Who we are

What Matters is a network of people involved in education who are interested in using educational research to address the difficult questions that confront those concerned with the learning of young people. What Matters was established by researchers in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, with financial support from the Economic and Social Research Council. We are particularly concerned to work with our local schools and community, but we welcome the involvement of anyone interested in the ideas and values that underpin this project.

What Matters is the sum of the people who get involved.  There is a steering group that oversees the work, and helps make sure everything is working. This is made of up of people who work in Nottingham schools and in the School of Education, University of Nottingham. The Steering Group are:

John Dexter

John is acting headteacher at Trinity. John has been teaching for a long time in 3 different schools. John has been at Trinity for 27 years as a chemistry teacher , a head of sixth form, a deputy and now as acting head. At heart John is a chemistry teacher but has a keen interest in school leadership and the way schools get their mission, ethos and values over to children, and serve their community. He has recently enjoyed finding nuggets of educational gold in the noise of social media.

Beth Greville-Giddings

Beth is the Research Lead and a Teaching Assistant at Westbury School. Beth completed her M.Ed. in 2012 and has worked with researchED in the UK and internationally. Beth is a member of the Transform TSA Teaching and Learning Innovation Hub, leading on Journal Clubs, and also runs EduJournalClub.com.

Catherine McKee

Cat has been a geography teacher for just over two years in Nottinghamshire academies and trained with the University of Nottingham PGCE course.  She recently completed her MA in Education with a dissertation based on the use and value of a specific way of working with ‘life after levels’.  Her research interests regard the application of the wider political context on assessment in secondary schools. 

Hayley Norris 

Hayley is a research officer at the School of Education, University of Nottingham. She previously worked as a Religious Studies Teacher in schools in Oxfordshire, Birmingham and Nottingham. Hayley completed and Msc in Learning and Teaching in 2015 and is particularly interested in research surrounding the interface of religion, education and politics.

Howard Stevenson

Howard is the Director of Research at the School of Education, University of Nottingham. He is involved in a number of research projects, all of which are underpinned by a commitment to co-construction. Researchers, and the users of research, working together to formulate research questions, design projects and think through how outcomes are turned into useful knowledge in the hands of users.

Stef Sullivan

Stef has been at the University of Nottingham since 2003. Initially working on the secondary maths PGCE, Stef is now the Director of Initial Teacher Education. She also runs the Postgraduate Certificate in Mentoring and Coaching Beginning Teachers and teaches on the international PGCEi programme.

Stef is keen to support teachers at all stages of their career to engage with research in ways that directly impact on their practice in schools.