Institute of Education



Professor Becky Francis

Becky is Director of the UCL Institute of Education.

She has followed a research career focusing on education and social justice, but has also incorporated education policy work, for example in her previous role as Director of Education at the RSA, and in her current Advisory role to the Education Select Committee.

Becky is best known for her work on gender and achievement. Her policy research and analysis includes her influential work on 'Satisfactory' schools in relation to social disadvantage, work for ASCL and the Sutton Trust on education and social mobility, and her direction of the Academies Commission. Her academic expertise and extensive publications centre on social identities (gender, 'race' and social class) in educational contexts, social im/mobility, and social identity and educational achievement, and gender theory. She has written many books on these topics, including the most recent Identities and Practices of High Achieving Pupils (2012, Continuum, with Christine Skelton and Barbara Read).

Read more about Professor Becky Francis: meet our senior team

Professor Louise Archer

Louise is the Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education at the UCL Institute of Education.

Her research focuses on educational identities and inequalities of 'race'/ethnicity, social class and gender. She is the Principal Investigator for the ASPIRES / ASPIRES2 project, a ten year ESRC-funded study of children's science aspirations and career choices and is the Director of the five year Enterprising Science project.

Professor Jeremy Hodgen

Jeremy is the Chair of Mathematics Education, based in the UCL Institute of Education's department of Curriculum Pedagogy and Assessment. He was previously Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Nottingham and at King's College London.

His primary research interests relate to understanding how to improve participation and attainment in school mathematics. He has published widely on mathematics education, teacher education, assessment, international comparisons and standards over time. He was an editor of the journal, Research in Mathematics Education, from 2011 until 2016. He is currently a member of the Royal Society's Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education. Prior to his academic career, he taught mathematics in primary and secondary schools in London.

Professor Paul Connolly

Paul is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education at Queen's University Belfast.

He is internationally recognised for his research on: diversity and inclusion in early childhood; evaluating the effectiveness of educational programmes and interventions; and quantitative methods and statistical analysis in education. He is: founding Director of Una: The Global Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity; founder and former Director of the Centre for Effective Education; Chair of the Improving Children's Lives initiative at Queen's; Co-Chair of the Campbell Collaboration Education Review Group; and founding editor of Effective Education.

Read more about Paul Connolly.

Dr Rebecca Taylor

Becky is Researcher Practitioner and Project Manager on the Best Practice in Grouping Students project. Becky has 11 years' teaching experience in English secondary schools and has spent over 8 years as a primary school governor.

She has extensive experience of curriculum development, initial teacher training and school improvement.  Becky holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge and has pursued postgraduate studies in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Bath.

Dr Antonina Tereshchenko

Antonina is a Research Associate on the Best Practice in Grouping Students project.

Antonina has considerable experience in qualitative and participatory research with young people. She holds a PhD in Sociology of Education from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD study examined citizenship identities of young people living in two contrasting border regions of Ukraine in relation to the national politics of belonging and citizenship education policy and practice. Since finishing her doctorate, Antonina has carried-out post-doctoral research projects at King's College London and the University of Porto focusing on identities, belonging and educational experiences of migrant students in the context of recent intra-European migration.

Dr Anna Mazenod

Anna is a Research Associate on the Best Practice in Grouping Students project. She has over eight years of education sector practitioner experience with particular expertise in vocational education and apprenticeships. Anna holds an EdD from the UCL Institute of Education. Her EdD thesis compared the conceptualisation of apprenticeship for 16-19 year olds in England, France, and in her native Finland. After completing her doctorate she has researched education policy and practice in a variety of contexts ranging from secondary schools to higher education institutions.

Associate team members

Dr Mary-Claire Travers

Mary-Claire is part of the team delivering professional development and liaising with schools.

Mary-Claire was born and educated in Australia were she completed a Bachelor of Education, a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies, and, was awarded a scholarship to do an MA in Education. She has an MA and a PhD in Education and Professional Studies from King's College London (KCL). Mary-Claire has taught in both Australia and the UK. She has also worked in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at KCL.

Dr Claudia Sumner

Claudia is part of the team providing professional development sessions to teachers as part of the Best Practice in Setting intervention.

Claudia has a PhD in Education from the University of Southampton and an MSc in Research, MA in Education Policy Studies and PGCE from the Institute of Education. She is a school governor and has taught in London primary schools for 12 years. She has been involved with a number of academic and school-based research projects and was Committee Specialist on the Education Select Committee's inquiry into academies and free schools.

We also have an Advisory Group chaired by Christine Gilbert CBE