My research 2006-now

From 2006 onwards, I have been exploring the nature of identity in education and how it reflects education policy and society, including how it influences the changing school and university curriculum. I spend a lot of time looking into how teachers practise their profession within the knowledge economy, and that includes looking into things like biometrics and artificial intelligence in education, as well as data privacy issues. I am also very interested in the nature of childhood in the 21st century, and the sociology of time in education.

Sometimes I look at the links between politics and education. I have explored power transfers in Conservative education policy in the paper The ‘Big Society’, Education and Power (2013, download a draft here:; the fragmentation of teacher professionalism in the paper Social trajectories or disrupted identities? Changing and competing models of teacher professionalism under New Labour (with Geoff Whitty, 2010, download a draft here:; the impact of school choice on social inclusion in the book chapter Comprehensive schooling and social inequality in London: past, present and possible future (with Geoff Whitty, 2007, available on ResearchGate at, and the role of assessment in early years education in the paper Teacher as technician: semi-professionalism after the 1988 Education Reform Act and its effect on conceptions of pupil identity (2006, download a draft here: I have also written about changing teacher professionalism in What does it mean to be a teacher? Three tensions within contemporary teacher professionalism examined in terms of Government policy and the knowledge economy (2006, download a draft here:

I’ve just finished some research into the sociology of time which follows on from my 2004 paper on the same topic, where I talk about how deprived children are also prevented from accessing high quality technology through flawed national infrastructure policies. If you are interested, the paper is out now as an Open Access paper (so free to download) and the title is The social construction of time in contemporary education: implications for technology, equality and Bernstein’s ‘conditions for democracy’ (2017) which you can download here: have also written the book Invisibly blighted: the digital erosion of childhood (2017), which I co-authored with Professor Andy Phippen from Plymouth University, and the book Curriculum Reform in the European Schools (2018) with Professor David Scott and Peeter Mehisto. This last book is OPEN ACCESS and can be downloaded for free here:

There’s been a lot of interest in biometrics in education lately. I sit on the Privacy Expert Group of the Biometrics Institute, an industry body, and I’ve written a chapter on biometrics in schools in Invisibly Blighted, as well as a more advanced version for an edited collection due out later this year, the Palgrave Handbook of School Security, Surveillance and Punishment (2018):

Finally I have led a number of international studies into curriculum reform, for the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the BBC, and the European Commission. Some of these reports have been uploaded to my profile on ResearchGate here: