My current research projects include a grant from the Nuffield Foundation, evaluating a randomised controlled trial in schools funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, and a quasi-experimental impact evaluation for the UK Ministry of Justice. There's more information on a selection of these projects below.
Socio-economic status and subject choice at 14: do they interact to affect university access?
There is a large socio-economic status gap in Higher Education participation in England. However, most evidence suggests that this is driven by inequality that emerges before the point of application. It has been suggested that one such source of inequality is the subjects and qualifications studied by young people while still at school. The importance of this factor for young people's changes of progressing to Higher Education in general, and to highly selective HE institutions in particular, has increasingly attracted the attention of policymakers. This has been most notable in the UK Government's introduction of the English Baccalaureate performance measure for schools at age 16, and the introduction of performance in Russell Group "facilitating subjects" at A-Level for schools at age 18. However, this area is under-studied in the academic literature.
This project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and more information is available from the Nuffield Foundation website.
Randomised evaluation of Embedding Formative Assessment
This project will test a two-year professional development programme on formative assessment. This is based around a pack, “Embedding Formative Assessment” (EFA), which includes materials schools need to deliver 18 monthly internal workshops (“Teacher Learning Communities”) involving all teachers from across the school, working together in groups of 8-12. Formative assessment involves teachers using evidence of pupils’ understanding and learning to make decisions, minute-by-minute and day-by-day, about the next steps in teaching and learning. This evidence could also be used when planning lessons or differentiating activities for individual pupils. When assessing formatively, the feedback given by teachers moves learners forward. Students are developed to be owners of their own learning and support each other to progress. The pack was developed by renowned educationalist Dylan Wiliam with SSAT.
This project is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and more information is available from the EEF website. The trial is registered with ISRCTN.
I regularly contribute to Masters-level modules run by both the Department of Learning and Leadership and the Department of Social Science at UCL Institute of Education. Students should generally find resources for these on the relevant UCL Moodle site. I also co-supervise three doctoral students, two in partnership with UCL School of Public Policy as part of the UCL/BIT PhD Scholarship programme.
Previously, I was a Research Fellow in the Employment Group at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, prior to which I completed a PhD in Economics of Education at UCL under the supervision of Profs. Lorraine Dearden (UCL/IFS) and John Micklewright (UCL).