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1995 …2023

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Last updated 18th April 2024


I am currently a Principal Research Fellow in the School of Education and Professional Development. My research interests lie in two main areas: social class and educational inequality, and teacher education for the lifelong learning sector. I have published a number of articles in academic journals such as British Journal of Sociology of EducationBritish Educational Research Journal and the Oxford Review of Education. I have acted as external examiner for doctoral candidates at universities in England and Australia. I regularly referee papers for academic journals, including Journal of Youth StudiesBritish Educational Research JournalUrban Studies, and Journal of Vocational Education and Training.

At present, I am working with my colleagues Lisa Russell and Jo Pike on a four-year ethnographic study of NEET prevention services in England, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This is the latest stage in a series of  studies of marginalised young people conducted with Lisa and Robin Simmons, including a one-year ethnography of Entry to Employment programmes and a three-year longitudinal study of young people not in education, employment or training (funded by The Leverhulme Trust). With Robin, I co-authored NEET Young People and Training for Work: Learning on the margins, published by Trentham Books in 2011, and with Robin and Lisa I co-authored another book, Education, Work and Social Change: Young people and marginalisation in post-industrial Britain, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. In addition to the projects on NEET young people, I have recently published two book chapters on social class and rational choice theories of educational decision making. A further book chapter, on inequality and existential threat, is due out in January 2022. My latest book, Education, Inequality and Social Class was published by Routledge in late February 2019. 

My work on teacher education is represented by various articles on the policy and practice of teacher education and the Open University Press textbook Teaching in Lifelong Learning: A guide to theory and practice, co-authored with James Avis and Roy Fisher. This book is now in its third edition. I worked with Kevin Orr and other colleagues on a three-year project, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, to investigate and enhance subject specialist pedagogy in vocational science, engineering and technology. The most recent publication from our collaboration with the Gatsby Foundation, a study of teacher educators and subject-specific pedagogy, was published in January 2021 in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education.

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Further Education
  • Social Class
  • Labor Market


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