Sue Kirkham is a former secondary Headteacher, having been head of two 11 to 18 schools. She started her career as a modern languages teacher with her first experience of examining being in O level marking and external oral examining. She later became head of languages in a sixth form college and then moved on to senior leadership. Throughout her career she has been involved in assessment both in practice in schools, colleges and awarding bodies and at a national policy level.
Following her retirement from headship in 2007, Sue has worked for ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders) as their curriculum and assessment specialist, a role which has included working with awarding organisations, Ofqual and DfE as well as other teacher associations and subject groups. Sue is a frequent speaker at national conferences on curriculum, assessment and qualification reform and runs courses on leading and managing assessment.
Sue was President of ASCL in 2005 - 2006 and has long been involved in assessment and curriculum issues at a national level, including serving on the reference group of the Inquiry into Curriculum 2000, the assessment sub-group of the Tomlinson 14 to 19 review and as a Board member at QCA from 2003-2009, chairing the 14-19 Advisory Group. She has also recently been a member of the Ofqual Standards Advisory Group and is a member of a number of awarding body advisory committees.
She has published a modern languages A level textbook, a handbook for heads of department, has edited books for ASCL on 14 to 19 collaboration and modern languages as well as writing articles on the current changes in curriculum, qualifications and assessment.
Sue said: 'This is a very exciting time to take over the role of chair. John Dunford has done a magnificent job in dealing with the challenge of developing the CIEA as a body independent of government and it is a privilege to be able to lead the organisation into its next phase. In the new world of teacher-led assessment within schools and multiple changes to our qualifications it is essential to have an independent body which can advise and support teachers and examiners in their work.'