Clare Wood | Nottingham Trent University
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Clare Wood


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Professor Wood joined Nottingham Trent University in May 2017.  Prior to that she was Executive Director of the Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement at Coventry University. She primarily teaches developmental and educational psychology and has been awarded the British Psychology Society’s Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology.

In 2000 she received the International Reading Association’s Reading / Literacy Research Fellowship which is given to “a researcher residing outside the US or Canada who has shown exceptional promise in reading research”.

Her research interests over the last 20 years include the early identification and remediation of literacy difficulties in children, the relationships between spoken and written language skills, and the educational potential of technology. Her work on the impact of text messaging on literacy skills received widespread attention in the international media.

She has long-standing interests in speech rhythm and reading development and her work in this area has been integrated into resources for teachers as part of a new reading scheme (Rising Stars Reading Planet) launched in 2016.

She is also interested in children's wellbeing, and co-authored the Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning: Surveys and Strategies resources which is central to a Nuffield Foundation project with RS Assessment, examining the impact of the pandemic on children's wellbeing and attainment.

Professor Wood is the Director of the Centre for Research in Language, Education and Developmental Inequalities, and is the Impact Lead for the Department of Psychology at NTU.

Career overview

Clare was awarded a BA (Hons) in Social Psychology at the University of Kent in 1993, and received her PhD from the University of Bristol in 1997.

Her first teaching post was at University College Northampton (now University of Northampton) in 1996, teaching cognitive psychology and research methods.

In 1999 she become a Central Academic at the Open University, writing course texts for ED209 and DSE212. She was also the lead for the Child Development line of the Doctorate in Education, and worked on the presentation of ED840.

In 2005 she moved to Coventry University, and there she progressed from Senior Lecturer to Professor, establishing the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement there in January 2014 and taking on the role of Executive Director of the Centre.

Research areas

Clare’s research interests are primarily concerned with children’s reading development, especially in relation to phonological awareness, speech prosody, digital technology, children's wellbeing and children's 'voice'.

Clare is currently working on the following projects:

  • A Nuffield Foundation-funded feasibility trial of MAST, a movement and storytelling intervention for children in reception classrooms with Dr Anna Cunningham, and Professor Mike Duncan and Dr Emma Eyres from Coventry University.
  • A Nuffield Foundation-funded project with RS Assessment examining the impact of Covid-19 school closures on children's academic attainment and wellbeing.
  • FORTITUDE - an EU-funded consolidator grant awarded to Professor Dawn Watkins from the University of Sheffield to strengthen children's legal capability.

External activity

Professor Wood has acted as an independent evaluator for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, and as a consultant for Partnership for Children. She is on advisory groups for Save the Children, the Reading Agency, National Literacy Trust, and the Mathisis (EU funded) project.

Most recently, she has acted as the Educational Consultant on the development of Rising Stars Reading Planet, which is the first reading scheme to incorporate speech rhythm training activities for children into the teacher guidance. She is also working with Nottingham Citycare Partnership to evaluate the impact of Small Steps, Big Changes on children's language development.

Sponsors and collaborators

Professor Wood has received funding from the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Education Endowment Foundation, Nuffield Foundation, Becta and International Reading Association.