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Researchers awarded funding for work to improve teenage reading skills

March 27, 2024

TWO Edge Hill University researchers have received a funding boost for work to improve the teaching of literacy skills to teenagers.

Dr David Allan, Reader in Further Education and Training, and Dr Rachel Marsden, Lecturer in Secondary English Education, have secured £2,160 from the UK Literacy Association.

It will support a collaboration between Edge Hill and a University Technical College (UTC) that will examine reading lessons with pupils aged 14 and above.

UTCs are a type of secondary school sponsored by a university that has close ties to local business and industry.

Edge Hill’s partner college serves one of the most deprived areas in England and some students have been assessed as having a reading age significantly below that of their chronological age.

Researchers and teachers from the UTC will work together to plan, teach and evaluate lessons and bridge the gap between the latest university research and practice in schools.

Dr David Allan, Reader in Further Education and Training, and Dr Rachel Marsden, Lecturer in Secondary English Education

Findings from the research are expected to be showcased at the 2024 Annual Conference for Research in Education, which will be held at Edge Hill University in June.

Dr Marsden is a specialist in teachers’ use of research while Dr Allan has published a numeracy and literacy handbook for further education professionals.

Dr Marsden said: “We are delighted to be awarded the grant in what was a competitive process and we’re excited to continue to work with our partners at the UTC to create effective teaching methods.”

The project underscores Edge Hill University’s commitment to advancing education through research and collaboration.

Edge Hill is the only English university to be graded Ofsted ‘outstanding’ in all three initial teacher training age phases.

The sector-leading news, published last month, recognises the commitment of Edge Hill – the largest Initial Teacher Education (ITE) provider in the North West – to deliver the highest quality education and support for its trainee teachers.

For more information about teaching courses at Edge Hill visit:

March 27, 2024


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