Research Impact

Research at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education has had a direct impact on school curricula as well as learning and teaching strategies, both in the UK and abroad. We work in partnership with many different groups.


Examples of impactful research projects here at the Institute of Education can be found below:


Gender, Identity and Confidence

Failing to understand self-identity and confidence and how these interact with symbolic and cultural notions of gender identity for particular groups of women is a significant oversight in efforts to raise aspirations of children. Carol Fuller and Maria Danos‘s ‘Marvellous Mums’ projectis designed to develop confidence amongst women/mothers with hopes that they in turn will develop confidence in their own children. The programme has already made significant impacts to the lives of the women taking part – including increased levels of self confidence, networks of support and transitions back into work for some


Language Education

Our research has had an impact on language learning across the world.

Work by Suzanne Graham has informed the revised Modern Foreign Languages A Level specifications, the revised GCSE criteria, and underpins the development of English language textbooks used in Brazil with millions of school-aged children.

Additionally, Suzanne Graham have been invited to be part of a consortium of European partners, who will develop an assessment tool for primary foreign language learning. This is now being funded by Erasmus+ and will be used across several countries in Europe.

Naomi Flynn’s research on Pedagogy for multilingual learners in primary schools has led her to be involved with MESH (Mapping Educational Specialist knowHow initiative) guides for teachers. These guides aim to develop research-informed practice and specialist professional subject knowledge for teaching children with English as an additional language.


Early Years

Rhona Stainthorp’s research has influenced the teaching of reading in the early years in the UK, Malaysia and Vietnam; informed the primary school curriculum in the UK; underpinned the national assessment of phonics knowledge in early years and primary school; and informed the training of primary school teachers. She also sits on the Expert Advisory Group for Literacy.

Blue-Zoo, a London-based multi BAFTA award-winning animation studio, has used aspects of Stainthorp’s findings about the early phonic skills of precocious readers to develop Alphablocks. This BAFTA-nominated CBeebies programme is designed to teach children letter-sound correspondences and blending via an exciting series of programmes.

Furthermore, Helen Bilton’s Research on Early Years, play and the outdoors has influenced a number of local authorities in their outdoor learning provision for young children.



Emeritus Professor Paul Croll gave evidence about apprenticeships to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education: Inquiry into Apprenticeships and Traineeships for 16-19 Year Olds. This contribution has informed the decision-making of government regarding apprenticeships.


Disability and mental wellbeing

Jill Porter has worked with the UK and Russian governments with regards disability and education. They have piloted and adapted her tools for collecting disability data from parents and children.

Cathy Tissot’s work in Special Educational Needs has influenced the work of SENCOs (Special Educational Needs Coordinators).



Research in the Institute of Education has influenced teaching in a vast range of areas.

Carol Fuller’s research is included in GCE sociology text books and has informed programme delivery of school residential visits locally.

R. Harris has contributed to documents emanating from the Council of Europe regarding teacher education for change.