Josh Franks is a Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education, based in the IOE's Department of Learning and Leadership.
What attracted you to take up your position at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
I wanted to be involved in research and remain in close contact with schools and teachers at the same time.
How long have you been at the IOE?
I have worked at IOE full time since 2016. Before that I was a primary school class teacher, and worked part-time at the IOE.
What do you most enjoy about your job and why?
Supporting new teachers within a pressurised environment, to filter the demands of assessment and policy, to prioritise the learners in their class and to prioritise their own wellbeing. I am in a position to do that where they can’t by themselves, as I have the expertise and experience that they lack - for now - but not for long!
“What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Sharing a vision of education with new teachers that prioritises learners above learning outcomes."
What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries or insights will bring?
My research focuses on the prerequisites for children developing an individual voice in their writing. It argues that within the current high-stakes assessment environment, only teachers with sufficient competence and autonomy (their own voice) provide the environment in which writing with voice can develop.
How has being in London or at UCL in particular benefited you?
I have been able to maintain close relationships with schools in Camden and Islington and develop collaborations with schools across London.