVERSITY. Anna is always keen to hear from Education and PESH students who might want to get involved in such projects.  

As Director of Employability, Anna focuses on the embedding of employability skills and opportunities through the curriculum. She aims to reduce the risks to widening participation through promoting fair access to career opportunities.  

As Deputy Senior Adviser for EDU, Anna works with the Senior Adviser to support and develop the advising process for academic advisers and student advisees and to ensure this process supports wellbeing, belonging, good academic outcomes and career building.

Key Research Interests

Anna led the ‘Good Higher Education Project’ (2019), which researched staff and student perceptions of what constitutes good Higher Education, to articulate and address any gaps between these. This research contributed to the completion of a Masters degree. 

She worked as a consultant for the evaluation of the Norwich and Ipswich Opportunity Areas (NOA, IOA) and organised the NOA/IOA Evaluation Seminar.

Anna has been part of a cross-faculty team, carrying out research with Libraries Connected.

She is also supporting Aurora research into the experiences of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller (GRT) students in Higher Education.

Anna is currently working with AdvanceHE and UEA colleagues on a project to promote belonging. 

Key interests include widening participation and social mobility, focusing on risks preventing access to post graduate success in particular supporting students with disabilities (particularly hidden), CEES and students who are carers. 

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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