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Ms Tricia Nash

Postdoctoral Research Fellow



Tricia began her long research career as a University tutor at the University of Western Australia before moving to the UK where she has been involved with a number of research projects.  Her research areas are: Special Educational Needs/Disability, Initial Teacher Training, Widening participation in HE, Safeguarding Universitry Students, quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Currently project  - ESRC funded project 'Silver Stories'.  The project is the pilot trial of the Silver Stories programme that involves school age children reading to older people and is seen as a way of tackling both social isolation/ wellbeing issues and reading difficulties. Programme activities take place exclusively at a distance (on the phone) using a particular protocol and strict privacy and safeguarding procedures; and are thus highly relevant to the Covid period as well as cost-effective. Children are been referred to the programme by their teachers for reading or social and emotional difficulties, and whole schools can join the programme. In collaboration with the Silver Stories charity, we are planning to conduct a 12-month pilot evaluation project to understand how the programme works and its potential outcomes for social wellbeing and literacy. T  

Recent Projects

Office of Students funded project Safeguarding BAME Students at the University of Exeter. This has involved a systematic literature review, the construction of student surveys about experiencing and witnessing racial harassment, analysis of the survey responses and conducting  interviews with a sample of the survey respondents.

Am also involved with an ESRC funded project focussing on mental health and well being leadership and provision in schools which is directed by Prof. David Hall and Prof Brahm Norwich. This is involving interviews with key school leaders and staff involved in mental health and well beingprovision for students in schools in the south west and south east of England. These interviews will inform 10 school case studies which will in turn lead to guideloines for schools nationally on mental health leadership and provision.

Other Research

Politics Department University of Exeter. Research work on Leverhulme funded project about Left Populism through undertaking coding of interviews in NVIVO 11

Teachers as Writers Project

This was an Exeter University/Open University joint research project with Arvon, a creative writing charity. It investigated the impact of teachers working with published writers on their teaching of creative writing and on the creative writing of the children they taught.

This mainly involved several classroom observations in 5 schools, 4 primary and 1 secondary, over the school year together with interviews of the teachers and writers involved with the 5 schools and focus groups with the children who have been taught. I then undertook extensive qualitative analyses of all the data collected in NVIVO 11 and contributed to the writing of the final report

Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter. Temporary work

This work involved a review of lesson planning literature for students with SEN/disabilities to inform a large Nuffield bid.

I also was involved in the construction of an online survey using Lime survey software to ascertain the impact of different CPD approaches in schools on teaching students with SEN/disabilities including the Lesson Study approach. The survey was widely circulated nationally to staff working within the area of SEN/disabilities such as SENCOs.

I was also involved  with a PGCE Lesson Study Evaluation involving interviews with teachers in schools which I then analysed transcripts using NVIVO 11 and wrote a report.

University of Plymouth, Researcher, PedRIO and Educational Development,

I conducted various research tasks for Pedrio (Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory) academics including literature reviews in a number of areas such as the evaluation of academic teaching courses, Exploring the First Year Experiences of Undergraduates, Widening Participation in HE and Care leavers in HE.

I constructed many online surveys in Survey Monkey and undertook quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative analyses (NVIVO 10) and wrote numerous reports.

I tracked longitudinally students from under-represented groups who received a bursary and compared their experiences and attainment to a matched sample of students who did not have a bursary over their degree course. This involved annual on line surveys and in depth interviews of recipients of bursaries together with a matched sample of those without bursaries but with other similar characteristics such as SES, over the three years of their degrees.

I also investigated the experiences of care leavers at Plymouth University through online surveys and in-depth interviews with care leavers at different stages during their courses. These interviews were analysed qualitatively using NVIVO 10 followed by the writing of the final report.  I submitted a journal article about this work with academic colleagues which was published in December 2014.

Each year I constructed online surveys to gain the first impressions of first undergraduate students about their initial University experience including their motivations for coming to HE, their pre entry experience, their induction and transition as well as their expectations of HE such as the academic demands and how far these have been realised. Each year this survey was followed up by a later survey covering the whole first year experience including students’ satisfaction with a number of areas such as: their course, teaching and learning, personal tutoring, student services and social and extracurricular activities. I also constructed and analysed follow up second and third year undergraduate surveys.

I was also involved in a HEFCE funded national project studying the experience of those students undertaking STEM postgraduate taught courses and the impact of scholarships on that experience. This involved complex analyses of a long survey given at the start of the students’ courses followed by focus groups with the students about their course experiences followed by their analysis using NVIVO 10 and the writing up of the findings for the final report.  The outcome was an institutional report that was included in a national report culminating in a national conference.

University of Bristol, School of Social Policy, Research Associate. My duties included a literature review of Kinship Care.

Preparing teachers for more personalised teaching in PGCE programmes: partnership, school based activities and special educational needs. An Esmée Fairbairn funded project under the directorship of Brahm Norwich and Hazel Lawson. This project ran for two years until the end of September 2011. I observed and interviewed trainee teachers in schools throughout the country as they taught classes which included pupils with SEN/disabilities as part of their PGCE course. Trainees differ in the content of their PGCE course in relation to coverage of SEN/disabilities. Core questions were how trainees learn to teach such pupils. Key staff in schools and universities were also interviewed as to their perceptions of how trainees learn to teach pupils with SEN/disabilities. I undertook all the qualitative analysis and case study writing. The methodology of the research, including my interviewing skills, was evaluated by an external researcher from Bristol University, Anthony Feiler, a copy of his report is available which praised my interviewing techniques.

Adaptation of ITT Resources Relating to Teaching Pupils with SEN/disabilities: a TDA commissioned project directed by Prof Brahm Norwich, Centre for Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Evaluation of Strategic Development Teams: teams consisted of various experts in the field of education, health and social care who were selected to offer advice to local authorities around specific issues of concern e.g. the development of services for children with AAC needs. 

Educational Psychologists and Children in Care Project. The primary aim of this project was to examine the extent and nature of the current multi-disciplinary practice of educational psychologists in 5 south west local authorities as regards children in care .to identify current ‘good practice’ and future possibilities for extending this work.

Talking Counts. A project studying the impact of the use of exploratory talk in pupils development and understanding of Maths at Key Stage 1.

Evaluation of two projects in a Cornwall learning partnership
The first project was evaluating a specialist team working with schools and families in a severely deprived area of Cornwall where the children have behavioural difficulties usually because of family problems such as domestic violence, abuse or marital breakdown.

The second project was a longitudinal and evaluation of the use of a new approach to prevent exclusions in primary schools over a 3 year period and is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Transferred Inclusion Project.  

Equity Matters. A project funded by Education International, studying equity in Education internationally by surveying HEI unions and following up with in depth case studies.

Preparing teachers for more personalised teaching in PGCE programmes: partnership, school based activities and special educational needs. An Esmée Fairbairn funded project under the directorship of Brahm Norwich and Hazel Lawson.


Tricia is currently a researcher at the University of Plymouth in the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (Pedrio) researching and conducting literature reviews in a number of areas such as the evaluation of academic teaching courses, Exploring the First Year Experiences of Undergraduates, Widening Participation in HE and Care leavers in HE.


Tricia has published widely; some of her more recent publications are listed here: 

  • Nash,T and B.Norwich: Evaluation of the Strategic Development Teams, University of Exeter, March 2008.
  • Nash,T and B. Norwich: Adaptation of ITT Resources Relating to Teaching Pupils with SEN/disabilities. Final Report, University of Exeter, November 2008
  • Nash, T and B. Norwich: The Initial Training of Primary and Secondary School Teachers to Teach Children with Special Educational Needs: a National Survey of English PGCE Certificate of Education Programmes, JORSEN, volume 11, Issue 1.
  • Nash, T and B. Norwich: Preparing teachers to teach children with special educational needs and disabilities: the significance of a national PGCE development and evaluation project for inclusive teacher education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 26, Number 7 (October 2010) Pages 1471-1480
  • Norwich B, A Richards and T Nash: Educational Psychologists and children in care: practices and issues. Educational Psychology in Practice.
  • Rose, J and T. Nash The Evaluation of the Camborne, Pool and Redruth Learning Partnership Schools Multi-Agency Resource Team (SMART), Final Report, October 2009
  • Nash,T: The Transferred Inclusion Project Progress Report& Executive Summary, Sept 2010, University of Exeter.
  • Nash,T: The Transferred Inclusion Project Final Report& Executive Summary, May 2011, University of Exeter.
  • Lawson, H., Norwich, B. and Nash, T. (2013) What trainees in England learn about teaching pupils with special educational needs/disabilities in their school based work: the contribution of planned activities in one year initial training courses. European Journal of Special Needs Education.
  • Lawson, H., Norwich, B. and Nash, T. (2013) Teacher trainee learning about inclusive practice in initial teacher education in England: ‘Insider’ perspectives from within school placement. In P. Jones (ed) Pushing the boundaries:  Lessons from international inclusive teacher education research for developing inclusive practices through integration of insider perspectives.
  • Cotton, D., Nash, T. and Kneale,P. (in press, 2014) The Experience of Care leavers in UK Higher Education.  Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong learning.

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