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 45 Confucius Classrooms – supported by Hanban 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 has started her new role as Chinese Director at the IOE Confucius Institute since October 2018. She is responsible for over 70 Hanban teachers and volunteers in the UK, overseeing their professional performance as well as personal wellbeing. She also led the assessment and training of Hanban teachers and volunteers before they came to teach in the UK. She ensures that not only the best and brightest teachers are selected, they would also be equipped with all the training and tools they need to succeed as Chinese language teachers in Modern Foreign Language departments at schools.

Additionally, she devotes most of her spare time to improve existing processes, guidelines and various reference materials. Using her wealth of experience, she aims to develop a more effective and sustainable training program for Hanban teachers and volunteers working in the UK schools.

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, Hanban 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.

Sam Gray 葛瑞

Project Manager – Mandarin Excellence Programme

Sam joined the Confucius Institute in January 2017, as Project Manager for the Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Sam is an APM trained project management specialist with a background in Politics, having graduated from the University of Surrey with a BsC in the subject.  Sam also has a Level 4 Distinction from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

In 2012, Sam spent some time teaching English in Wuhan, Hubei province. During his time in China he was also able to carry out award winning research for his university studies.

After graduating, Sam took up a position working for the British Council. During his time at the organisation Sam worked on a number of communications focussed projects, including celebrating the organisations 80th anniversary and promoting a new overseas teaching collaboration with Aardman Animations. Sam then moved on to focus on delivering and developing the China strand of the organisations bi-lateral Language Assistants programme, working alongside higher education institutions, schools and high profile partners from across the UK and China.

Naomi Jiehua Li 李洁华

Project Officer – International Liaison

Naomi gained her MA in International Law at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing, China) and a postgraduate LLB in English Law with City University, London. She had previously worked in the field of radio, print and TV journalism for several years including BBC and the Financial Times in both China and the U.K. She has been working in education in her current role as project officer since 2007. She had gained experiences in understanding the teaching pedagogy and language learning by teaching Mandarin to supplementary schools and private students. She is now working part-time as a qualified counsellor (psycho-therapist) to help international students in London and beyond.

Naomi has been organizing China Camps for English students to visit China and learn about Chinese language and cultures. Up to 2013, she has organised study trips that had seen nearly 2,000 British students and teachers visit China and learn Chinese language and cultures. For annual Experience China programme, she organises and supports teachers of MFL to get language training in Shanghai. As a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese, she has helped with the writing and editing of the teaching materials for Jinbu 1 and Jinbu 2 as well as Edexcel GCSE Chinese textbooks. She also works on the day-to-day running of the Confucius Institute.

Greg Walker 吴高瑞

Project Officer – Mandarin Excellence Programme

IMG_1571Greg joined the UCL IOE CI team in Summer 2018 as a Project Officer for the Mandarin Excellence Programme. Greg’s first experience of Chinese was during his undergraduate degree when he became the first person to graduate from Lancaster University with a BA (Hons) Linguistics with Chinese. He remained at Lancaster to study for an MA in Language and Linguistics and followed this by working for the Student’s Union Schools’ Outreach Programme, leading on several projects working with local schools at both a primary and secondary level.

Following a relocation to London, Greg worked for a year in the field of Academic Quality, learning and developing his knowledge of the Higher Education sector before rekindling his love of Chinese by taking employment with the UCL IOE CI.



Yasmin Lambert

Project Officer

Linkedin Picture YLYasmin joined the IOE Confucius Institute in October 2018 after relocating to London from Greater Manchester, where she had worked as a project manager in the translation industry and as a business change officer in local government.

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.

In her role within the team, Yasmin focusses mainly on the HSBC-funded Primary Mandarin Project with the aim of creating sustainable resources to help teachers deliver engaging Chinese lessons in primary schools across the UK. This is primarily centred on the upgrade of the IOE CI Beginners’ Chinese online course and the production of a resources toolkit.