Accessibility statement

Mary Whitehouse



I joined the Department of Education in 2009, with a particular interest in Science Education at secondary level.


Since completing my Physics degree and PGCE I have taught physics and science in schools and college as well as working in science curriculum development and publishing, including editing School Science Review and developing the innovative A level course, Advancing Physics. I have always been interested in the relationship between assessment and teaching and have been Chief Examiner for GCSE Physics and for GCSE Twenty First Century Science. I returned to the classroom in 2006 to teach Physics before joining the University in 2009.

In 2017 I retired from full time work in the Science Education Group, although as an Honorary Fellow I will continue to collaborate with colleagues on projects and remain an active member of the UYSEG network.



I am interested in how assessment influences what takes place in the classroom, both the use of formative assessment and the role of external assessment (GCSE and A level). I use research evidence to develop assessment items to support teachers in obtaining evidence of their students' learning.

Research group(s)

External activities


I am Chair of the Association for Science Education and a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) I am an active member of the group ASE Futures group, and the ASE Yorkshire and Humber Regional Committee. contributing to local meetings as well as regional and national conferences. 

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) and a member of the Nominations Committee of the Institute. In 2017 I was awarded the Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize for ‘being a national influence on the development of teaching and learning in physics’.

I am a member of the Editorial Board for Physics Review, a magazine for post-16 physics students, which is produced here at York. I also contribute to School Science Review, Education in Science, researchED, and Education in Chemistry.

I have been a chief examiner for GCSE Science and GCSE Physics for OCR. I have taken part in qualifications reviews for Ofqual and am registered on their current List of Experts.

As well as consultancy work as an assessment expert in the UK I have taken part in international science education projects in the USA, China, and Singapore.


Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 322975