Dr Nuala Burgess
Nuala's primary area of research is post-16 education with a particular interest in post-16 and post-18 transitions and vocational training and education (VET). Her doctoral research focused on types of support given for differently-attaining sixth-formers for post-school choices. Nuala's focus was moderately attaining students applying to non-Russell Group universities or who sought alternatives to university.
She was awarded an ESRC-funded postdoc which examined approaches to providing more holistic careers guidance in schools. Her findings led to a recommendation that all students, regardless of the type of institution they attend and whether they aspire to university or an alternative, should be resourced appropriately and equally.
Following her postdoc, Nuala was part of a large research project which examined the roll-out of Phases 1 and 2 of T levels for which she researched approaches to teaching embedded English and Maths. She has also written a report on the role of English and Maths within technical and vocational education from the late 19th century to the present day for the Edge Foundation’s Lessons from the Past series.
Her report on assessment reform, written for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Schools, Learning and Assessment, considered a wide range of oral and written evidence, and was launched at the Houses of Parliament in autumn 2023.
Nuala is currently assisting Professor Chris Winch of King's College London on a research project examining the quality assurance systems for VET of Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Funded by the Gatsby Foundation, the project will offer a set of recommendations for quality assuring England's VET.
She is Chair of Comprehensive Future, a national education pressure group which campaigns for fair school admissions and the end of the 11-plus.
Her other interests include supporting the work of FE practitioners involved in doctoral research. She is currently involved in developing an action research working group for post-16 educators.
- Post-16 education, post-16 and post-18 decision-making and transitions;
- Technical and vocational education.
Nuala supervises Master's dissertations.
Nuala teaches on the Teacher Development module for the MA Education.