Professor John Gray


Professor John Gray
Professor John Gray
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Professor John Gray

John Gray is a Professor of Education in the University, Chair of the Board of the Faculty of Eduction and Foundation and Professorial Fellow at Homerton. Between 1994-2001 he was Director of Research at Homerton. He was previously Professor of Education at Sheffield University. After studying at Oxford, Harvard and Sussex Universities he taught in inner London and worked as a Research Fellow at Edinburgh before moving to Sheffield in 1979. He has been a Visiting Professor at the London Institute of Education and was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000.

A fuller list of his research interests, activities and publications can be found on his individual webpage on the Faculty of Education website.

Research Interests

His current research interests lie in the areas of school improvement, school effectiveness, the dynamics of change, the nature of educational reform and educational evaluation. He is particularly interested in the challenges facing disadvantaged schools and their communities. During the course of his career he has directed well over 60 externally-funded research projects for a wide range of sponsors including the ESRC, the DfES, LEAs and their schools, research organisations and bodies beyond the UK. He has also led several major school improvement initiatives and contributed to their evaluation.

His research has ranged widely across issues of contemporary concern. He was one of the first researchers in the UK to develop 'value-added' approaches for judging the quality of schooling and has explored a range of factors affecting schools' rates of improvement. With Jean Rudduck, he led the national research for the Elton Committee of Enquiry into Discipline in Schools. During the early 1980s he was a founding parent of the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales, a major longitudinal study of factors affecting young people's participation in education and training post-16 which continues to this day. He also undertook some of the first research into the methodology and impact of school inspection on schools' development, much of it in collaboration with the late Brian Wilcox.

Teaching And Professional Interests

Educational research, mixed methods

Links to online publications, articles or other work

John Gray is the author/co-author of 8 books, over 35 major published reports, some 70 articles in refereed journals and more than 40 substantial book chapters.

Selected Publications:

Gray, J. (2005) Is failure inevitable? The recent fate of secondary school reforms intended to alleviate social disadvantage, in A. Heath, J. Ermisch and D. Gallie (eds) Understanding Social Change, Oxford University for British Academy (pp 73-91)

Mangan, J., Pugh, G. and Gray, J. (2005) Changes in exam performance over the course of a decade: searching for patterns and trends over time, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 16, 1, 29-50

Gray, J. (2004) Frames of reference and traditions of interpretation: some issues in the identification of 'under-achieving' schools, British Journal of Educational Studies, 52, 3, 293-309

Gray, J., Schagen, I. and Charles, M. (2004) Tracking pupil progress from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2: how much do the 'route' taken and the primary school attended matter? Research Papers in Education, 19, 4, 389-413.

Gray, J. (2004) School effectiveness and the 'other outcomes' of schooling: a reassessment of three decades of British research, Improving Schools, 7, 2, 185-198.

Gray, J., Peng, W., Steward, S. and Thomas, S. (2004) Towards a gender-related typology of school effects: some new perspectives on a familiar problem, Oxford Review of Education, 30, 4, 529-550.

Hofman, A., Hofman, R., Gray, J. & Daly, P. (2004) Quality and Equity in European Education: An empirical analysis. Amsterdam, Kluwer Academic Press.

Galton, M., Gray, J. & Rudduck, J. (2003) Progress in the Middle Years of Schooling: Continuities and Discontinuities in Learning, Research Report RR443, London. Department for Education and Skills (pp120)

Gray, J. (2002) Jolts and reactions: two decades of feeding back value-added information on schools' performance, in A. Visscher and R. Coe (eds) School Improvement Through Performance Feedback, Lisse: Swets and Zeitlinger (pp 143-162)

Gray, J., Goldstein, H. & Thomas, S. (2001) Predicting the future: the role of past performance in determining trends in institutional effectiveness at A-level, British Educational Research Journal, 27, 4, 1-15

Gray, J. (2001) Building for improvement and sustaining change in schools serving disadvantaged communities, in M. Maden (ed) Success Against the Odds - Five Years On, London: Routledge Falmer (pp1-39)

Gray, J. (2000) Causing Concern but Improving: A Review of Schools' Experiences on Special Measures, London: Department for Education and Employment Research Series (pp44)

Gray, J., Hopkins, D., Reynolds, D., Wilcox, B., Farrell, S. & Jesson, D. (1999) Improving Schools: Performance and Potential, Buckingham: Open University Press (pp162)

Galton, M., Gray, J. & Rudduck, J. (1999) The Impact of Transitions and Transfers on Pupil Progress, London: Department for Education and Employment Research Series (pp37)

Arnot, M., Gray, J., James, M. & Rudduck, J. (1998) Recent Research on Gender and Educational Performance, London: HMSO (pp105)

Wilcox, B. & Gray, J. (1996) Inspecting Schools: Holding Schools to Account and Helping Schools to Improve, Buckingham: Open University Press (pp160)

Gray, J., Goldstein, H. & Jesson, D. (1996) Changes and improvements in schools' effectiveness: trends over five years, Research Papers in Education, 11, 1, 35-51

Gray, J., Reynolds, D., Fitz-Gibbon, C. & Jesson, D. (eds) (1996) Merging Traditions: The Future of Research on School Effectiveness and School Improvement, London: Cassell (pp192)

Gray, J. & Wilcox, B. (1995) "Good School, Bad School": Evaluating Performance and Encouraging Improvement, Buckingham: Open University Press (pp284)

Gray, J., Jesson, D. & Tranmer, M. (1994) Local Labour Market Variations in Post-16 Participation, Sheffield: Department of Employment Research and Development Series No. 26 (pp31)

Gray, J., McPherson, A. & Raffe, D. (1983) Reconstructions of Secondary Education: Theory, Myth and Practice Since the War, London: Routledge