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Helen is an experienced quantitative and qualitative researcher with a particular interest in teacher workforce development and leadership. She also has interests in special educational needs and disability, and in developing understanding and capacity for research in schools, local authorities and other organisations. Helen has a wide portfolio of work with organisations including the Department for Education, the Local Government Association, the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) and the National College.
Helen is part of the Education Trials Unit at NFER and is currently leading the Trial evaluation of In:tuition programme for Alcohol Research UK. Helen is also working with the Education Endowment Foundation on a project looking at research use and engagement in schools. She also has experience of value for money methodologies and is a member of the NFER value for money group.
Helen has managed several projects on school improvement and developing teaching practice. For example she led the large scale annual Survey of Teachers for the GTCE in 2010 and a follow up qualitative project which explored the issues in more detail using interviews with teachers. The survey examined teachers’ views of sources of support that they use to improve their teaching practice; use of research was one of the key areas of focus. Helen also led the Evaluation of City Challenge for the National College which looked at how the various strategies employed by City Challenge supported the improvement of teaching and leadership within schools.
Helen has extensive experience of training and supporting others, including schools and LAs, to carry out their own research. She has been a key team member of LARC (the Local Authorities Research Consortium) since 2009, supporting LAs to conduct research and delivering training. Helen also led the development of the Research, Evaluation and Analysis Support Network (reason) for local authorities and third sector organisations, and authored many of the resources available from the network on topics including surveys, ethics and value for money methodologies. While on secondment to CfBT from 2011 to 2012, she ran two action research projects in schools, including delivering training and providing ongoing support to conduct surveys, interviews, focus groups and observations. She also runs the internal questionnaire development training course at NFER.
Helen has experience of engaging children and young people in research and consultation activities. She has worked creatively on projects in order to provide different ways for children and young people with special educational needs and disability to take part in research.
Before joining the NFER, Helen was a Research Analyst for the Metropolitan Police. In 2011/12, Helen completed a part-time secondment to CfBT as their Research Manager where she was responsible for their research programme.