Dr Tony Eaude

Dr Tony Eaude was a teacher in a Buckinghamshire special school and in Hertfordshire primary schools before becoming headteacher of SS. Mary and John First School, Oxford in 1989.

He joined the Department of Educational Studies as an M.Sc student in 1998, completing his D.Phil in 2002, on how teachers of young children understand spiritual development. His research is focussed mainly on young children’s learning, especially in the area of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the subject of a book designed for those in initial teacher education published in June 2006 by Learning Matters, now in a second edition.

Since 2003, he has worked as an independent research consultant, seeking to link research and practice, mainly through training, evaluation and writing. Tony Eaude’s work includes teaching MA students and he has a wide experience in leading action research and developmental projects with teachers. He continues to work as a teacher on an occasional basis in a local primary school. He is one of the National Education Trust’s Leading Thinkers and a member of the Primary Umbrella Group. More detail on his interests and work can be seen on www.edperspectives.org.uk and he is happy to speak or lead training on a wide range of areas related to learning and teaching in the primary and early years and on spiritual, moral, social and cultuyral development.

Tony Eaude published ‘Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years’ in 2011. His interest in pedagogy has led him to work on identifying the features of teacher expertise in the primary classroom. This led to his most recent book ‘How do expert primary classteachers really work? -a critical guide for teachers, headteachers and teacher educators’, published by Critical Publishing in November 2012. This builds on research about expertise in general, and on teacher expertise, and the challenges of the primary classteacher’s role to show how complex and subtle teaching is, especially with young children. He is currently building partnerships and preparing bids for funding for empirical research in this area, on which he would welcome any enquiries or expressions of interest.

He is also approaching a publisher about a book on young children’s moral education provisionally entitled ‘Right from the Start? – how should we approach moral education in a secular society?’


Among the projects which he has evaluated (or been part of teams doing so) are:

  • the Islamic Studies Network for the Higher Education Academy
  • a series of events organised by the General Teaching Council (England), to make recommendations to inform the future development of its Network, designed to encourage teachers to be engaged with, and in, research;
  • 6&7s – an early intervention programme for primary schools with groups of six children who are 6 or 7 years old to enhance their social and emotional skills;
  • the weekend opening of Youth Centres in Oxfordshire;
  • Anti Bullying initiatives and the Anti-Bullying Strategy of Oxfordshire County Council;
  • Institutional Quality Standards for Oxford Brookes University for DCSF (lead evaluator)
  • Family Links, a voluntary organisation encouraging emotional literacy in children and their families;
  • the continuing professional development impact of ‘Creative Partnerships’, a Government funded scheme to introduce the creative arts into schools;
  • the Art Room, Oxford, which works through art-as-therapy with children finding it hard to engage at school.

Other projects

  • Consultant to Oxfordshire County Council on the impact of Planning, Preparation and Assessment time in Primary and Nursery Schools;
  • Co-coaching supported by the use of video with primary school teachers;
  • A study for Sheffield and Newham LEAs on the factors which lead to enhanced achievement for minority ethnic pupils in the primary years, with a particular focus on those of Bangladeshi heritage;
  • Consultant to PIPAR (Primary Improvement Project through Action Research) supporting fourteen schools nationwide to complete a three-year DFES funded project on gifted and talented education for Oxford Brookes University;
  • Consultant and author of ‘Faith in our Schools’, a report on the role of faith in secondary schools, in response to a request for support for a Muslim secondary school, for Oxfordshire County Council.


  • 1999 Three books on primary education published by Letts as part of the series ‘You and your Child’, ‘Primary Education’, ‘Learning Difficulties’ and ‘Successful Learning’, the last jointly with Roy Blatchford.
  • 2001 ‘Searching for the Spirit’, pp. 221-233 of ‘Spiritual Education -Cultural, Religious and Social Differences’ ed by Erricker, J, Ota and Erricker, C. published by Sussex Academic Press.
  • 2001 Lead author working with Professor Geoff Southworth and David Barton of ‘Leading learners and Learning Leaders’ a publication drawing lessons from a headteacher development programme.
  • 2002 ‘Working Together as Action Researchers’, section of ‘Action Research: a guide for teachers’, National Primary Trust.
  • 2003 ‘New Perspectives on Spiritual Development’, a booklet published by the National Primary Trust.
  • 2003 ‘Shining lights in unexpected corners -new angles on young children’s spiritual development’, International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, volume 8, no 2, reprinted in Early Years Education – Major Themes in Education, Routledge, 2005.
  • 2004 ‘Values Education – developing positive attitudes’ -an evaluation of the Values Education programme in nine schools, funded by the DfES Innovation Unit and published by the National Primary Trust.
  • 2004 ‘Do young boys and girls have distinct and different approaches and needs in relation to spiritual development’, International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, volume 9, no 1.
  • 2005 ‘Strangely familiar -teachers making sense of young children’s spiritual development’, Early Years, volume 25, no 3.
  • 2006 ‘Playing for Life’, co-author with Fisher, J, Claxton, G and Price A of a series of studies based on action research by early -ears practitioners in Oxfordshire, published by National Primary Trust
  • 2006 ‘Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development – Primary and Early Years’ published by Learning Matters, Exeter (now in 2nd edition)
  • 2006 ‘Should teachers adopt differential strategies for young boys and girls in relation to spiritual development?’ chapter in The International Handbook of the Religious, Spiritual and Moral Dimensions of Education by Kluwers Academic Press.
  • 2007 ‘Enhancing Achievement for Young Bi-Lingual Learners’: training materials distributed through the National Education Trust.
  • 2008 ‘Should Religious Educators be wary of Values Education?’ in Journal of Religious Education volume 56, no 3
  • 2009 ‘Creativity and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ chapter in Creativity in Primary Education Learning Matters: Exeter (2nd edition)
  • 2009 ‘Happiness, emotional well-being and mental health – what has children’s spirituality to offer?’ International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, volume 14, no 3
  • 2009 ‘Bowling Alone? What can schools do to promote cohesive communities?’ National Education Trust: London
  • 2010 ‘The role of the primary teacher in a time of change’ chapter in Learning to Teach in the Primary School Routledge: London (2nd edition)
  • 2011 ‘Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years’ Learning Matters: Exeter
  • 2011 ‘Spiritual and moral development’ chapter in Debates in Religious Education Routledge: London
  • 2011 ‘Starting from how young children learn – a rationale from psychology for religious educators in the early years’ Journal of Religious Education, volume 59, no. 3
  • 2012 (forthcoming) ‘How do expert primary classteachers really work? –a critical guide for teachers, headteachers and teacher educators’ Critical Publishing
  • 2012 (forthcoming) ‘What makes primary classteachers special? Exploring the features of expertise in the primary classroom’ Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 
Tony Eaude 003 (cropped)


  • Honorary Research Fellow

Research groups

  • OSAT
  • Religion, Philosophy and Education