Institute of Education


IOE academic appointed to government panel investigating educational apps for young children

1 February 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Dr Rosie Flewitt has been appointed to a Department for Education (DfE) panel to help parents identify the best apps to support children’s learning.

Children and adult reading from an iPad

The advisory panel, consisting of academics and technology experts, is part of government efforts to improve children’s early literacy and communication skills. 

With hundreds of educational apps on the market for parents to choose from, the advisory panel has been set up to assess existing apps. The panel will also produce tips and guidance for parents on how to use apps to aid their child’s learning, and to help them make informed decisions about which have the most educational value.

As part of this work, the Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi earlier this week chaired a roundtable discussion with businesses including WHSmith, Oxford University Press and Clarks to find ways to boost early learning at home. 

Several organisations have made pledges to support early literacy skills, with measures including bookswaps in supermarkets and author ambassadors, to special training for staff in shoe shops.

The panel

The new advisory panel comprises:

  • Professor Jackie Marsh, Chair: Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield;
  • Olivia Dickinson, Deputy Chair: Digital consultant specialising in children’s and educational digital media; 
  • Peter Robinson: Global Head of Research and Company Director of Dubit Limited;
  • Antonio Gould: Executive Director of Teach Monster Games;
  • Dr Rosie Flewitt: Co-Head of Research, Department of Learning and Leadership at UCL Institute of Education and Co-Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy;
  • Sandra Mathers: a former primary teacher and now Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford;
  • Jonathan Douglas: Director of the National Literacy Trust; and 
  • Jane Lewis: Head of Programme Development and Quality at Save the Children UK.

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
T: +44 (0) 20 3108 8515 / +44 (0) 7769 141006 
E: rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk