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Last updated 18th April 2024


I am a Professor in Education and Employment at the University of Huddersfield and the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal Ethnography and Education. I have worked at The University of Huddersfield since 2008 and have acted as UOA23 REF Coordinator for the School of Education and Professional Development since 2019, leading our improved and successful REF 2021 submission. My teaching and research interests focus mainly on issues of social justice and education policy. I hold a long-standing, internationally recognised publication record and represent a global leading figure in the areas of NEET young people and ethnography.

As Principal Investigator (PI) I currently hold the largest and longest running SEPD externally funded project (£357,704) - Mapping Interventions for young people at risk of becoming NEET in England (MINE). Funded by The Leverhulme Trust this project offers the first national-level analysis of early intervention programmes in England for young people aged 14-16 considered vulnerable to becoming Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). This longitudinal study (running from 2021 to 2026) 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. 

In relation to the MINE project I currently work closely with a number of organisations such as The Youth Employment Group (YEG); Northorpe Hall Child and Family Trust, as well as acting as advisor for a number of NEET Local Authority Networks across England. I also act as Chair of Governors for Emmanuel Holcombe Primary School located in Bury.

Since gaining my PhD in 2005 at Aston University (Business School), as PI, I have a sustained record of attracting significant external grant income from some of the most prestigous awarding bodies related to the field of education, pertinently these include The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and The Leverhulme Trust.

Teaching forms a significant part of my work. I have international teaching expertise having taught postgraduates in three countries including England (Univeristy of Huddersfield, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Aston University), Canada (The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto) and Jamaica (University of the West Indies). Over the last ten years I have actively contributed to the delivery of the undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate research provision and have helped in the development, quality assurance and revalidation of existing and new programmes. Recently, I have contributed to the teaching and delivery across the entirity of the undergraduate framework on modules such as, Major Study, Research Methods, Self Society and Welfare, Finding a Voice, Contemporary Childhood Studies, as well as being a Childhood Studies Personal Tutor. I also teach on our EdD programme and actively contribute to our PGR Seminar Forum Series, as well as successfully supervise MA, EdD and PhD students. 

Currently, I am external examiner for The University College, London (UCL) and have previously been an external examiner at Warwick University, Sheffield Hallam, Salford University, The Open University and Teeside University.

Since 2007 I have been a leading member of the Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference organising team and now act as Editor-in-Chief for  the international, peer-reviewed Ethnography and Education Journal. I have extensive Editor expertise, having edited three books, Ethics, Ethnography and Education (2022); Institutional Ethnography in Education (2019) and Ethnographic Writing (2018). I have also 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 currently sit on the Editorial Board for Studies in Educational Ethnography and for the Journal of Global Education and Research. Presently, I form part of the organisation committee, working in collaboration with the European Educational Research Association (EERA) Network 19 leading the Rethinking Ethnography Conference 2024 in Zaragoza, Spain. I have just too been nominated for the 'Research Methodology in Education' Best Presentation Award by the British Educational Research Association (BERA) 2023.

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).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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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