Professor Pam Sammons

Pamela Sammons joined the Department of Education, University of Oxford in October 2009. From 2004-2009 she was a Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham and a member of the Teacher and Leadership Research Centre (TLRC) there.

Previously she was a Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London and Coordinating Director of its International School Effectiveness & Improvement Centre (1999-2004). She has been involved in educational research for the last 30 years with a special focus on the topics of school effectiveness and improvement, leadership and equity in education. She has a particular interest in the evaluation of education policy initiatives including both formative and summative approaches. She spent nine years working for the Inner London Education Authority (1981-1990) in its Research and Statistics Branch where she was senior researcher on the influential School Matters primary school study (Open Books, 1988) and led a review of the ILEA’s Education Priority Indices before joining the Centre for Educational Research at the LSE (1990-1993). There she directed an ESRC funded study on Models of Effective Schools, research on Local Management of Schools and an evaluation of Accreditation of Prior Learning for the Employment Department. Following this she was employed as a Senior Researcher, Reader and Professor of Education at the Institute of Education (1993-2004).

Pamela has conducted many studies of primary and secondary schools and their influence on pupils. Her review of Key Characteristics of Effective Schools (1995) informed the development of the Ofsted Framework of Inspection for Schools. She directed the evaluation of the Making Belfast Work Raising School Standards Project (1996-1998) and was part of the SOEID funded Improving School Effectiveness study in Scotland (1994-1998). She also led a major study of secondary schools and departmental effectiveness (Forging Links: Effective Schools & Effective Departments, Paul Chapman 1997) funded by the ESRC. She was lead director of the national evaluation of New Community Schools funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department (2000-2003) and led the value added component of the DfES evaluation of the Key Stage 3 pilot in England (2002). She was also a co- director of the VITAE DfES funded research on variations in teachers’ lives and work and their effects on pupils (2001-2005) involving a study of teacher effectiveness in promoting pupils’ reading, and mathematics progress and pupils’ attitudes/motivation in 7 LEAs (Teachers Matter, McGraw Hill, 2007). Pam was co-director of an evaluation of aspects of the impact of the London Leadership Strategy for the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) (2005- 2006). She was  co-director of a DCSF funded research project investigating the Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes (2006-2009) and also  co-directed the Effective Classroom Practice (ECP) mixed method study of teaching funded by the ESRC (2006-2008).

She is currently a principal investigator on a major longitudinal study of effective pre-school ,  primary and secondary  education, that is  tracking children from age 3 to 16+ years (EPPSE 3-16+, 1996-2014) funded by the DfE. This has informed the development of pre-school education policy in England. She is also a principal investigator on the DfE funded longitudinal Evaluation of Children’s Centres in England  (ECCE 2009-2015) studying their impact on children and families.

She has acted as a consultant on school effectiveness and improvement to the Department for Education, Northern Ireland, the SOEID, Skolverket (the national education agency in Sweden), the DfE and Ofsted. She contributed to an influential comparative research study on PISA 2000 Results commissioned by the German Institute of International Educational Research (DIPF) for the project Comparison of Educational Systems in Selected Countries and was lead author of the England Country Report (2003). She was a consultant to Ofsted’s retrospective evaluation of the impact of inspection over 10 years ‘Improvement through Inspection’ (2004), co-authored the evaluation report and submitted evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on the evaluation findings. Pam has briefed education ministers Cathy Ashton and Margaret Hodge and the Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, on the impact of pre-school on various occasions, and contributed to the Treasury Advisory Group on the development of the 10 Year Strategy for Childcare (2004). She conducted analyses at the request of the Head of Welfare Reform at the Treasury which contributed to policy development and increased investment in the Early Years (2002-2003).

Pamela was a member of the DCSF Value Added Methodology Advisory Group (VAMAG 2002-2004) and the Rose Review on the teaching of early reading, including the role of synthetic phonics, 2005-2006. She conducted research to inform the Cabinet Office Equalities Review in 2006 and was technical Adviser to the DCSF Expert group reviewing the abolition of Key Stage 3 national assessment and School Report Cards (2009). She was a member of the Government Science Office review of the DCSF and its use of evidence in policy development and implementation  (2010). She also contributed to the recent Field and Allen Reviews on early years provision (2010/11). She provided advise to inform the Bew Review of Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability (2011). She acted as expert adviser to the OECD  Reviews of Evaluation & Assessment in Education Country Report for the Czech Republic (2011/12).

Pamela is Course Director for the MSc in Education: Research Design and Methodology at the Department of Education in Oxford. Previously she was co-director of the EdD in Educational Leadership at the School of Education in Nottingham. Her doctoral students come from a range of international and national contexts. She has supervised 13 PhD and EdD students (6 FT & 7 PT students) to successful completion of their studies since 1997.

She is a member of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the RSA. She is a school governor for Oxford Spires Academy and for North Leigh Church of England Primary School.

Research

Research Interests

  • Educational and teacher effectiveness
  • School improvement
  • Equity and the impact of disadvantage in education
  • Evaluation

Current and recently completed grants

  • Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education 3-16 (EPPSE 3-16) IOE/DCSF, 2007-2013 Sylva &  Sammons Co PI
  • Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 (EPPSE 3-14) IOE/DCSF, 2007-2010 National Evaluation of Children’s Centres NatCen/DCSF, 2009-2014 (y Sylva, Sammons and Evangelou Co PI
  • National College of School Leadership/DCSF 2009-2010 Leadership & Children’s Centres Sammons & Sylva Co PI
  • Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes, 2006-2009, DCSF (held at University of Nottingham), Day & Sammons Co-directors
  • Effective Classroom Practice (ECP): A mixed method study of influence and outcomes, ESRC 2006-2008, Day & Sammons Co-directors
  • Promoting Quality and Equity in Education: Development, Implementation and evaluation of Intervention Program Aiming at the Provision of Equal Educational Opportunities for All Students Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus, a consortium led by University of Cyprus Department of Education 2012-2013

Consultancy work

  • Pearson Education
  • Specialist Schools & Academies Trust
  • University of Agder & University of Stavanger 2011-12, Research advisor on methodology and research findings by two separate Projects planned in Norway as part of a the PRAKUT funding initiative .
  • CfBT  research reviews commissioned on:
    • School Effectiveness
    • Effective Teaching
    • School Improvement
    • Successful Leadership
    • Assessment for Learning

Publications 2012- 2008

Books

  • Chapman, C., Armstrong, P., Harris, A., Muijs, D., Reynolds, D., & Sammons, P. (Eds)  (2012) School Effectiveness and Improvement Research, Policy and Practice: Challenging the orthodoxy? Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Day, C., Sammons, P., Leithwood, K., Hopkins, D., Gu, Q. & Brown, E., with Ahtaridou, E., (2011). Successful School Leadership: Linking with Learning and Achievement. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill Open University Press.
  • Kington, A., Regan, E., Sammons, P. & Day, C., (2011) . Effective Classroom Practice in Primary and Secondary Schools: A Research Digest [online], Nottingham: Jubilee Press.
  • Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (Eds.). (2010). Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project. Oxford: Routledge.
  • Creemers, B., Kyriakides, L., & P. Sammons, P. (Eds.) (2010) Methodological Advances in Educational Effectiveness Research., London: Routledge Taylor Francis.

Journal Articles

  • Sammons, P. & Bakkum, L. (2012) Effective Schools, Equity and Teacher Effectiveness: A Review of the Literature, Profesorado Revista de curriculum y formación del profesorado, 15, (3) 9-26.
  • Reynolds, D., Chapman, C., Kelly, A., Muijs, D., & Sammons, P., (2012) Educational effectiveness: the development of the discipline, the critiques, the  defence, and the present debate. Effective Education. 3(2), 109-127.
  • Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (2011) Pre-school quality and educational outcomes at age 11: low quality has little benefit, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9(2) 109-124.
  • Kington, A., Sammons, P., Day, C. & Regan, E., (2011). Stories and Statistics: describing a mixed method study of effective classroom practice. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 5(2), 103-125.
  • Sammons, P. (2011) Improving Schools and Raising Standards: the impact of standards based educational reforms in England, Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft special issue 13, 83-104.
  • Sammons, .P, Gu, Q., Day, C. & Ko, J. (2011) “Exploring the impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes: Results from a study of academically improved and effective schools in England”, International Journal of Educational Management, 25 (1) 83 – 101.
  • Anders, Y , Sammons, P., Taggart, B., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E. & Siraj-Blatchford, I. (2011) ‘The influence of child, family, home factors and pre-school education on the identification of special educational needs at age 10′, British Educational Research Journal, 37: 3, 421 — 441
  • Hall, J., Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Taggart, B., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Smees, R. (2010). Measuring the cumulative risk to children’s cognitive development: Confirmatory factor analysis using formative measurement. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 28, 219-238.
  • Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (2010). Home, Pre-school and Primary school influences upon children’s educational attainment at age 11. Revista de Política Educativa.
  • Hall, J., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2009). The role of pre-school quality in promoting resilience in the cognitive development of young children. Oxford Review of Education, 35, 331-352.
  • Sammons, P. & Luyten, H. (2009) Editorial article for special issue on alternative methods for assessing school effects and schooling effects. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 2, 133-143.
  • Day, C., Leithwood, K., & Sammons, P. (2008). What we have learned, what we need to know more about. School Leadership and Management, 28, 83-96.
  • Day, C., Sammons, P., & Gu, Q. (2008). Combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies in research on teachers’ lives, work, and effectiveness: from integration to synergy. Educational Researcher, 37, 330-342.
  • Day, C., Sammons, P., Hopkins, D., Leithwood, K., & Kington, A. (2008). Research into the impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes: policy and research contexts. School Leadership and Management, 28, 5-26.
  • Gu, Q., Sammons, P., & Mehta, P. (2008). Leadership characteristics and practices in schools with different effectiveness and improvement profiles. School Leadership and Management, 28, 43-63.
  • Melhuish, E. C., Sylva, K., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Phan, M. B., & Malin, A. (2008). Preschool influences on mathematics achievement. Science, 321, 1161-1162.
  • Melhuish, E, Sylva, K., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., & Phan, M. (2008). Effects of the Home Learning Environment and pre-school center experience upon literacy and numeracy development in early primary school. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 95-114.
  • Sammons, P. (2008). Zero tolerance of failure and New Labour approaches to school improvement in England. Oxford Review of Education, 34, 651-664.
  • Sammons, P., Anders, Y., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., & Barreau, S. (2008). Children’s cognitive attainment and progress in English primary schools during Key Stage 2: investigating the potential continuing influences of pre-school education. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft [Special Issue 11/2008], 179-198.
  • Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Sylva, K., Sammons, P., & Melhuish, E. (2008). Towards the transformation of practice in early childhood education: the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) project. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38, 23-36.
  • Taggart, B., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., & Sammons, P. (2008). Influencing policy and practice through research on early childhood education. International Journal of Early Childhood Education, 14 (2), 7-21.
  • Melhuish, E., Sylva, K., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B. & Phan, M. (2008), Effects of the Home Learning Environment and preschool center experience upon literacy and numeracy development in early primary school. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 64 (1)  pp. 95-114.

Published reports

  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Toth, K., Draghici, D. and Smees, R. (2012a). Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE 3-14): Influences on students’ attainment and progress in Key Stage 3: Academic outcomes in English, maths and science in Year 9. DfE RB 184a, London: Department for Education.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Draghici, D., Smees, R. and Toth., K. (2012b). Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE 3-14):  Influences on students’ development in Key Stage 3: Social-behavioural outcomes in Year 9. DfE RB 184b, London: Department for Education.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Smees, R., Draghici, D. and Toth, K. (2012c). Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 Project (EPPSE 3-14): Influences on students’ dispositions in Key Stage 3: Exploring Enjoyment of school, Popularity, Anxiety, Citizenship Values and Academic self-concept in Year 9. DfE RB 184c, London: Department for Education.
  • Santiago, P., Gilmore, A., Nusche, D. & Sammons, P. (2012) OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education Czech Republic, Paris: OECD
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Toth, K., Draghici, D. and Smees, R. (2011a). Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE 3-14): Influences on students’ attainment and progress in Key Stage 3: Academic outcomes in English, maths and science in Year 9. London: Institute of Education, University of London / Department for Education.  http://eppe.ioe.ac.uk
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Draghici, D., Smees, R. and Toth., K. (2011b). Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE 3-14):  Influences on students’ development in Key Stage 3: Social-behavioural outcomes in Year 9. London: Department for Education
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Smees, R., Draghici, D. and Toth, K. (2011c). Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 Project (EPPSE 3-14): Influences on students’ dispositions in Key Stage 3: Exploring Enjoyment of school, Popularity, Anxiety, Citizenship Values and Academic self-concept in Year 9. London: Institute of Education, University of London / Department for Education. http://eppe.ioe.ac.uk.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Smees, R., Draghici, D. and Toth, K. (2011d). Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 Project (EPPSE 3-14): Students’ Reports of Their Experiences of School in Year 9. London: Institute of Education, University of London / Department for Education http://eppe.ioe.ac.uk
  • Gates, P., Kington, A. & Sammmons, P., 2010. An Evaluation of the Early Years Two Year Pilot Scheme in the City of Nottingham. Nottingham: Nottingham City Council.
  • Day, C., Sammons, P., Hopkins, D., Harris, A., Leithwood, K., Gu, Q., Brown, E., Ahtaridou, E., & Kington, A. (2009). The impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes. DCSF Research Report (RR108). London: DCSF.
  • Day C., Sammons, P., Kington A., Regan, E., Ko J., Brown E., Gunraj J., & Robertson D. (2008). Effective classroom practice (ECP): a mixed-method study of influences and outcomes. End of Award Report submitted to the Economic and Social Research Council (RES-000-23-1564). School of Education, The University of Nottingham.
  • Evangelou, M., Taggart, B., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., & Siraj-Blatchford, I. (2008). Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 Project (EPPSE 3-14) What Makes a Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School? Nottingham: DCSF Publications.
  • Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Taggart, B., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Hunt, S., Barreau, S., & Welcomme, W. (2008). Tracking and mobility over the pre-school and primary school period: evidence from EPPE 3-11. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
  • Sammons, P. & Ko J. (2008). Using systematic classroom observation schedules to investigate effective teaching: overview of quantitative findings. Effective Classroom Practice (ECP) ESRC Project Report (RES-000-23-1564). School of Education, University of Nottingham.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish E., Siraj-Blatchford I., Taggart B., Hunt S., Jelicic H. (2008), Effective Pre-school and Primary Education 3-11 Project (EPPE 3-11) Influences on children’s cognitive and social development in Year 6. Nottingham: DCSF Publications (Research Brief) (DCSF-RB048-049).
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., & Hunt, S. (2008). Effective Pre-school and Primary Education 3-11 Project (EPPE 3-11) Influences on children’s attainment and progress in Key Stage 2: cognitive outcomes in Year 6. Nottingham: DCSF Publications (DCSF-RR048).
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., & Jelicic, H. (2008). Effective Pre-school and Primary Education 3-11 Project (EPPE 3-11) Influences on children’s development and progress in Key Stage 2: social/behavioural outcomes in Year 6. Nottingham: DCSF Publications (DCSF-RR049).
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Jelicic, H., Barreau, S., Grabbe, Y., & Smees, R. (2008). Relationships between pupils’ self-perceptions, views of primary school and their development in Year 5. London: Institute of Education, University of London.

Chapters in edited books

  • Sammons, P. (2012) Methodological issues and new trends in educational effectiveness research, Chapter 1 pp 9-26 in Chapman, C., Armstrong, P., Harris, A., Muijs, D., Reynolds, D., & Sammons, P. (Eds)  (2012) School Effectiveness and Improvement Research, Policy and Practice: Challenging the orthodoxy? Abingdon: Routledge
  • Sylva, K., Chan, L. L. S., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (2011). ‘Emergent Literacy Environments: Home and Pre-school Influences on Children’s Literacy Development’. In S.B. Neuman and D.K. Dickinson (Eds), Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Vol. 3). New York: Guilford Press Publications.
  • Kington, A., Day, C., Sammons, P., Regan, E., Brown, E. & Gunraj, J., 2011. What Makes Teachers Effective?: Profiles of innovative classroom practice. In: C. Day, (Ed). The Routledge International Handbook of Teacher and School Development. London: Routledge.
  • Sammons, P. (2010). Equity and Educational Effectiveness. In: Penelope Peterson, Eva Baker, Barry McGaw, (Editors), International Encyclopedia of Education. volume 5, pp. 51-57. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Sammons, P., (2010) The Contribution of Mixed Methods to Recent Research on Educational Effectiveness, Chapter 27 in A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.) Handbook of Mixed Methods Research 2nd Edition, Sage.pp 697-723.
  • Teddlie, C. & Sammons, P. (2010) Applications of mixed methods to the field of educational effectiveness research, chapter 7 in B.P.M Creemers, L. Kyriakides & P., Sammons (Eds.) Methodological Advances in Educational Effectiveness Research. London: RoutledgeTaylor & Francis.pp 115-152.
  • Luyten, H. & Sammons P. (2010) Multilevel Modelling, chapter 11 in B.P.M. Creemers, L., Kyriakides, & P. Sammons (Eds.) Methodological Advances in Educational Effectiveness Research., London: Routledge Taylor Francis. pp 246-276.
  • Sammons, P. (2010) The EPPE research design: An educational effectiveness focus, Chapter 3 in Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (Eds.). (2010). Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project. Oxford: Routledge, pp 24-43.
  • Sammons, P. (2010) Does pre-school make a difference? Identifying the impact of pre-school on children’s cognitive and social behavioural development at different ages, Chapter 6 in Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (Eds.). (2010). Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project. Oxford: Routledge, pp 92-113.
  • Sammons, P (2010) Do the benefits of pre-school last? Investigating pupil outcomes to the end of Key Stage 2 (aged 11) Chapter 7 in Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (Eds.). (2010). Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project. Oxford: Routledge, pp 114-148.
  • Sylva, K. Chan, L. Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2010). Emergent Literacy Environments: Home and Preschool Influences on Children’s Literacy Development. In S.B. Neumann & D.K. Dickinson (Eds.) Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 3 . New York: Guilford Press.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Smees, R., & Melhuish, E. (2008). Influences on pupils’ self-perceptions in primary school: enjoyment of school, anxiety and isolation, and self-image in Year 5. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
  • Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart, B., Smees, R., & Melhuish, E. (2008). Exploring pupils’ views of primary school in Year 5. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
  • Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2008). Effective Pre-school and Primary Education 3-11 Project (EPPE 3-11) Final report from the primary phase: pre-school, school and family Influences on children’s development during Key Stage 2 (age 7-11). Nottingham: DCSF Publications [DCSF RR 061].
Sammons - compressed

Category

  • Department staff

Position

  • Professorial Senior Research Fellow

Subject area

  • MSc Educational Research Methodology

Research groups

  • Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL)

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