Dr Gill Forrester

Job title and responsibilities

Associate Professor of Education
Course Leader for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)

About me

I have extensive experience of conducting research and publishing within the field of education and teaching in Higher Education (HE) over a period of twenty years.  My PhD, completed in 2003 at Keele University, built upon a tradition of critical analysis of education policy and was an historical and sociological investigation of the introduction of performance-related pay and performance management in English primary schools. 

Between 2003 and 2007 I worked as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester on several research projects across a range of areas in education including: students’ induction to online/distance learning; student support in HE; the curricula and pedagogic design and development of e-learning materials for in-service secondary school teachers in China; and educational leadership in schools in England.  Previously, at Liverpool John Moores University (2008-2015), I was Subject Head of Education and Early Childhood Studies. 

I was involved in various research projects: parents of children with SEN who home educate; the effectiveness of audio feedback; the development of an undergraduate journal for student writing; undergraduates as co-producers of knowledge; evaluation of regional hubs of early years practice.  I joined Staffordshire University in August 2016 where I lead the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) and supervise doctoral students (PhD and EdD).  I was project manager for the project funded by Stoke-on-Trent Opportunities Area Programme - Improving Outcomes for Early Years, Understanding the World Area of Learning.

Qualifications

  • PhD ‘Professionalism and performance: an exploration of primary school teachers’ perspectives on the new managerialism’ awarded in 2003 at Keele University
  • Associate Teacher in Higher Education, Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), 1999
  • Higher Education Associate Teacher (PG Certificate – LTHEP) awarded in 1999 at Keele University
  • BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies and Educational Studies awarded in 1998 at Keele University

Professional memberships and activities

  • Higher Education Academy Fellowship (FHEA)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • EdD Directors National Network

Expertise

I have a wealth of experience in HE as a researcher, lecturer, module leader, course leader, personal tutor, online instructor for distance MA programmes, dissertation/thesis supervisor (undergraduate, masters, EdD and PhD) and as an academic leader.  My main teaching areas are in the history of education, sociology of education, philosophy of education, education policy, research methods and supervising research projects.  

At the various universities where I have worked I have taught on (BA (Hons) Education Studies, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, BA (Hons) Education, MA Education, Master of Research (MRes) and Doctor of Education (EdD) programmes.  My teaching is now primarily on the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) and I currently supervise several Doctoral students (PhD and EdD).

Research interests

My main research interests lie in education policy; I am broadly interested in policy processes and the lived experiences of teachers and school leaders, particularly women.  My PhD and subsequent work have enabled important themes on the complex relationship between externally determined change and the professional practice of teachers and headteachers to develop into a major area of interest. 

Notably, my work has made a contribution to policy sociology through critical analysis of policy texts and the generation of oral accounts within a conceptual framework which allows for a wider and deeper understanding of the interplay between neoliberalism, national policy endeavours and the lived experience of those policies in practice. My work has drawn on sociological concepts and historical methods to design and analyse professional practice in education and where I have utilised critical theories of organisation and gender.
 
I have been involved in various research projects over a period of twenty years and have gained considerable experience using different methodologies and qualitative methods.  My preferences are for ethnographic approaches, interactionist and social constructionist methodologies, and I have utilised different interview types ranging from individual semi-structured, individual biographical/life-story approaches and focus groups as ways of eliciting the lived experiences, perceptions and perspectives of a range of research participants namely; students, parents, teachers, school leaders, academics, educational consultants and policymakers. 

In terms of future directions, I am interested in exploring further women’s experiences of performance management in schools, teachers’ pay and early years leadership. More recently, I have become interested in and inspired by creative art-based methods and I hope to further pursue their application in educational research.

Selected publications

Selected publications include:

Books

  • FORRESTER, G. & Garratt, D.  (2016) Education Policy Unravelled, 2nd edn. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Garratt, D. & FORRESTER, G.  (2012) Education Policy Unravelled. London: Continuum.

Book chapters

  • Bush, M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2019) Women’s Leadership Development: Preparation for Leadership in the Girl’s Secondary Independent Sector in England.  In: Storey, V.A. (Ed) Leading in Change: Implications of School Diversification for School Leadership Preparation in England and the United States. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M.  (2010) New headteachers in schools in England and their approaches to leadership. In: Shoho, A., Barnett, B.G. & Tooms, A.K. (Eds.) The Challenges for New Principals in the 21st Century: Developing Leadership Capabilities Through Professional Support. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing. (Book Series, International Research on School Leadership). pp. 29-49.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G. (2010) Reform of the School Workforce.  In: Baker, E., McGaw, B. and Peterson, P. (Eds) International Encyclopaedia of Education (3rd Edition). Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 242–248.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G. (2010) Education Reform and School Leadership.  In: S. Brookes and K. Grint (Eds.) The New Public Leadership Challenge. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 54-69.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M.  (2009) School leaders: meeting the challenge of change.  In: C. Chapman & H.M. Gunter (Eds.) Radical Reforms: Public Policy and a Decade of Educational Reform. London: Routledge. pp. 67-79.
  • Motteram, G., FORRESTER, G., Goldrick, S. & McLachlan, A.  (2007) Collaborating Across Boundaries: Managing the Complexities of eLearning Courseware Production in a Joint International Project.  In: H. Spencer-Oatey (Ed.) eLearning in China: eChina Perspectives on Policy, Pedagogy and Innovation. Hong Kong University Press. pp.189-201.

Journal articles

  • FORRESTER, G., Kurth, J., Vincent, P. and Oliver, M.  (2018) Schools as community assets: an exploration of the merits of an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, Educational Review, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2018.1529655.
     
  • Hennessy, C. & FORRESTER G. (2014) Developing a framework for effective audio feedback: a case study.  Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 39 (7) 777-789.
     
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2011) Editorial: Performance management in education.  Management in Education, 25 (1), 3-4.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2011) Performance management in education: milestone or millstone?  Management in Education, 25 (1), 5-9.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2010) New Labour and the Logic of Practice in Educational Reform. Critical Studies in Education. 51 (1), 55-69.
  • Gunter, H.M.  & FORRESTER, G.  (2009) School Leadership and Education Policymaking in England. Policy Studies. 30 (5), 495-511.
  • Gunter, H.M.  & FORRESTER, G.  (2009) Institutionalised Governance: the case of the National College for School Leadership.  International Journal of Public Administration. 32, 349-369.
  • Gunter, H.M.  & FORRESTER, G.  (2008) Knowledge Production in Educational Leadership Project. Research Intelligence, Issue 104, 19.
  • Gunter, H.M.  & FORRESTER, G. (2008) New Labour and School Leadership 1997-2007. British Journal of Educational Studies, 55 (2), 144-162.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Parkinson, G. (2006) 'Mind the gap': The application of a conceptual model to investigate distance learners' expectations and perceptions of induction. Issues In Educational Research, 16(2), 152-170.
  • FORRESTER, G., Motteram, G. & Liu, B.X.  (2006) Transforming teachers' thinking, learning and understanding via e-learning. Journal of Education for Teaching: international research and pedagogy.  32 (2), 197-212.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2005) All in a day’s work: primary teachers ‘performing’ and ‘caring’.  Gender and Education.  17(3), 271-287.
  • Motteram, G. &FORRESTER, G. (2005) Becoming an online distance learner: what can be learned from students’ experiences of induction to distance programmes? Distance Education.  26(3), 281-298.
  • FORRESTER, G., Motteram, G., Parkinson, G., & Slaouti, D.  (2005) ‘Going the distance’: students’ experiences of induction to distance learning in higher education’. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 29(4), 293-306.
  • FORRESTER, G. (2001) Performance related pay for teachers: an examination of the underlying objectives and its application in practice.  Public Management Review. 3(4), 617 -625.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2000) Professional autonomy versus managerial control: the experience of teachers in an English primary school. International Studies in Sociology of Education. 10 (2), 133-151.

Research reports

  • Pugh, J., FORRESTER, G., Hudson-Gill, R. & Rowley, J. (2018) Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area Programme Improving Outcomes for Early Years, ‘Understanding the World – Area of Learning’, Final Report, 4 May. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire: Staffordshire University..

  • Bath, C., Hirst, N., Boyd, D., Tracy, F., Daly, A. & FORRESTER, G. with L. Curtis (2014) Exploring and Developing Regional Hubs of Early Years Practice and CPD. Interim Evaluation Report of the North Liverpool Teaching School Partnership. Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G. (2008) Knowledge Production in Educational Leadership Project. Final Report to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) RES-000-23-1192.
  • Cai, C., Conole, G., Dyke, M., Li, Z. & Timmis, S. with Banks, S., FORRESTER, G., Lally, V., McConnell, D., McLachlan, A., Motteram, G., Wei, X. and Zhang, L.  (2005) Evaluation report of Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Consortium eChina Project.

Conference presentations

  • FORRESTER, G., Pugh, J, & Hudson-Gill, R.  (2018) ‘Understanding the World’: An exploration of effective practice and provision in early years settings.  Paper presented to the1st International Conference on International Perspectives in Education (IPIE), University of Derby, Buxton, UK, 12-13 October..
  • FORRESTER, G., Gallard, D., Daly, A., Mills, L. & Parry, L. (2014) Developing a journal publication for undergraduate writing: opportunities, challenges and reflections.  LJMU Learning and Teaching Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, 16-17 June.
  • Litherland, K. & FORRESTER, G.  (2013) Undergraduates as co-producers of a history of education timeline. Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, University of Sussex, UK, 3-5 September.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Litherland (2013) Undergraduates as co-producers of a history of education timeline. Paper presented to the LJMU Learning and Teaching Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, 19-20 June.
  • Hennessy, C. & FORRESTER, G.  (2012) Listening to my tutor’s voice; undergraduates’ perceptions of receiving audio feedback. Paper presented to the British Education Research Association Annual Conference, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 4-6 September.
  • Hennessy, C. & FORRESTER, G.  (2012) ‘Listen very carefully I shall say this only once’; perceptions of audio feedback.  Paper presented to the Faculty of Education, Community & Leisure Research Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, 29 June.
  • Hennessy, C. & FORRESTER, G.  (2012) Listening to my tutor’s voice; undergraduates’ perceptions of receiving audio feedback. Paper presented to the Liverpool John Moores University Learning and Teaching Conference, 12-13 June.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Taylor, E.  (2011) Home Alone?  Developments in the surveillance and monitoring of home educated children in England.  Paper presented to the British Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, UK, 6-8 September.
  • Taylor, E., Kendall, L.S. & FORRESTER, G.  (2011) No school like home: parents’ responses to the Badman Report and its recommendations.  Paper presented to the British Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, 6-8 September.
  • Taylor, E., Kendall, L.S. & FORRESTER, G.  (2011) An Inspector Calls:  Parents’ Perspectives on the Review of Elective Home Education. Paper presented to the Faculty Research Conference, Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, 30 June – 1 July.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M. (2010) Nine lives: liabilities of newness, challenges and strategies of novice head teachers in England.  Paper presented to the Faculty Research Conference, Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, 29 June –  30 June.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M. (2010) Being a new headteacher in England: barriers and bridges.  Paper presented to the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 28-31 October.
  • FORRESTER, G., Taylor, E., Kendall, L. & Kassem, D.  (2010) Badman, Bad Parents?  Parents’ Perspectives on the Recent Government Review of Home Education. Paper presented to the London International Conference on Education (LICE), London UK, 6-8 September.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2009) Knowledge Production in Educational Leadership.  Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, University of Manchester, UK, 2-5 September.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2009) The leadership of schools as regimes of practice. Paper presented to the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS), Sheffield, UK, 3–5 July.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M.  (2009) Exploring notions of professional identity through the stories of educational leadership researchers.  Paper presented to the Faculty Research Seminar, Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, 19 May.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M.  (2009) The academic work, identities and cultures of education leadership researchers in UK. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA, April.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M.  (2008) Exploring notions of professional identity through the stories of educational leadership researchers.  Paper presented to the Academic Identities in Crisis? Conference, University of Central Lancashire, UK, 4-6 September.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2008) Institutionalised Governance: the case of the NCSL.  Paper presented to the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS), Aston Business School, Aston University, UK, 4–6 July.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G. (2008) Learning to lead: the approaches and strategies of headteachers in English schools. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, USA, 23-27 March.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Gunter, H.M. (2007) Heading for effectiveness: approaches to leading schools in England.  Paper presented to the 4th ESRC Seminar: The Challenges of Public Leadership. 6th International Studying Leadership Conference, Warwick Business School, December.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G. (2007) Headteachers and Leadership: Emerging findings from the KPEL project.  Seminar for education practitioners. Centre for Educational Leadership, University of Manchester, 9 November. 
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) School leadership and the New Labour Reform Project.  Paper presented at Institute of Education, University of London, 1 November.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) New Labour and school leadership.  Paper presented at School of Education Seminar Programme, University of Manchester, 25 October.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) Knowledge Production in Educational Leadership.  Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, September.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) Leadership in Education.  Paper presented at 1st Herbert Simon Academy, University of Manchester, UK, 18-22 June.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) Leadership and New Labour Education Policy.  Paper presented at 1st Herbert Simon Academy, University of Manchester, UK, 18-22 June.
  • Gunter, H.M. & FORRESTER, G.  (2007) New Labour education policy and the rise of school leadership in England.  Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, USA, April.
  • FORRESTER, G., McLachlan, A. & Motteram, G.  (2006) Designing e-learning programmes for teacher development in China: processes, issues and outcomes.  Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, University of Warwick, September.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Parkinson, G.  (2005) ‘Mind the gap’: students’ expectations and perceptions of induction to distance learning in higher education. Paper presented to the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) University of Western Sydney, Australia, November.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Motteram, G.  (2005) The professional development of high school teachers in China via e-learning.  Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales, September.
  • Motteram, G., FORRESTER, G. & Liu, B.X.  (2005) Transforming teachers’ thinking, learning and understanding via e-learning.  Paper presented to the Conference on Research in Distance and Adult Learning in Asia (CRIDALA 2005) The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, June.
  • FORRESTER, G. & Wang, Y.P.  (2005) Report on the Fujian Pilot.  Paper presented at the Sino–UK International e-Learning Workshop, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China, 21 –23 March.
  • FORRESTER, G., Motteram, G., Parkinson, G., & Slaouti, D.  (2004) ‘Going the distance’: students’ experiences of induction to distance learning in higher education. Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, UMIST, Manchester, September.
  • Motteram, G. & FORRESTER, G. (2004) Becoming an online distance learner: what can be learned from students’ experiences of induction to distance programmes?  Paper presented to the 10th Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning (ALN), Rosen Centre, Orlando, Florida, USA, November.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2002) Modernising Teachers and Managing their Performance through Pay.  Paper presented at the Research Seminar Series, Department of Education, Keele University, 16 January. 
  • FORRESTER, G. (2000) Rewarding Performance in a Reforming Profession: Schoolteachers in England and Wales. Paper presented at the 4th International Research Symposium of Public Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 10-11 April.
  • FORRESTER, G., Forrester, P. L. & Hassard, J. S.  (2000) Paying teachers for performance: a comparison with private sector experience.  Paper presented at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, Cardiff Business School, University of Cardiff, Wales, 6-7 September.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (2000) Primary Teachers and Performance Related Pay: Perceptions from the Classroom.  Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Cardiff University, Wales, 7-9 September.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (1999) Schoolteachers, Professionalism and Performance Related Pay: Reviewing the Literature.  Paper presented at the 5th Postgraduate Education Discussion Group Conference, Keele University, 27 November.
  • FORRESTER, G.  (1999) Teachers and Performance Related Pay. Paper presented at the Research Seminar Series, Department of Education, Keele University, 3 November. 

Current teaching

  • Professional Doctorate in Education: Policy and Professional Practice
  • Theory in Educational Research
  • Designing Educational Research
  • Thesis Research Proposal

Contact

Dr Gill Forrester
School of Life Sciences and Education
Staffordshire University
Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44 (0)1782 294413
e: gillian.forrester@staffs.ac.uk
twitter: @forrester_gill