Pat Norris

I am a Senior Lecturer in Education at York St John University and Programme Lead for the BA Hons in Youth and Community Work. I teach across a range of professional and applied undergraduate programmes. 

I joined York St John University following nearly 30 years in practice and leadership roles. Prior to teaching at York St John University, I worked at the North East Wales Institute and as practice supervisor for youth and community work students at De Montfort University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Open University and Liverpool John Mores University.

My professional experience is in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. This begins with working as a secondary school teacher and then youth and community worker in London and Mersyside. These roles led to strategic youth service leadership within local government in Wales and the north west of England and four years as lead commissioner for young people’s services. 

My work in wider child and family services includes county children’s services manager role for a national charity and developing and managing a Foyer for young people aged 16–25.

An extensive background in integrated and partnership work with vulnerable children, young people and families led to my recent senior Local Authority leadership role as a Head of Local Services, managing integrated statutory provision including child and family support; multi-agency front door assessment of child and family needs and developing preventative and universal work with schools, health services, voluntary organisations and local government partners. 

Further Information


Teaching includes the BA Hons Youth Work and Community Development; BA Hons Children Young People and Families; BA Hons Early Childhood Studies; BA Hons Primary Education with QTS:

  • Theory and practice of youth and community work
  • Professional modules on initial primary teacher education
  • Undergraduate research dissertation supervision
  • Values and ethics
  • Sociological and social psychology in relation to adolescence
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Group work
  • Leadership and management modules
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Social Policy
  • Integrated practice
  • Working with families


My research interests are linked to youth studies, inclusion and leadership in integrated and partnership contexts.

I am undertaking a PhD in Educational Research at the University of Lancaster with a focus on structural/agentic factors and the personal within communities of practice.


Norris and Pugh (2015) Local Authority Youth Work in Bright, G. (Ed) Youth Work: Histories, Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Conference Paper: ‘Initial findings from a study exploring supervisor perceptions of youth and community work students’ learning within extended fieldwork placements.’ Applying Engestrom’s work on activity systems. Presented to “Education Otherwise: Creating Communities of Practice Questioning Paradigms for Youth & Community Work”. TAG Training Agencies Group Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth & Community Work Brathay, Cumbria. 06/15

MA Dissertation title “A critical exploration of inclusive education issues in the current context of local authority youth work: commissioning, priorities and attainment targets" Supervisors for dissertation Professor Felicity Armstrong and Professor Len Barton, Institute of Education

Forthcoming: Youth homelessness, housing and the role of youth and community work.

Multiple dimensions: exploring the professional placement as an activity system.

Professional Activity

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Expert Witness Surrey County Council Youth Work Commission – testing the hypothesis that there is no role for local authorities in youth work. 2015

Member of the University wide Quality Standards Committee 2012/13; 2013/14; 2014/15.

Equalities Champion for Faculty of Education and Theology 2012 to date

Programme lead for the development and dual validations for the BA Hons Youth and Community Work with JNC.

TAG representative for NYA validation panel for Northampton University Post Grad Diploma / Masters with JNC Validation

External Examiner for University of Hull FdA Working with Children 2012/13 – to date

External Examiner for University of Birmingham BA (Hons)/FdA Youth, Community and Families 2015/16 – 2018/19

External Examiner for University of Birmingham MA/PG Dip Youth and Community Development (JNC), MA/PG Dip Youth and Community Development 2015/16 – 2018/19

Member of City of York Council York Youth Sector Partnership Steering Group

Supervisor University of Huddersfield Certificate in Lifelong Learning

Regional Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber Full Member

Institute for Youth Work – Professional Membership

BERA member

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