Project team

Project co-directors

Professor Ray Bolam

Ray Bolam is Emeritus Professor of Education in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bath and Leicester.

From 1994-2002 he was Professor of Education at Cardiff University, where he was Head of the School of Education (1996-99) and Director of the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) Centre for Wales. From 1992-94 he was Professor of Education at the University of Swansea and, prior to that, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol where he was Director of the government-funded, National Development Centre (NDC) for School Management Training from 1983-90.

His research and publications have focused on school leadership, professional development, school improvement and the management of change. He has acted as consultant to the UNESCO, the OECD, the British Council, and the European Commission as well as to governments and national and international agencies in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

Agnes McMahon

Agnes McMahon is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education. Her research and publications are in the field of Educational Management and Policy. Originally a secondary school teacher, she has been involved in education research for more than twenty years. Her main research interests are in the continuing professional development of teachers and school improvement and school effectiveness. In addition to the EPLC project she is currently working on an NCSL project on e-learning for leadership.

She has conducted research on management development for headteachers and senior staff; teacher appraisal; effective management in schools; the evaluation of a national scheme for headteacher mentoring, and secondary school teachers’ perceptions of continuing professional development and has received research funding from DfES, Leverhulme and others.

She is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal School Leadership and Management.

Professor Louise Stoll

Louise Stoll is Professor in Education and Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership, Learning and Change at the University of Bath until June 2003. She will then move to the London Leadership Centre, Institute of Education, University of London as Visiting Professor. She is also President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI).

Her national and international research examines effective school improvement practice and policy, focusing on schools' capacity for learning and change. In addition to the Creating and Sustaining Effective Professional Learning Communities project, current and recent projects include evaluating the KS3 Strategy Pilot, and working with NCSL on their Leadership Curriculum.

Louise established the School Improvement Network at the Institute of Education, has worked with schools and LEAs around the country, and presents and consults in many countries. Her publications include Changing Our Schools with Dean Fink, No Quick Fixes: Perspectives on Schools in Difficulty, edited with Kate Myers and It's About Learning (and It's About Time) with Dean Fink and Lorna Earl (published in 2003).

Dr Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas is Reader in Education and EdD dissertation co-ordinator in the Graduate School of Education. She originally trained as a psychologist and has been an educational researcher for the past 18 years. Until December 2000 she was an associate director and founding member of the International School Effectiveness and Improvement Centre at the London Institute of Education.

Sally currently directs several research projects including the Lancashire Value Added project and the EU Socrates funded project (Benchmarking Quality in Education). Her broader research interests include school evaluation, effectiveness and improvement, assessment, international comparisons and quantitative research methods - specialising in multilevel modelling and multivariate analysis.

She has acted as a consultant to various international projects and has received research funding from ESRC, OFSTED, DfES and DENI among others. Sally is a member of the Editorial Board of the Assessment in Education Journal.

Professor Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace is a Professor of Education at the University of Bath. He taught for eleven years in primary and middle schools where he conducted action research into his role as a deputy headteacher. During the 1980s he was a project officer at the National Development Centre for School Management Training based at the University of Bristol where he was responsible for supporting providers of school management training in England and Wales. He was also project officer for the national teacher appraisal pilot schemes. During the 1990s he became a Reader in Education at the University of Nottingham and then Professor of Educational Management and Policy at the University of Cardiff.

He has conducted Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded exploratory research on managing multiple innovations in schools, two ESRC-funded studies of primary and secondary school senior management teams, Leverhulme Trust-funded projects on planning for change in primary schools and on the contribution of the mass media to education policymaking, and a recent major ESRC-funded investigation of LEA-wide reorganisation of school provision. He was commissioned by the ESRC to write a booklet to disseminate outcomes of fifteen of its projects relating to school management.

His work as a trainer and consultant includes team approaches to school leadership, development planning and action research. He has written many articles for academic and professional journals and has written five books.

Research team

Kate Hawkey (Researcher)

Kate Hawkey has been a lecturer in education at the University of Bath for 10 years. She is responsible for running the secondary history PGCE programme.

Her research interests include mentoring, teachers' professional development, and history education. Prior to joining the University of Bath, Kate taught in secondary schools, at the University of Exeter, and has also worked overseas.

Dr Michele Smith (Quantitative Researcher)

Michele Smith is a quantitative researcher at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education. She taught GCSE and A Level mathematics for five years at a secondary school and a sixth form college. Prior to qualifying as a teacher, Michele completed a Doctorate in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leeds where her specialism was Antarctic climate modeling. This work involved collaborative work with the Meteorological Office and the British Antarctic Survey.

Adele Atkinson (Quantitative Researcher)

After graduating from Bristol University in 2000 Adele spent three years working at the Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation. Early projects included a qualitative study of the impact of Performance Threshold in secondary schools and primary data collection to quantify the effect of Performance Threshold on attainment.

She has also worked on the large matched datasets provided by the DfES to investigate gender differences, ethnic segregation and the impact of performance tables. Her most recent work with CMPO involved the use of the new PLASC dataset to investigate the equity of selection.

Adele will be on the EPLC team for 4 months, covering for Michele Smith.

Dr Angela Greenwood (Teacher Researcher)

Angela Greenwood is a Primary Headteacher seconded to the project for part of each week. Angela has just completed a Doctorate in Education at the University of Bristol. Having taught for 26 years she has been a Head for eight years in two different schools, having taken on the amalgamation of her present school. Angela has a particular interest in the European Socrates Programme and has used the Comenius Action 1 projects as school improvement programmes. During the 1980s and 1990s she was seconded for periods to teach on the B.Ed. and PGCE courses at Bristol Polytechnic (now UWE).

Having been trained as a science specialist she also pursues an interest in music and dance, running a performing arts group for the pupils.

Malcolm Ingram (Researcher)

Malcolm has been a Secondary school teacher for 32 years, specialising in Science education from KS3 through to Post-16. In more recent years he has taken senior management responsibilities as Head of a large Post-16 Centre.

Malcolm is known for his qualities as a leader and strong team member, and now, having left full time teaching, he is engaged in a number of projects. Significant amongst these is the Salter-Nuffield Advanced Biology project, Science for Public Understanding, and the Society for General Microbiology.

Malcolm has become a prolific author of a variety of educational materials, aimed at schoolteachers. These range from a Maths for Biologist textbook to Microbiology and Biotechnology resources. In addition to this writing experience, he now runs a series of training programmes around the country. These are courses on Leadership for aspiring Heads of Department, Delivering quality science lessons, Being adventurous with investigations, Datalogging, Microbiology and enhancing science teaching with ICT.

He believes passionately in the quality of learning for teachers and support staff in schools.

Associate Researchers

Dr Tony Bailey

Tony is a former primary and secondary schools teacher and teachers' centre leader. At the University of Sussex he was a Leverhulme Fellow in curriculum development, Reader in Education and then Director of the School of Education. His main research interest is in staff and organisational development and his D Phil thesis, based on his SSRC funded project, used non-participant observation to study change in a comprehensive school over two years. From 1989 he was deputy director of the national School Management Task Force and director of the School Management South for the thirteen LEAs in the south east. On the demise of the Task Force, he became a visiting Research Fellow in the University of Bristol, writing and trialling masters-level distance learning materials on staff development and the management of change. He helped over fifty schools prepare for the Investors in People standard and worked with heads, deputies and HoDs on approaches to staff and team development.

Dr David P. Crandall

David received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was co-founder of The NETWORK in 1969, Chief Executive Officer and Corporation President. He grew The NETWORK from a single-project to a unique nonprofit organization blending research and evaluation, technical assistance, and direct work with schools.

He has been involved in, and written articles about, numerous major efforts involving support for school-based change, dissemination of proven practices, and research utilization in the last twenty-five years. He led the National Institute of Education-funded R and D Utilization project and was the Principal Investigator of one of the largest studies of federal school improvement strategies, the well-known Dissemination Efforts Supporting School Improvement (DESSI) study. He was a significant actor in the successful launch of the federal National Diffusion Network. He was Chair of the Foundation for International Collaboration on School Improvement, a multi-nation network committed to research-guided improvement strategies.

Recently, David converted The NETWORK's two simulation board games, Making Change for School Improvement and Systems Thinking/Systems Changing to CD-ROM.

Project team support

Kate King (Bristol)

Kate King is Project Secretary (0.5) for the EPLC team in Bristol and also works on the Lancashire Value Added Project with Dr Sally Thomas.

Before joining the Project team she worked as Administrator / PA in a number of business organisations. She started her career as a designer of window and interior store displays for John Lewis and other companies.

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