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Andrew Clapham

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Undergraduate and Professional Education


Dr Andrew Clapham is an Associate Professor of Education Policy based in the Nottingham Institute of Education (NIoE). Andrew is the Director of the Centre for Behavioural Research Methods; the Unit of Assessment lead for C23 Education; the NIoE Research lead and a Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow. Andrew examines the sociology of education in both his research and teaching. Through mobilising the work of Foucault, Lyotard and Ball, he focuses upon how education policy is enacted in a range of education settings. Andrew is especially interested in determining what macro-level policy - and the ‘impact’ of policy makers attempts to ‘implement’ policy - means for stakeholders at the micro-level. In doing so, Andrew works closely with policy-makers and practitioners, to develop empirical evidence that informs and critiques educational policy.

Andrew’s research has led to him working extensively with regional, national and international partners.

Career overview

After completing his BEd at Thames Polytechnic, Dr Clapham began teaching science, mathematics and Physical Education in schools in East Ham and North Westminster in London, and after moving to Nottingham, at Djanogly City Academy. After being awarded an MA in research methods and his PhD from the University of Nottingham, Andrew led Education Studies, Master’s Degree in Education and PhD cohorts. He also worked extensively on Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Teach First science and mathematics Initial Teacher Education routes at the University of Nottingham.

Research areas

Andrew’s research employs qualitative and quantitative approaches, with a primary focus upon ethnography. He employs an ‘insider researcher’ lens to explore informal learning, education governance, mathematics education and assessment and teaching in the Further Education and Skills sector.

Andrew supervises Post Graduate research students at both Masters and Doctoral level and has successfully supervised candidates on both routes to completion.

Andrew is also an external examiner for Doctoral students.

External activity

Andrew is on the Executive Editorial Board of Pedagogy Culture and Society.

Andrew has a successful track record of leading research and evaluation projects across education settings including - mathematics education; Further Education and skills sector; Informal science learning settings including botanical gardens and zoos; cultural education organisations.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Clapham has collaborated in research with a wide range of partners and funders including:

  • Erasmus+
  • Education and Skills Group
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • National Trust
  • Further education Trust for Leadership
  • Education and Training Foundation
  • National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics
  • Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência Lisbon, Portugal
  • MUSE - Museo delle Scienze, Trento Italy

Examples of Dr Clapham’s work as Principal Investigator:

  • LearnToEngage, is a suite of professional development modules for botanic garden staff and museum educators in Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. LearnToEngage is funded through the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme and provides an interactive, co-operative experience with both online and on-site provision. Andrew led the research element of the project to explore how educators in informal learning settings such as gardens and museums used evaluation and research to inform their practice.
  • The Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment programme, is an Education and Training Foundation programme which aims to promote and enhance the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in post-16 education and training. Andrew led a team of NIoE academics who undertook two phases of research exploring students, staff and employers’ experiences of designing, employing and completing innovative approaches to pedagogy and assessment.


Clapham, A. 2013. Performativity, Fabrication and Trust: Exploring Computer-Mediated Moderation. Ethnography and Education. 8(3), 371-387 DOI:10.1080/17457823.2013.792676

Clapham, A. 2015. “Answer Your Names Please”: A Small Scale Exploration of Teachers Technologically Mediated ‘New Lives’. Teachers and Teaching. Theory and Practice. 21(6), 366-378. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2014.968893

Clapham, A. 2015. Producing the Docile Teacher: Analysing Local Area Under-Performance Inspection. Cambridge Journal of Education. 45(2), 265-280 DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2014.955837

Clapham, A. 2015. Post-Fabrication and Putting on a Show: Examining the Impact of Short Notice Inspection. British Educational Research Journal. 41(2), 613-682 DOI: 10.1002/berj.3159

Clapham, A. 2016. Enacting Informal Science Learning: Exploring the Battle for Informal Science Learning. British Journal of Educational Studies. 64(4), 485-501 DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2016.1179716

Clapham, A, Eldridge J and R. Vickers. 2016. Legitimation, Performativity and the Tyranny of a “Hijacked” Word. Journal of Education Policy. 31(6), 757-772 DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1181789

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2017. Further Education Sector Governors as Ethnographers: Five Case Studies. Ethnography and Education. 13(1), 34-51 DOI:

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2017. Policy, Practice and Innovative Governance in the English Further Education and Skills sector. Research in Post Compulsory Education 22(3), 370-390

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2018. Neither a Lender nor a Borrower be? Exploring Mathematics ‘Mastery’ Policy Borrowing. Oxford Review of Education

See all of Andrew Clapham's publications...

Press expertise

  • Education policy
  • Education reserach
  • School, college and university governance
  • inspection