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Personal profile

Google Scholar h-Index

19 Last checked 19 August 2022

1036 Google Scholar Citations


I am a Professor in Education and Employment at the University of Huddersfield and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Ethnography and Education. I have worked at The University of Huddersfield since 2008 and acted as REF Coordinator for the School of Education and Professional Development during that time. My teaching and research interests focus mainly on issues of social justice and education policy.

Currently I am working as Principal Investigator, alongside collegues Ron Thompson, Jo Pike and Jo Bishop on a four year ethnographic study of NEET prevention services in England. This Leverhulme Trust funded research builds on over fifteen years worth of knowledge derived from externally funded research expertise working to further understand how young people who fall outside of mainstream education and employment spaces experience their career journeys and life trajectories. 

At Aston University in Birmingham, I gained my ESRC funded PhD ‘Pupil Resistance to Their Schooling Experience’ before engaging in my post as a Research Fellow at The University of Nottingham within the School of Education. I have been Principal Investigator for a Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded project that investigated young people’s experiences of working in the private sector.  I have also managed a longitudinal study concerning the experiences of NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) young people funded by The Leverhulme Trust. I have worked as a Senior Research Fellow exploring work-related learning for young people on E2E programs, a Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded project that mapped alternative education provision across two Midland Local Authority's and an ESRC project aimed at exploring themes of social and educational inclusion through the creative arts with primary age school children. I have managed The Education and Training Consortium funded projects that aimed to explore the experiences of BME trainee teachers and the experiences of volunteer trainees in unpaid teaching employment. I have also worked on an internally funded project aimed at developing understandings regarding student retention. During he pandemic I worked as PI on a University Research Funded project that explored parents experiences of homeschooling in the advent of Covid-19. This action research involved the use of online photo-elliciation interviews and aimed to support schools and families during the health crisis. More recently I have worked alongside Ron Thompson as PI with Wavehill Social Research Council via Blaenau Gwent Borough Council, acting as procuremnt lead on behalf of the Welsh European Fund Office (WEFO) to lead work informing current NEET intervention evaluations that are acting to inform Welsh education and employment policy. 

Since 2007 I have been a leading member of the Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference organising team. Alongside my Editor role for the Ethnography and Education Journal, I have acted as Deputy Editor for the Teaching in Lifelong Learning Journal and as Guest Editor for the international peer reviewed Special Issue of Improving Schools on pupil voice. I have refereed a range of research funding applications for the ESRC, the Associative Research Program – CONICYT (The Ministry of Education, Chile) and more recently the National Agency for Research and Development of Chile (ANID).

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Education policy
  • Employment policy
  • Poverty
  • Marginalised people
  • Issues of social justice
  • Key transition points
  • Ethnography
  • Participatory visual research methods
  • Social inclusion through the arts
  • Concepts of childhood and outdoor play 
  • Issues related to improving undergraduate student retention


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