First 11 FE research scholars named

Topics include racial inequality, regional outcomes, culture and finance

Topics include racial inequality, regional outcomes, culture and finance


The first 11 scholars chosen to undertake funded research into areas of further education with little to no data currently available have been named by the Association of Colleges and NCFE.

Topics to be researched by the FE staff, who all work at a UK college, will cover areas such as racial inequality, regional outcomes, culture and finance.

For example, Patricia Jones, the executive director of finance at Bedford College Group, will look at “achieving sustainable financial health for the FE sector”.

The group of 11 are the first cohort of Research Further – a joint scholarship programme from the AoC and NCFE that will support practitioners to carry out Masters or doctorate level study.

Each scholar’s college has committed to giving them one day per week of remission to carry out the research.

AoC’s senior research policy manager, Julia Belgutay, said the scholars are “already real experts in their fields and their work will help us fill crucial gaps in evidence”.

“At the same time, their knowledge and experience as they go about their chosen qualifications will inspire and help grow the blossoming practitioner research community across the sector,” she added.

The scholars’ work will be tracked through a webinar series hosted by AoC and NCFE, who have promised that new knowledge on pedagogy or policy will be shared with the sector through think-pieces, reports, articles and blogs.

David Gallagher, NCFE’s chief executive, said: “Up until now there has been a shortfall of truly practitioner-led research. This programme is all about untapping potential and we believe that those closest to learners and learning have a huge role to play in the future of FE.”

The first 11 scholars are:

  • Rachel Arnold, English Lecturer, English Teaching & Learning Coach, Solihull College – whose research will focus on engaging the disengaged: what happens when the teenagers become the experts
  • Caroline Dunstan, Lead Learning and Development Practitioner, Riverside College – whose research will investigate the impact of self and peer analysis of recorded lessons on teaching 
  • Neale Gardiner, International Business Advisor, Edinburgh College – whose research will look at the impact of further education on regional inequality and labour market outcomes
  • Martin Hoskin, Head of Teaching, Learning & Quality, HSDC –focusing on the gamification of CPD and teacher agency
  • Laura Kayes, Advanced Practitioner and Performing Arts Educator, Leeds City College – her research will consider poverty-informed practice
  • Catherine Lloyd, Director of Land Based Studies, Shuttleworth College (Bedford College Group) – who will research the delivery of courses at a time of significant change in the wider agricultural sector
  • Sian Mantovani, Tutor of Sociology, York College – focusing on the experience of students of colour in a predominantly white FE college
  • Katie Stafford, Deputy Principal, New City College – the research will consider how a college’s organisational culture impacts teacher’ engagement with professional learning
  • Rachel Whitton, Lecturer in Education & Training, Coaching and Mentoring, Coleg Cambria – whose research will explore the strengths and limitations of hyflex delivery within professional work based learning programmes
  • Evan Wood, Curriculum Leader Creative Industries, Barnsley College – whose research will look at best practice and educational culture within the creative industry sector
  • Patricia Jones, Executive Director of Finance, Bedford College Group – whose research will look at achieving sustainable financial health for the FE sector

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