A.Jawaid Secondary PGCE Trainee (Mentoring/Coaching)

Sobia baji, during my PGCE year, I spoke with you on a weekly basis regarding my training. From the word go – you have been a motivating, inspiring and encouraging mentor who was not only helpful from your  reams of experience, but also your emotionally understanding nature.
Thank you so much for your support throughout everything – you have helped me so much, and looking back I don’t think I would have progressed as well as I have done if it wasn’t for you rooting for me and always believing in me. I have finished the placement and I got a Grade 1 – Outstanding in my triangulation!!! So I am extremely happy 🙂

Zaheer Mohammed Secondary PGCE Trainee (Mentoring/Coaching)

Having Sobia as a coaching consultant was an excellent opportunity. She was exceptionally professional in her approach and the advice she gave was helpful every single time I required it. Whenever there was a problem I would contact her and she would not hesitate to help. She always shows you both sides of the coin in any situation and allows you to make decisions without being pushy or difficult in any way. She does go out of her way to help which is a quality I really appreciate in a person. I highly recommend her to ANYONE and EVERY academic establishment.

Secondary PGCE Trainees (EAL/Literacy Lectures)

Sobia was phenomenal! 

Excellent presentation and room for questions. 

Absolutely fantastic training – could have carried on learning from such an excellent and passionate communicator. 


Very inspiring, relevant, clear. 

Anna Secondary PGCE Trainee (Diversity Lectures)

I just wanted to say a ‘warm thank you’ to you for the Session you did with us on Saturday, I in particular felt like I took a great deal away with me :   )  You most definitely had a HUGE impact on me and my experiences, you’ve made me more self aware and I certainly feel more empowered. I have started to question myself more and use the skills you taught us in all aspects of everyday life and not just teaching!  I feel re-educated and re-conditioned, in the sense that I now know how to identify what we accept because it is the norm and has always been that way.  It’s often easy to conform and not question or even realise otherwise, because it’s always been that way/you’ve been brought up that way!  To question your values – that is very powerful?!  Don’t you think? I can imagine you get a great sense of ‘job satisfaction’ and feeling of achievement in your job when you realise you have changed peoples lives – you have certainly changed mine. Thank you Sobia  :  )


Secondary PGCE Trainee (Inclusion/NLP Lectures)

Another wonderful and thought provoking day.

Secondary ICT PGCE Trainee (Inclusion/NLP Lectures)

The session really made me think – about approaches in the classroom.  It made me look at myself and I wish the session had been longer.

A. Moore, Lecturer Edge Hill University (Inclusion/NLP Lectures)

The most usefeul session was on NLP communication models. Overall, I would rate the training as excellent.


Lesley Travers, Head of Inspections CfBT Inspection Services

Sobia Malik has attended the Section 5 New Inspector Training.

Michael Hawkins, Regional Adviser Narrowing the Gap, DfE

I first met Sobia three years ago when she was a consultant for Bolton Local Authority. She had a brief to work with schools and the local community to raise the attainment of Pakistani heritage pupils, who as a group were underachieving compared to other pupils. What impressed me most about her was her student centred approach. She adopted a holistic approach to first identifying the real situation for the pupils and then also addressing it. She has great skills in engaging with pupils. She also has excellent communication skills; she involved the school and wider groups in her fact finding so there was a real dialogue going on. Her creative approach in bringing Leisure and Health together to work with the schools and the pupils demonstrated her ability to get to the heart of some of the barriers for young people and their families today. Her approach is certainly one I have shared and recommended across the country. Interestingly, the impact of her work is still evident today as many of the schools have been able to build on the seeds that were sown. Without her skilful approach, I am certain that the barriers would have remained mere anecdotes in the schools, rather than something explicit that could be planned for and addressed. I would recommend Sobia as I find her to be very skilled in engaging people while at the same time maintaining a humane and simple approach. We could all do with a bit of that!

Ann Marie Taylor, Senior Sports Development Officer Sport, Health and Inclusion Team

I had the pleasure of working with Sobia Malik during the delivery of the education attainment programme (EAP) which was a project she co-ordinated that works with young people of Pakistani heritage in schools to help them achieve their potential. Sobia was extremely committed and enthusiastic in her role which was a huge factor in the success of the programme. Her drive encouraged us to become a partner in the delivery of EAP and to help with the sustainability of positive activities. Sobia’s willingness to fight for her cause and her confidence was an inspiration to me and the team. I enjoyed working with Sobia and would relish the opportunity to work with her again. I would have no hesitation in recommending her for any role that required a dynamic, motivated, personable and trustworthy individual.

Chris Roberts Headteacher Smithills School

I wanted to thank Sobia for her support of Smithills School. In particular, I am grateful for the work undertaken in organising mentors for Pakistani Heritage pupils. Sobia’s introduction of a tracking system for pupils and their parents has been well received. It is simple and tremendously beneficial for Pakistani parents. I have also valued her contributions to developing a Literacy Strategy at Smithills School. Her past experience as a Head of English has been invaluable here. I hope Sobia will continue to support Smithills School whenever possible.

Matthew Nicolle, Head of English Bolton St Catherine’s Academy

We asked Sobia to work with our GCSE students in the build-up to their exams over a four month period. Not only did Sobia engage and inspire a significant number of our students but she also brought a clarity of approach and a freshness to the teaching of GCSE English to our Department. Sobia made such an impression within our school that we have invited her back to work with two distinct cohorts of students next year: those striving to achieve a grade C and those who we believe have the potential to achieve the very highest grades.  The feedback from students who have worked with Sobia has been extremely positive; Sobia establishes strong working relationships with students very quickly and this enables her to accelerate their learning and progress effectively in a relatively short space of time. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside Sobia this year and I look forward to drawing upon her talents, experience and ideas over the coming year(s). Sobia brings a professionalism, objectivity and humanity to all that she does and this has had a profound impact both upon our students and my own practice. In addition, I have found her professional advice over this period to be useful, well-informed and, at times, inspirational.

Michael Brooks, Student St Catherine’s Academy

I have learned so many things in English since you took our class. You have taught me more than I have ever understood in this subject.

James Moscrop, Student St Catherine’s Academy

Your lessons were amazing and I have learned loads of stuff in English that I didn’t understand and you helped me understand things I was worried about! You’re a great teacher and any class would be lucky to have you! Thank you for everything.

S.McRory, Student St Catherine’s Academy

Miss Malik has been a fantastic help to us all, improved the writing standards of the whole class in a short space of time and would be a brilliant regular teacher.

Corey, Student St Catherine’s Academy

Your lesson was great and I am glad you came before the exams started and it was an awesome experience. I believe you have taught me a lot about English. Thank you. 🙂

Graham Hatter, Student St Catherine’s Academy

I really feel Miss Malik has greatly improved my English, she has taught me new methods and approaches I had never even heard of. Overall, I would say she is the best English teacher I’ve ever had.

Chris Hough, Student St Catherine’s Academy

Miss Malik is sick. (‘Sick’ is a slang term which means ‘very good’.)

Jinnah Community Development Trust,  Burnley Zenab Bibi Student, Citizenship/Personal Development

Practising speaking English in role play really built my confidence. Sobia is the best teacher, when she was teaching she was funny and then we did not be shy and we relaxed.

Raheema Akhtar Student, Citizenship/Personal Development

I feel happy because Sobia taught us how to speak English and be confident.

Zakia Bibi Student, Citizenship/Personal Development

Sobia is a very nice teacher. I like her. Expressing myself was really helpful and made me quite confident. The learning will help me when I am talking to the people in English.

Farhad Khan, Trainee Teaching Assistant

The most helpful part of the training was the fact that we learnt about explicit teaching. Also how to help young people with literacy. Miss Malik demonstrated explicit teaching to us. I now know how to conduct a lesson, how to deal with different problems children may have. Also how to help them in the best way possible.

Mehnaz Nawaz, Trainee Teaching Assistant

It was very helpful to get an awareness of the fact that teaching is based around the most basic ways of learning such as, word level, sentence level and text level. If the children get the basics right they will find it easier to analyse and write in classroom discussions. Miss Malik’s delivery was very good, giving an easier understanding to what is expected of a classroom assistant.

Sana Ajmal, Trainee Teaching Assistant

The awareness of ourselves and the importance of such a role as classroom assistant was very useful. Miss Malik’s training was very informative, objective, clear and concise. A key message for me was to have a clear structure and aims when presenting work to students and the importance of expressing ourselves in a positive way.

Ibrar Shah, Trainee Teaching Assistant

I found how to analyse paragraphs and how to put forward these points to students most valuable. Miss Malik’s assistant teacher training was very informative and precise. It was very useful. I will take away key points; how to behave as a teacher, how to include students in a lesson and the importance of inclusive language.

Sanna Feroze , Trainee teaching Assistant

I found the teaching techniques taught regarding essay writing most useful. Miss Malik’s training was clear and efficient. Information given was plentiful. I learned confidence is crucial as well as full knowledge and quality of teaching.

MLT Conference in Doha – January ‘09

Sobia Malik was invited to attend the MLT conference. From January 16-19, the next generation of Muslim leaders gathered in Doha, Qatar to share skills and discuss their most urgent collective challenges. The 300 dynamic Muslim leaders in attendance, hailing from over 75 countries, debated solutions to pressing issues such as the global Muslim crisis in authority and the mandate to promote peace over extremism from within. The 2009 MLT Doha Conference was organised by the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), in collaboration with the Cordoba Initiative and UN Alliance of Civilizations (AoC). It is being sponsored by the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID), with additional support provided by One Nation: Liberty and Justice for All.


WISE Conference in Kuala Lumpur – July ’09

Sobia Malik was invited to attend the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) organised by the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). It is a global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement led by Muslim women. WISE is empowering Muslim women to fully participate in their communities and nations and amplifying their collective voices. Muslim women have enjoyed a rich legacy of excellence in their roles as leaders, professionals, caregivers and activists, and Islamic history is an impressive record of their remarkable contributions as teachers and scholars of sacred text and law. WISE represents an authoritative Muslim women’s movement to reclaim this legacy.

Dr Kamran Khan, Chairman Bolton Council of Mosques

Sobia Malik was employed as an Education Attainment Consultant, in a collaborative joint venture with Bolton Council, to help improve the attainment of Pakistani young men. Sobia managed to contribute significantly to the achievement of our shared objectives and brought with her a new sense of purpose for many of the people involved in the project. Sobia consistently demonstrates patience, perseverance and a real commitment to the future of young people. She was a joy to work with and helpful in all respects.

Jane Thompson, School Improvement Adviser

I have known Ms Malik for 2 years.  In her role as Educational Attainment Consultant for Bolton Council, Sobia had specific responsibilities for working with schools and the wider community in improving outcomes for Pakistani-heritage boys.  She also worked with a range of high schools in developing aspects of community cohesion and supported the work of the English Consultant. Sobia brought to the role her previous experience and expertise as an English Consultant and successfully combined that with a good understanding of the important part played by the local community in relation to pupil achievement.  It is this blend of expertise that enabled Sobia to play a strong role in the improvements that have been seen across the Local Authority. Sobia has experience of developing multi-agency work including working with the Bolton Council of Mosques and in building capacity within others.  Although collaborative in outlook she is also an effective independent worker. Sobia has established good working relationships with pupils and with staff in schools and her work has been valued by Headteachers.  She is also resilient and articulate and strong enough to challenge the views of others.  Her most outstanding quality is her tenacity in supporting young people and advocating for them. She has experience of developing plans and resources with school staff and other groups and can be analytical in her approach to problem solving.  She liaises appropriately with staff within school and has been particularly successful in involving herself in multi-agency work and in working with parents to improve their understanding of how they can best work with schools and support their own children. Sobia possesses a wide range of skills and expertise allied with personal qualities of steadfastness, a commitment to developing young people academically and pastorally and a vision that is rooted in a well informed understanding of education at a local and national level.

Phil Stewart, Headteacher Harper Green School

Sobia has  worked with Harper Green School in the capacity as consultant for the Ethnic Achievement Project. Sobia has also helped us in our Literacy strategy by providing training for various levels of management .
We have always been delighted with the level of professionalism combined with realism provided by Sobia. Sobia is easy to get on with and listens closely to the requirements of your organisation to provide the level of service to match your needs.
I have no hesitation in recommending Sobia Malik to you.

Amna Khan, Learning Mentor Harper Green School

I have known Miss Malik over the past two years. She has been a brilliant colleague and always very passionate about her work. She has a very positive attitude towards her work, pupils and colleagues. Her teaching skills are excellent and her approach is both dynamic and inclusive. She is certainly very hard-working. Sobia is missed by all of us.

Umar Mustafa, Student Harper Green school

The English revision by Miss Malik and the mosque workshops Miss Malik organised led by men from our mosque were most useful because they helped with work and also kept me close to Islam. Miss Malik helped out a lot with me towards my revision and work. It gave me the extra boost I needed and also helped me to gain knowledge about Islam. She was very helpful and I noticed she put in a lot of effort to help us.

Imran Khan, Student Harper Green School

Miss Malik made me feel I had somebody to talk to!! Her work here was delightful, I hope she returns. She encouraged me a lot to face my exams. I also enjoyed the Sport sessions. They encouraged people to unite and come together. 🙂

Zargam Raja, Student Harper Green School

Miss Malik encouraged me to work hard and to focus.

Mr T. Purcell , Headteacher Rivington & Blackrod High School Ms E. McAuley,  Director of Access, Inclusion & Student Support

We have worked closely with Miss Malik for two years on the development of our inclusion practice within school. We are a very large comprehensive with a predominantly white intake and we are interested in developing the profile and opportunities of our minority ethnic pupils in that context. Miss Malik contributed much to our school development in this area. She spent time and effort in getting to know us – both as individual pupils and teachers and as a whole school setting. She built relationships with everyone from the Headteacher to our colleagues who were most in need of support. She was able to offer us good, tailored advice because of this groundwork. She came into school regularly to work with groups of teachers and groups of pupils and all involved found it very useful. She worked to meet our expressed aims but, more than that, she offered new ideas and opportunities, put us in touch with relevant agencies and encouraged collaboration between professionals across the local authority. We have a broader definition of the meaning of inclusion for our minority ethnic pupils because of her input. Miss Malik is a very  rewarding person with whom to work closely. She is extremely knowledgeable and well grounded in her field and she is enthusiastic in her work. She communicates with authority and has a great respect for the individual at every level. She brings out the best in people and leaves them feeling powerful and enthused also. Miss Malik has added much value to our work as a school. She worked in partnership with us as we flew through the assessment for the national Inclusion Quality Mark and her work contributed to our very successful OFSTED this year. We look forward to continuing our professional relationship with Miss Malik.

Sabah Miah Student, Rivington & Blackrod High School

When we met Yasmin Qureshi MP and her case workers at her constituency office I thought the day was very beneficial and a wonderful experience. I loved it, it was amazing. I also learnt a lot. This has made me increase my ambitions for the future. Thank you so much Miss Malik. I will never forget this experience.

Haajra Hussain Student, Rivington & Blackrod High School

I think the trip really helped and I gained a lot of information, I will take away this experience and carry on further. Now I am personally thinking of doing some voluntary work and being active in politics. Thank you Miss Malik.

Zara Khan Student, Rivington & Blackrod High School

The trip helped me learn more work experience is better than no work experience. Voluntary work in the local council is an option if I want to go in to Parliament. This made me feel more confident in what I want to do in the future. It was a really big opportunity and I will build on this.

Saira Ahmed Student, Rivington & Blackrod High School

The trip was an experience of a lifetime. I have learnt a lot and had a wonderful time. I will hopefully take this further. I am very thankful to Miss Malik and Miss McAuley for this experience.

Hilary D’Arcy, Headteacher Ladybridge High School

I have worked closely with Sobia and I am delighted with the impact that she has made with our target cohorts. Feedback from the students and staff has been extremely positive and we have seen great strides in terms of personal development, well-being and hard outcomes. There is no doubt that Sobia’s work is thoughtful, reflective and focused. Thank you, Sobia… you have made a difference!

Pam Spurling, EAL Co-ordinator Ladybridge High school

Thanks to Miss Malik. The opportunities we have been able to tap into for the Muslim boys would not have been possible without her leadership, vision and persistence. It has been a privilege to work with Miss Malik on this innovative, ground-breaking project!

Asif Rubbani, Mentor Ladybridge High School

Sobia has been a great influence in providing much needed support and guidance to me through this project. It has been a great experience working with such a dynamic character.

Basil Shah, Student Ladybridge High School

I found the English lessons most helpful. I think Miss Malik did amazingly because she helped me understand exam questions better. I am more confident due to the help of Miss Malik and Asif.

Shaan Iqbal, Student Ladybridge High School

The ex-offender talk was useful to learn about preventing crime, within our own community. The English revision classes were very informative and well planned. Introducing the Drugs Misuse team helped me learn about the harmful effects of drugs. Overall, I think the project has helped develop my understanding in learning the importance of education. Also Asif helped us achieve this and I am very grateful to Miss Malik in leading this project to success, I will take many positive things away with me. I also want to thank the extended Pakistani community for supporting our project.

Umair Farooq, Student Ladybridge High School

I think Miss Malik did very well in helping us achieve our potential and I found the English revision lessons most useful.

Zohib Hussain, Student Ladybridge High School

Because of Miss Malik’s help and support we made contact with the Imam and will be getting a prayer room and starting Friday prayers in school.

Zaib Khan, Student Ladybridge High School

Miss Malik has been very kind and supportive in these two years. She tried her utmost to make sure we achieve our best.

Kasam Khan, Student Ladybridge High School

Miss Malik provided us with many opportunities through her good work to understand the importance of education and what needs to be done for me to achieve my goal.

Yasmeen Farooq, Parent Ladybridge High School

My son found Miss Malik’s support very helpful, especially the one to one support, Sports programmes and GCSE revision classes. I appreciated the fact that Pakistani boys were getting this help (much needed)

Bob Hindle, Assistant Principal , Bolton Sixth Form College

I’ve worked with Sobia over a number of years in her capacity as Education Consultant for Bolton Local Authority. Sobia is a dedicated professional and uses her considerable experience and expertise to affect change. Her enthusiasm – coupled with her people and project management skills, have ensured an effective team-based approach to problem solving. Her work has extended from facilitating liaison between the College and pupils of Muslim, Pakistani heritage in its feeder schools, as well as kick-starting the conclusions of past research on the attainment of this important young group of people. One of Sobia’s key strengths is her ability to build relationships with head teachers and their schools consequently collaborating with these projects. Her arrival in Bolton saw an increase in engaging with ethnic minority parents and in raising the attainment of Pakistani heritage students. Sobia left having built an infrastructure: well trained EAL staff and co-ordinators in school and mentors working with school and mosque. This was no mean feat. Sobia has a very good knowledge of successful funding streams. Her work is professional and thorough; Sobia has the people skills and the ability to diagnose problems, propose effective solutions and carry them through. I recommend her unreservedly.

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Abdur Rahman Patel, Community Liaison Officer Essa Academy

I have worked with Sobia for just under two years in her role as LA Consultant for Bolton Council, targeting underachieving Pakistani pupils. Sobia has integrated and incorporated many different mindsets and communities to build a cohesive group to tackle underachieving Pakistani pupils. Through her sincere and hardworking approach she has drawn in support from all areas of the communities from Imams to Headteachers, from adults to children and a range of other youth working groups. Through her enthusiasm and grit she has raised awareness within Pakistani communities and created strong links between parents and schools. All in all it has had a major impact on the parents’ mentality. Where there is a focus on a particular area, there is going to be a concurrent result and hence this is shown in the progress Pakistani pupils have made within Essa Academy owing to this project run by Sobia. It was a pleasure attending Sobia’s EAL Network meetings where different schools were given the opportunity to share each other’s good practices, support Sobia in her English revision classes that she did for Essa Academy and other activities that were undertaken with the pupils due to her efforts. She was highly respected by the students and she had the ability to network at various levels to assimilate information necessary for the project to succeed.

Ifthakar Khaliq, Learning Mentor Essa Academy

Working alongside Sobia Malik for the past two years has been an exciting experience. She has transferred her enthusiasm and work ethic, not only throughout the pupils but also the people working with her. With myself, other colleagues from various schools in Bolton, Mosques, and throughout the communities in Bolton, she has raised awareness with this project, targeting underachieving boys. With her good mannered and persuasive nature she has made people realise that with hard work and focus come results and was able to combine different people and groups together to achieve this outcome. With her experience and background we were able to gain not only the support of the local community but also various organisations that were keen and willing to help. Sobia has the tenacity and experience to overcome any obstacle, with her vast amount of experience. Her work with parents and the time she dedicated in supporting young people has not gone unnoticed and I hope this work will continue and we can continue to work alongside her and the community.

Aman Khan, Student Essa Academy I found Miss Malik’s project very helpful, it made me want to go to mosque and also get involved with sports. She gave me more understanding of the work in GCSE English and how to do my coursework.

Haroon Mughal, Student Essa Academy Miss Malik’s project really worked as she helped us reach our targets by giving us a lot of support. This gave us more confidence. I found doing the English exam questions very helpful and will help me in my exam.

Khurram Khan, Student Essa Academy The project gave me more confidence and was good help. Miss Malik was motivating. It’s made me want to do more at home generally.

Talheeb Hussain, Student Essa Academy I found the exam revision very useful and the sports workshops. Her classes were really helpful as the information helped me revise better.


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