Dr Veronica Poku

Staff details


Senior Lecturer


Educational Studies


v.poku (@gold.ac.uk)

Veronica specialises in the impact of racism on minoritised teacher trainees and children in primary schools.

Veronica is the Head of Programme for the MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity. She is the convenor for the MA module Race, Culture and Education. She has taught on the undergraduate BA: Education, Culture and Society as well as being a pastoral tutor for students on that pathway. Veronica also leads on the Primary PGCE Maths course and the Maths in Action research/school-based enhancement module. She acts as a supervising tutor for PGCE School Direct and Provider-led students.

Academic qualifications

  • • MA Writing (Distinction) (University of Warwick) 2020
  • • EdD Doctorate in Education (UCL/IoE) 2017
  • • MA Maths Education (Merit) (King’s College, London 2003
  • • PGCE Mulitlingual Primary Education (North London Polytechnic now London Met) 1994
  • • BA Joint Honours West European Politics and French (University of Essex) 1991

Research interests

Veronica’s area of research and interest is in the experiences of being Black in historical and modern British society. Veronica’s doctoral research looked into the experiences of African and African-Caribbean students whilst on primary school placement in South London schools. As part of her masters, Veronica researched the impact of setting on children’s levels of attainment and self-esteem.

Grants and awards

2021: ‘Inspirational Women at Goldsmiths’
Veronica was nominated to be one of the women on Goldsmiths virtual wall.

2016: Widening Participation project with BA students
£5k Veronica developed and convened a widening participation forum for undergraduate students on the BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Society programme. The project looked at issues around retention

Professional projects

As a member for the Centre of Identities and Social Justice (CISJ), Veronica produced and co-curated an eventbrite event with Neil and Emelia Kenlock in conversation with Eddie Otchere (2021). Neil is one of the major photo chroniclers of the Black British presence.

After having visited a photo-exhibition at 198 Gallery, Brixton, on the Black British Panthers, Veronica produced and curated an online event for the MA students on the Race, Culture and Education to be in conversation with them (2021).

Research projects

Report looking at young people's views about race and racism.
Veronica was part of a group of colleagues who recently produced a report (2022) for a social enterprise that works with schools and children to understand and explore their views/beliefs around race.

Veronica is working with colleagues to explore how race and racism is addressed in schools.

Media engagements

2021: ‘Don’t mix with those Black boys’: The insidious effects of internalised racism (2021) by Matthew Kayanja
This article explored the internalised racism experienced by Kayanja. Veronica was noted as the contributing specialist.

Veronica was a contributor to an episode of ‘Feedback’ on Radio 4 (20.11.20)

2022: Black History Month interview for Leeds Beckett student news.
Veronica gave an interview for the Leeds Beckett student newspaper 'Leeds Now News' for Black History Month.

Conferences and talks

2013: BERA
Veronica took part in a symposium on Black African and Black African-Caribbean students' experiences and perceptions of Initial Teacher Education.

2012: CHEER (University of Sussex)
Veronica presented on undergraduate Black students' perceptions of a teacher training course based in a south of London University.

2022: Book presentation to the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality at Leeds Beckett University
Veronica presented the some of the findings from her book 'Black Student Teachers' Experiences of Racism in the White School

2023: ITE/T Anti-Racist conference / launch of the Anti-Racist framework - Leeds Beckett University
Veronica created and led on a workshop looking at how mentors can be of greater support to Black students who would be on school placements, as part their initial teacher education training.

2023: Book talk to BME and Anti-Racism Ally Network - University of Oxford
Veronica held a presentation discussing the findings of her research around race/ism and for Black PGCE students, followed by a Q&A with the BME Staff Network and Anti-Racism Ally Network.

2022: Book presentation (online) for the University of Glasgow
Veronica held a presentation discussing the findings of her research around race/ism and for Black PGCE students, followed by a Q&A with members of the ITE network

2023: Presentation for ARITE network - GTC Scotland
Presentation and Q&A regarding the placements of Black and Minority Ethnic students in schools.

External Examiner

• Oxford Brookes University: 2013 – 2017 Primary PGCE