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Professor Sally Thomas

Professor Sally Thomas

Professor Sally Thomas

Professor of Education

Office 3.02
Helen Wodehouse Building,
35 Berkeley Square, Clifton BS8 1JA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 4382


Improving Educational Evaluation and Quality in China (IEEQC)


Sally Thomas is Professor in education at the Graduate School and she has conducted and led academic research studies for over twenty years.  Previously she was an Associate Director and founding member of the International School Effectiveness and Improvement Centre at the London Institute of Education, and has also worked at University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

Her main publications are on different aspects of educational quality, which have examined a variety of factors, indicators and processes related to school and institutional effectiveness and improvement (both in UK and abroad).  In particular she has carried out extensive research studies on ‘value added’ measures of school effectiveness and the application of these measures for different, or overlapping, purposes including: school improvement, school evaluation and self-evaluation, international quality indicators and academic knowledge-base research.  In terms of future directions she is interested in exploring further the processes of schooling and learning as well as a range of educational outcomes including pupil, parent and teacher attitudes, academic and vocational measures, citizenship, formal and informal learning and behaviour.

Recent publications include a co-authored book ‘Educational Evaluation And Monitoring; A Systemic Approach’ published by SWETS (2003).


Contributions to the following MEd courses:

School Effectiveness and Improvement

Managing Educational Change

Methods of Statistical Analysis

Advanced Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (course tutor)

Research Students

PhD Completed

  • 2010 Kai Ren - Title: Underachievement and learning power
  • 2006 Jenifer Moody - Title:  A question of gender: an investigation into the relationship between the gender of question writers and student achievement.
  • 2001 Thanasis Verdis - Title: The effectiveness of upper secondary schools in Athens.

EdD Completed

  • 2010 Bill Egginton Title: Evaluation of project management training in Defence Services
  • 2009 Hilary Hayward - Title: Is gender important in the issue of underachieving school leavers?
  • 2003 Aziz Md Nor - Title: An investigation into headship training for aspiring primary school teachers in Malaysia.

Current Ph.D. Students

  • Yianna Schiza  (topic: School effectiveness and progress of ethnic minority students in Cyprus)
  • Massoud Salim (topic: School effectiveness and school self evaluation in Zanzibar)
  • Bernardita Munoz Chereab (topic: Value added measures of school performance in Chile)
  • WR Wan Ali (topic: Parental involvement in schooling)
  • Pippa Griew (topic: The school effect on children’s school time physical activity)

Current Ed.D. Students

  • Kathleen Huxley (topic: progress of gifted and talented students)
  • Louise Garland (topic: evaluating school leaders and other stakeholders’ views on educational needs ethnic minority students)
  • Unyarat Sukhamongkon (topic: school effectiveness and school quality indicators in Thailand)
  • Robert Legg (topic: childrens’ participation in singing in school and other contexts)

MEd Completed

  • 2009 Yuan Gao – Title: A survey of school practitioners perceptions of school effectiveness and evalauation in one selected secondary school in china.
  • 2009 Au Yeung Yick Fung Bernard – Title: An investigation of students learning outcomes through their participation in a community services Programme in a Hong Kong Aided Secondary School.
  • 2009 Bai Xuhong – Title: The growth of education provision across boarders
  • 2008Max Moder - Title: Educational Quality in Chile and England.
  • 2007 Liu Na - Title: Evaluating English Teaching Quality in China.
  • 2007 Jiang Na - Title: Financing higher education: an analysis of marketisation reform in financing higher education in mainland China.
  • 2006 Li Wang - Title: Teaching Competitions and the impact on Teachers Professional Development.
  • 2005 Yasmin White - Title: The potential of school self-evaluation to promote improvement effectiveness at the secondary school in Montserrat.
  • 2003 C. Cayler - Title: Exploring Examination procedures.


  • education quality
  • school effectiveness and improvement
  • learning communities
  • multilevel modelling
  • evaluation
  • China
  • citizenship


  • BERA
  • BPS
  • AERA



Graduate School of Education

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Thomas currently teaches 5 courses:

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