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For a full list of research projects totalling over £1.8million, see CV.


My most recent research projects were:



Indoor school environments, physical activity, behaviour, pedagogy: a scoping review


In 2014 I undertook a scoping review with colleagues at University College London (UCL) on the relationship between indoor school environments, physical activity, behaviour and pedagogy. The report of the study was published in 2015 in Building Research & Information.


Abstract: Physical activity levels in children are low and sitting time high, despite the health benefits of regular physical activity and limited sitting. Children spend a large proportion of their time at school, hence school-based interventions targeting physical activity and sitting behaviour may be important. Whilst some aspects of school buildings, their layout and furniture may influence children's physical activity and sitting, these effects could be intertwined with pedagogical approaches. This scoping review aims to identify gaps in the research literature regarding the influence of the indoor school environment on pedagogical approaches and on physical activity and sitting. In primary schools, it was found that physical activity can be integrated into lessons with some benefits on academic behaviour and possibly academic performance. Overall, however, the role of the indoor built environment is poorly investigated, although a handful of studies suggest that a radical change in primary school classrooms may increase physical activity and that stand-biased desks may be promising. This study provides a contribution to the emerging research fields of ‘active design’ from the perspective of indoor school design, highlighting a dearth of research, especially on sitting and for secondary education, and a lack of relevant conceptual frameworks.


‘Indoor school environments, physical activity, behaviour, pedagogy: scoping review’ with Ucci, M., Smith, L., Sawyer, A., Lee, S., Fisher, A. (2015) in Building Research & Information DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1004275. Available online via



To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?


This project, undertaken with Dr Julia Snell of the University of Leeds, was commissioned by the BBC. We did an extensive scoping review, looking at research since the 1960s in the UK, wider Europe and the USA. The full report was submitted to the BBC in June 2014, and a distillation in article form is to be published in the Cambridge Journal of Education. Once the article is published more widely, we hope to build on the research to undertake an empirical study in the field.


Abstract: The issue of whether a regional accent and/or dialect impacts on the development of literacy skills remains current in the UK. For decades the issue has dogged debate about education outcomes, portable skills and employability. The article summarises research on the topic in England, using systematic review methodology. A scoping review was undertaken with the research question ‘To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?’.The research covers research relevant to the teaching of 5-16 year olds in England, but also draws on research within Europe and the USA. The results suggest there has been little research on the topic in England since the 1970s; that curricula have marginalized accent and/or dialect; that where intervention takes place to improve literacy skills, it is better focused on the verb phrase than on accent or dialect; and that young people are adept at style-shifting between standard and non-standard forms.


’To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?’

 (with Julia Snell), accepted for publication by Cambridge Journal of Education,  

 November 2015. You can access an e-print of the article via for a limited period.


















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