CENTRE STAFF

Professor Alan Smithers

Professor Alan Smithers B.Sc., Ph.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., M.Ed., CPsychol.

Alan Smithers is the Director. He has been previously Sydney Jones Professor of Education at the University of Liverpool (1998-2004), Professor of Policy Research at Brunel University (1996-1998), and Professor of Education at the University of Manchester (1976-1996). He was first a lecturer in biological sciences at London University, from where he was recruited to the emerging field of research in education.

His research has embraced, among other things, pupil and student exam performance; teacher training, recruitment and retention; gender differences in education; different types of school, including independent schools; further, technical and vocational education; and international comparisons. He has so far published over a hundred refereed papers in biology, psychology and education, four books, 81 research reports, as well as preparing 45 confidential briefing reports.

He has served on national committees including the National Curriculum Council, the Beaumont Review of National Vocational Qualifications and the Royal Society Committee on Teacher Supply. From 1997-2015 he was standing adviser to the House of Commons Education Committee. The Centre specializes in issues of current concern and is often called upon for comment by the media.

Headshot of Alastair McCall

Professor Alastair McCall B.A. (Hons) (Durham)

Alastair is the Deputy Director and Professor of Quantitative Studies. In a career spanning 35 years in journalism, he has risen from a news reporter on the Journal in Newcastle to Assistant Editor (Special Projects) of the Sunday Times, via BBC television, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. At the Sunday Times he has become one of the country’s leading data journalists.

The best known of the Sunday Times’ supplements he has compiled/edited are Good University Guide, Parent Power, Rich List and Giving List, but there have also been the Sunday Times Sports Rich List, The 100 Best Companies To Work For, Green List, Good Hospital Guide, Pay List, Tax List and Power List.

Alastair introduced the first (and so far only) newspaper-published social inclusion ranking of universities, which led to an invitation to Downing Street to contribute to a roundtable discussion on the Widening Participation agenda. His Rich List 2020 was highly commended in the British Press Awards. He has been a regular speaker at university and school conferences, wealth and charity seminars, and Times and Sunday Times reader events.

Anne Matsuoka

Anne Matsuoka is the Director’s personal assistant. After grammar school, college and spells in Oxford and London, in 1975 she went to Japan where she worked for 16 years, becoming fluent in the language and marrying Mikki Matsuoka, a theatre director.

On their return to England in 1992 she took a temporary post in the Registry at the University of Buckingham and from there went on to work for the University in PR, Events, and Publications before becoming the Head of Alumni Relations and Graduation Officer.

She has joined CEER to work with the Director on external relations, strategy and the smooth-running of the Centre.

Mandy Bungey

Mandy Bungey, B.Sc., FICB, PM.Dip

Mandy Bungey is an independent IT consultant who has been associated with the Centre for Education and Employment Research since 1997. Mandy is responsible for data handling, providing general IT guidance and support, and maintaining the CEER website.

In addition to providing general IT support, she has assisted Professor Smithers in producing the Good Teacher Training Guide for more than 10 years.

Dr Pamela Robinson B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., PGCE.

Pamela Robinson was the Deputy Director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham. Following extensive experience in teaching and teacher training she was appointed to a research fellowship at the University of Manchester in 1984. She moved to a lectureship at Brunel University in 1996 where she set up the doctoral education programme. She returned to full-time research on her appointment to Liverpool University in 1998 and moved to Buckingham in 2004.

She has collaborated with Professor Alan Smithers in the work of the Centre for Education and Employment Research since 1984 and has published widely in the fields of international education, teacher provision, flows into science and technology, gender and education, and further and higher education.

Dr John Williams B.Sc, Ph.D, FRSC, CChem, CSci.

John Williams is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre with particular reference to science and engineering education. He has wide experience of education, scientific research and promoting research in education. After a chemistry degree and qualifying as a teacher he taught for five years. He then became a research chemist for the Burmah Oil Company obtaining a Ph.D while there. After a period in local authority education management he became Senior Executive (General Education) in the Engineering Council. More recently he has been Senior Executive (Science and Engineering Education) at the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Head of Gatsby Technical Education Projects Ltd.

He has published a number of research papers in chemistry, particularly on phosphetans, some of which led to patents. He is also co-author of the book Quality in Learning: A Capability Approach in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page, 1992.

Ben Nicholls MA (Cantab.), FRSA.

Ben Nicholls is Honorary Research Fellow. He began his career in the Civil Service, where amongst other appointments, he was Aide to Lord Laming during his 2010 review of child protection practice, before becoming an in-house specialist of the House of Commons Education Committee. In 2013 he was appointed Head of Policy & Communications at Newham College, and joined CEER in 2014. He is currently the first Director of Social Responsibility at Charterhouse School.

As well as articles and chapters for the Guardian, TES, Huffington Post, FE Week, CAF/ACEVO and other outlets, he recently authored a report on extended schooling for CentreForum. He holds a number of voluntary roles, notably as founder and chair of the award-winning youth charity RicNic, and was a Parliamentary candidate in the 2015 General Election.