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Dr Sally Riordan
20 Bedford Way
Dr Sally Riordan profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education

I was the principal investigator of the mixed-methods ‘Against the Odds’ study (2019-2021) into the progress of secondary students facing socio-economic disadvantages, commissioned by the Social Mobility Commission. I continue to provide policy advice and recommendations to the Social Mobility Commission regarding inequalities in education.

In 2020-21, I co-led an ethnographic project for Birmingham City Council exploring the experiences of citizens as they engaged with the council’s services, including the city’s services for children with special educational needs.

I trained as a physics teacher and taught science at secondary schools in Cambridgeshire. I continue to work directly with schools as an occasional tutor and to work as a teacher educator through local authorities.

Prior to teaching, I worked as a historian and philosopher of science and published on the history and philosophy of measurement. I hold a master’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University. 

Research Summary

I am interested in how our education affects us throughout our lives, how we can measure what matters, how education progresses, how we can implement research effectively, and the role education plays in society in developing our collective mindsets. I have strong interests in educational inequalities, science education, and research methods in education. My current work is focussed on teaches’ attitudes to poverty, the importance of form tutoring, how theories of cultural capital are being implemented in schools, the implementation of the National Tutoring Programme, and the effectiveness of the pupil premium. The common theme beneath my work is the use of evidence in the progress of education.

Teaching Summary

I have previously taught post-graduate modulesin research methods and undergraduate courses in writing techniques. I am available for teaching doctoral students. 

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