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John Gray


Emeritus Professor of Education


John Gray was a Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and served as the first Dean of Research in its newly-converged Faculty of Education. Prior to joining the Faculty he was Director of Research at Homerton College, Cambridge (1994-2001) and Professor of Education at Sheffield University (1987-1993). He has been a Visiting Professor at the London Institute of Education and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000.

His research interests lay in the areas of school improvement, school effectiveness, the dynamics of change, the nature of educational reform and educational evaluation. He pursued particular interests in the challenges facing disadvantaged schools and their communities. During the course of his career he 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 also led several major school improvement initiatives and contributed to their evaluation.

His research 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.