IOE Confucius Institute Team

Katharine Carruthers 杜可歆

IOE Confucius Institute Director
& Pro-Vice-Provost for East Asia

Katharine Carruthers is the Director of the UCL Institute Of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute for Schools; she is also UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost for East Asia.

Katharine plays a leading role in promoting and developing the study of Chinese in schools in England. This work has been made possible by the IOE Confucius Institute and 44 Confucius Classrooms – in partnership with Peking University and Peking University High School. The IOE Confucius Institute is an outstanding example of successful international partnership working.

Katharine is an experienced teacher and examiner of Chinese. She is the series editor of the textbooks for teaching Chinese for 11-16 year olds and wrote the specification for the increasingly popular Cambridge Pre-U Mandarin Chinese qualification. Katharine teaches on the IOE’s PGCE Language course, working with PGCE students training to teach Mandarin Chinese. She is the Strategic Director for UCL’s delivery of the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Her research interests centre around teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language in schools (most recent publication Mandarin Chinese Teacher Education; IOE Press), the notion of intercultural competence in Chinese and UK schools and globalisation and language policy.

As  Pro-Vice-Provost (East Asia), Katharine plays an important strategic role as a catalyst for UCL’s engagement in the region.

Katharine received an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list for her services to Education.

QI Min 齐敏

IOE Confucius Institute Chinese Director 中方院长

Qi Min has dedicated her entire career to teaching and helping students achieve the best of their abilities during the past 30 years. Whilst at the High School of Peking University, she developed the reputation of being approachable and nurturing which won her many awards for excellence in teaching on many occasions.

She started her role as Chinese Director at the IOE Confucius Institute in October 2018 and is based at Kingsford Community School, Newham. She is responsible for managing the CLEC teachers and volunteers in England. She also contributes to the assessment and training of CLEC teachers and volunteers before they come to teach in the UK. 

Using her wealth of experience, she aims to develop a more effective and sustainable training program for CLEC teachers and volunteers working in schools in England.

Matt Schofield 马涛

Confucius Institute General Manager

Matt is a graduate having achieved a BSc Honours degree from Cardiff University and a Post-Graduate MSc qualification from Manchester Metropolitan University. He has a wealth of experience working on a wide range of projects and programmes in the private, public and charity sectors, and has worked in the education sector for the past 13 years. Matt has been the general manager of the Confucius Institute since 2011 and in his role focuses on the strategic development and delivery of IOE CI and in ensuring its progress towards becoming a world leading centre for the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese in schools. Managing the IOE CI Project Team, Matt leads on the day to day delivery and management of IOE CI programmes working day to day with internal and external delivery partners, funders, headteachers and teachers amongst other stakeholders.

He has visited China on a number of occasions, often on business but always takes time to explore cultural experiences and enjoy what the country has to offer. Matt currently leads on delivery high profile programmes such as the Mandarin Excellence Programme, and has a history of delivering major projects and programmes to prepare teachers in delivering new practices. He is a PRINCE 2 accredited Project Manager.

Xiaoming Zhu 朱晓茗

National Network Coordinator

Xiaoming Zhu is the National Network Coordinator at the UCL IOE Confucius Institute. Her role is to provide support and advice to the UCL IOE Confucius Classrooms and other schools in the wider network, in their teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese, at both strategic and practical levels.

As the first Chinese national to gain UK Qualified Teacher Status, Xiaoming has rich experience in teaching Mandarin Chinese  in  schools, and particularly also in  curriculum development, resource creation and teacher training. The programmes she has led and coordinated at the IOE CI include Confucius Classrooms, British Council Chinese Language Assistants’ training, the development of the successful online teacher training courses via IOE’s Moodle platform, China based immersive teacher training, CLEC teacher programme and other initiatives. Working closely with the CI Director, Xiaoming has also played a key role in establishing and supporting  collaborations between the CI and various stakeholders  in the UK, China and other European Countries, where she has been invited to share her expertise and help strengthen international relationships.

Since 2015, Xiaoming has been part of the MFL PGCE team at the UCL Institute of Education, working as the Mandarin PGCE tutor. She is proud to be supporting the expansion of the UK’s Mandarin teaching workforce, as part of the programme at UCL IOE, judged outstanding by OFSTED.

Xiaoming holds a BA degree from Xi’an Foreign Languages University and an MA in Education from the University of Nottingham. She is also the published author of a series of teaching resources:  she co-authored the Jinbu 1, Jinbu 2 and the Edexcel GCSE Chinese textbooks written in partnership with Pearson, and Edexcel Chinese for AS with Hodder.  These resources, that cover the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese from beginners to advanced level, are widely used in schools in the UK.

Philippa Vallely 刘晓梅

Teacher Training Coordinator

Philippa Vallely (200 x 200)Philippa is responsible for the strategic planning, development, delivery and evaluation of the UCL IOE Confucius Institute for Schools’ CPD programme for Mandarin teachers in the UK. This includes pre-service and in-service training, involving multiple aspects of support, including language support, teaching for examinations and assessment, and language teaching pedagogy. This comprehensive programme caters for teachers at all levels, from total language beginner to native speakers, increasing access to Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture for teachers.

As part of the project management of teacher training, Philippa has developed courses on the UCL IOE Moodle system, ensuring that teacher training is made accessible online as well as face to face. In addition, Philippa has helped design, support and develop an online beginner’s course in Chinese, developed by experts at UCL IOE CI, launched in 2014. Since the start of the course, over 290 teachers and student teachers have accessed this free resource, supported by online classrooms, forum discussions and face to face training.

Philippa was previously Academic Director for a group of junior language education centres. Prior to that she worked in Malaysia as a teacher trainer/ mentor, on a Ministry of Education teacher development project, delivered by the British Council. Additionally she has ten years’ language teaching experience, including six years in China where she also studied Mandarin at Beijing Culture and Language University.

Philippa holds a Master’s degree in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education, an Honours degree in English and Theatre Studies from Warwick University, CELTA and a Trinity Diploma in TESOL.

Kay McLeod 刘凯琴

Mandarin Excellence Programme Coordinator

Photo for profilesKay first came to the Chinese language through a Scottish MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Edinburgh, and has been committed to helping other learners access Chinese language and culture ever since. She has spent three years living in China, first as a student of Chinese language and literature in Dalian. She later spent two years as in-house translator and liaison interpreter at what is now the Jiangsu Province Performing Arts Centre’s Kun Opera Theatre in Nanjing. In 2012 she graduated with an MA in Sinology from SOAS University of London, closely followed by a PGCE at Goldsmiths University and six years of teaching Mandarin in the UK classroom.

Kay joined the Confucius Institute in August 2018 as Coordinator of the Mandarin Excellence Programme. Before joining the team, Kay was Subject Coordinator for Mandarin at a school in greater London with a long-standing successful Modern Foreign Languages department and Confucius Classroom status. Kay taught Chinese and German from KS3 to KS5. She also developed the school’s Chinese language and culture curriculum and mentored several teaching colleagues to fully qualified status.

Kay is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the Mandarin Excellence Programme in schools across England, using her experience as a classroom teacher and subject coordinator to lend support to schools and individual teachers delivering the programme.

Victor Wu

Teacher Training and Professional Development Coordinator 

Victor WU is the Teacher Training and Professional Development Coordinator at the IOE CI, where he supports the development of various teacher training programmes. In collaboration with other team members, he also works on supporting the growth of the Mandarin Excellence Prorgamme at Key Stage 4 and developing and optimising resources for the teaching and learning of Mandarin in schools across England. 

He has experience of language teaching in schools and in higher education, gained in Taiwan, France and in the UK. With a PGDE from the University of Aberdeen, during his previous position at an English secondary school, he was responsible for the teaching and learning of Mandarin and French across Key Stage 3-5, for developing and optimising specific and coherent learning and teaching curricula of Mandarin, and for organising various co-curricular programmes. In addition, he was also the lead teacher for the Mandarin Excellence Programme at the school. 

In terms of teacher training, he was responsible for mentoring PGCE students in French and Mandarin on behalf of UCL IOE, the University of Reading and the University of Oxford. He also mentored French postgraduate students in Education at the Université Lyon 2. In addition, he has delivered multiple training sessions to in-service teachers at UCL IOE CI and through regional collaborations. 

Victor was awarded a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education from the Université Lyon 2 – where he completed his thesis on the acquisition of written language in an early foreign language learning context. Currently pursuing a PhD, he is conducting his doctoral research on the acquisition of written vocabulary in Chinese as a school subject for English-speaking learners. Victor’s research interests also cover language teacher education, especially teachers’ beliefs and teaching practices. 

Yasmin Lambert

Mandarin Excellence Programme Project Manager

Linkedin Picture YL

Yasmin joined the team as a Project Officer in October 2018. In this role she managed the update of the Beginner’s Mandarin Chinese online courses, developed the UCL IOE Confucius Institute Primary Mandarin Toolkit and supported the delivery of the wider teacher training programme.

After around 18 months in the team, Yasmin stepped in to the role of MEP Project Manager in May 2020 and is now responsible for ensuring that project outputs are planned, organised and delivered successfully.

Although a newcomer to the Chinese language, Yasmin holds a BA in German and Spanish from the University of Leeds. As part of her degree programme, Yasmin studied abroad in the Spanish city of Granada and later spent a year in rural Germany teaching English in two local secondary schools. Also while at university, Yasmin worked on an outreach programme which sought to widen participation in the study of modern foreign languages. Since university, Yasmin has worked in a range of roles related to project management across both the public and private sectors.  

Vasilis Ntoulos

Project Officer

Vasilis joined UCL IOE Confucius Institute in December 2019. In his role as a Project Officer he is responsible for project delivery and coordination, liaising on a daily basis with internal and external stakeholders, teachers and presenters.

Vasilis has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting obtained in Greece and a MA in Arts Management from the University of Greenwich.

He has over a decade worth of experience in administration, project and events management having previously worked in the academic, arts and charity sector in London, the Netherlands and Greece.

Vasilis is interested in transculturalism and is passionate about foreign language learning, travel and experiencing different cultures. 

Meher Khan

Project Officer

Meher joined the IOE Confucius Institute in April 2020. She joined UCL in June 2019 as Project Administrator on the ASCENTS 121 for Science mentoring programme for Year 11 students in schools. Before that she worked in the NHS in various administrative capacities.

Meher moved to the UK in 2009 from Pakistan. She has a Bachelors in Environmental Sciences from the University of Peshawar.

In her role as Project Officer, Meher mainly focuses on the Mandarin Excellence Programme but is also involved in other IOE Confucius Institute Projects.


Kate Wilson 

Project Officer

Kate joinKateed the Confucius Institute team in July 2020. Currently, she is working to support course coordinators with the delivery of a variety of teacher training programmes, particularly the Upskilling Course.

Before working at the Confucius Institute, Kate worked at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE) supporting the delivery of various evening language courses for students and the general public.

After graduating from the University of Kent in 2018 with a First in BA English, Kate worked at a primary school in east London, primarily teaching English as another language to children new to the country and working with children with SEN & SEMH needs. She then undertook a TEFL qualification and volunteered with adults in her local community, helping them prepare for literacy tests for public-sector jobs and college entry.

Late last year, Kate also took a language course in Mandarin, and wrote a project on the language in the first year of her degree.

Naomi Jiehua Li 李洁华

Project Officer – International Liaison 

Naomi Li at CI conference

Naomi works on a variety of projects that support the core of the CI work , for example, teachers training programmes, annual Chinese teaching conference, as well as students learning experiences. As Naomi had previous experience in journalism, she is also responsible for co-ordinating and producing the termly newsletters for the UK and international stakeholders.

Naomi is a native Chinese speaker and has lived in the UK since 2002, and she has been part of the CI team since 2007, eye-witnessing the steady growth of the Chinese teaching and learning communities among mainstream English schools. 

Naomi has degrees in English Literature, Law, and Counselling. She is also working as a part-time counsellor (therapist), and life skills coach for young people. 

Outside of work, Naomi enjoys singing in a choir and painting with a local artist group.  Since 2020, she has embarked on a childhood dream to learn to play piano.