Ms Allen went to Boldon Secondary Modern School, and
then to Ryhope Grammar. She left in 1969 to go to Sunderland
Polytechnic where, in 1972, she was awarded a BSc(Hons)
in Pharmacology (with Biochemistry as a subsidiary subject).
After her post-graduate course to get her Certificate of Education,
she joined the staff of South Shields Grammar-Technical
School for Boys.