Rachel Dunford

Rachel Dunford


I am a skilled and passionate education researcher, with experience in early years through to FE. 

I conduct a range of research and evaluation projects for my clients, helping them to articulate the impact of an initiative, determine (and improve) the effectiveness of an educational programme or to explore an element of teaching and learning.


I specialise in research that combines qualitative and quantitative techniques, including:

– Online surveys

– In-depth telephone and face-to-face interviews

– Focus groups

– Data analysis and reporting

– Literature reviews and desk research

I have a particular interest in science education, especially at primary school level, and a lot of my work has focussed on exploring ways to improve the experiences of primary aged pupils in their science lessons.

Latterly I have developed expertise in supporting schools to improve the impact of the Pupil Premium: funding directed at improving the education of disadvantaged students and reducing the gap between them and their peers.


I am passionate about education, whether that is improving outcomes for young people, helping organisations to engage with schools, or determining the impact and effectiveness of educational initatives and projects.

I have experience in researching education from early years right through to adult learning, and combine qualitative and quantitative techniques to produce sharp, analytical reports for my clients.

I regularly work with Local Authorities, government and third sector organisations, including most recently The Wellcome Trust, STEM Learning, The Royal Society, and The Centre for Inclusive Education at UCL.

Having initially trained as a management consultant who specialised in education, I have since become a self-employed education researcher. I have a strong knowledge of education at all levels as well as the current educational landscape. I am experienced in conducting research with schools and understand the sensitivities and considerations that are important when asking teachers to offer their time to such projects. I also have an established network of contacts within the field of education upon whom I am able to draw to gain access to potential research subjects.

I have delivered projects ranging in scale from the very small (researching a specific model of science teaching in two primary schools) to the medium (comparing approaches to delivering Initial Teacher Training across a selection of higher education institutes) to large-scale national evaluations (evaluating the effectiveness of a nation-wide, devolved model of CPD delivery for primary and secondary school teachers).





  • Children & Youth
  • Government, social research, education

Skills & Services

  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Workshop facilitation