The northern Professional Exchange Network (PEN)

This programme officially ran 2017-2020 as part of the regional Professional Exchange Networks (PENs) as funded by the Education and Training Foundation. Over the course of the three years Claire, Jo, Vicky and Chloë worked on this programme alongside associates: Gail Lydon, Punam Khosla, Sue Lownsbrough, Petrina Lynn, Lou Mycroft, Kathryn Semple, Emily Newman, Barbara Zealley and Ros Foggin.

PDNorth represented the northern PENs covering 3 regional areas: Northwest, Northeast & Cumbria and Yorkshire & Humberside. Initially, each region had a regional lead (RL) and project officer supporting the networks. The purpose of the professional exchange networks was to bring peers together to share effective practice within a localised community that spanned across both networks and organisations.

During the programme, we created in-house opportunities as stepping stones for practitioners to share their reflections, resources and research including a blog and weekly Twitter chat as well as our yearly sharing events. We collated opportunities from further afield in a monthly newsletter and supported practitioners with their digital needs via digital teachmeets on our YouTube channel.

You might like to read the final programme report, and find out how PDNorth has since been redeveloped and maintained as FE Tapestry in Chloë’s #APConnect reflection and Vicky and Chloë’s blog.

Access Resources

This is a wonderful group that highlights important areas for practitioners to teach better, I wish I’d found you sooner.


I have such a wonderful and rich experience with PDNorth. I have met many wonderful people who I will keep in contact with.


A lovely sense of community and some fantastic events over the years.


It gave me confidence to know that I have the same barriers to jump over as other organisations and reduced the sense of isolation which can become an issue when working in a job role which has no one to bounce ideas off.”


I thought I was a lone researcher in FE then I met PDNorth and found a fab minded of like minded people who encouraged me and connected me to other researchers in FE.


PDNorth gave me opportunity for meaningful dialogues in reflective spaces. It gave me support and reinforced that I’m not alone in my FE challenges. I’ve been introduced to so many valuable resources, strategies and met many new friends. Thank you!


What does PDNorth mean to you? A word cloud including community, collaoration, sharing, support and inspiration as the key words