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Dr Louise Tracey



I joined the Department of Education in 2016 having previously worked for eight years at the Institution for Effective Education, also at the University of York. Prior to that I was a researcher at the University of Nottingham and at the University of Liverpool.

My PhD is in maternal and child welfare and I have also taught history and research methods in the HE and FE sectors.



My research interests focus on early years education, literacy and research methods. I conduct large scale evaluations of programmes in schools, primarily using randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Recent projects have included an evaluation of the SPOKEs programme designed for the parents of struggling readers in Year 1, Home or care?  A comparison of educational experiences and outcomes for maltreated children and an evaluation of the Success for All programme.


I am currently working on two evaluation projects. The first of these is an evaluation of the Grammar for Writing programme in Year 6 involving 155 primary schools across England. The second is an evaluation of the English as an Additional Language in the Mainstream Classroom approach in secondary schools. Both projects are funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. I am also the Parent and Public Involvement lead for the E-SEE project (Enhancing Social-Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years: A Community-based Randomised Controlled Trial (and Economic) Evaluation of the Incredible Years Infant and Toddler (0-2) Parenting Programmes):

Research group(s)


I work with colleagues in the York Trials Unit and the Department of Health Sciences within the University of York. Externally, I currently collaborate with colleagues at the University of Exeter, Queen’s University, Belfast, and Bradford Institute for Health Research.


Ada Onuorah

‘Variations in early childhood and primary education in Africa and western countries: A comparative study of Nigeria and the UK’

Sarah Spooner

Co-supervised with the Department of Environment and Geography, University of York, looking at the effectiveness of Zoo Education.

External activities


  • Member of the National Literacy Trust Literacy for Life steering committee
  • Member of the Healthy Children Healthy Families Theme steering group, CLAHRC YH (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire and Humber)
  • Member of the Better Start Bradford social emotional development workstream management group

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 328160