School of Education

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Andy Noyes

Professor of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences



Andy joined the University in 2001, having previously taught mathematics in a Nottinghamshire secondary school for nine years. He was Head of the School of Education from 2014-18 and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange (Social Science) from 2018-20.

Andy is a founding member of the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education and has a wide variety of research interests, largely focused on mathematics education and 14-19 learner participation, pathways and policy. His latest project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation: Mathematics in Further Education Colleges. In addition, Andy convenes a Royal Society working group on post-16 mathematics education and is Chair of the Joint Mathematical Council of the UK. A former and current member of the RS/Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, Andy is involved in a range of consultancy and advisory work including to the qualifications regulator, Ofqual.

Research Summary

Andy's latest project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The Mathematics in Further Education Colleges project (MiFEC project) is producing evidence-based advice for policymakers, college… read more

Selected Publications

Andy is a member of the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education. His research supervision areas include:

  • mathematics curriculum, assessment and pedagogy
  • 14-19 mathematics education and transitions into university
  • learner choices, pathways and transitions
  • initial teacher education and teacher development
  • education policy
  • quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies

Research proposals: please email Andy if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic. See also: School of Education research supervision areas.

Current Research

Andy's latest project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The Mathematics in Further Education Colleges project (MiFEC project) is producing evidence-based advice for policymakers, college managers, curriculum leaders and practitioners on how to improve mathematics education in England's Further Education colleges. A multi-scale approach was used to investigate 1) how FE policies shape patterns of mathematics engagement and attainment, 2) how colleges mediate national policy in their implementation strategies for mathematics and vocational curricula, and 3) how the skills and capacity of the teacher workforce impact upon mathematics learning. This project combines FE college case studies and analyses of student progression over time using the Individualised Learner Record and Next Steps panel survey. A survey of mathematics teachers has furthered our understanding of the professional development needs of the workforce.

Andy's research is concerned with learner trajectories ('who gets what?') and mixed methods studies of complex education systems and their development,. He works with a variety of methods and theoretical frameworks, tackling problems with clear relevance to educational policy and practice.

Research Supervision:

Andy has supervised a wide variety of doctoral topics based in secondary schools as well as in further and higher education. Although his main expertise is in social and policy perspectives on mathematics education (including curriculum, qualifications, teacher training and development) he has wider interests in skills, progression, pedagogy and educational policy.

Past Research

Andy's previous project Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP) was also funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The project combined four quantitative strands of analysis to understand the current and changing attitudes to, participation in, and value of A level mathematics. The project uses high-quality secondary datasets and includes a large-scale survey of 17-year-olds' understandings of the value of mathematics in their educational and life choices and aspirations. The project includes 1) updated research on the 'economic return' to A level mathematics; 2) an investigation of the nature of changing participation in A level mathematics from 2005-13; 3) modeling of the relationship between A level mathematics and outcomes in a range of science and social science degree-level programmes; 4) a large-scale survey of 17-year-olds. These quantitative studies will be interwoven with a policy trajectory analysis that traces the value(s) attributed to A level mathematics, in particular its economic value.

Andy's has also recently led a project for Nottingham City Council from 2013-16. Together with Dr Rachel Fyson from the School of Sociology and Social Policy the study traced the experiences of a cohort of around 100 learning-disabled young people as they approached the end of their time in school/college and progressed to adult life. It examined how this group navigated the changing landscape of local services provision and how this was shaped by their family resources, support networks and particular personal needs.

From 2007-11 Andy led two major longitudinal studies of mathematics education. The first of these, Geographies of Mathematical Attainment and Participation, was funded by the ESRC (2007-2011) . The second, the Evaluating Mathematics Pathways project was conducted on behalf of QCA (2007-2010) More recently Andy has contributed to the College Ready Mathematics Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Geographies of Mathematical Attainment and Participation went beyond headline statistical trend analyses to examine, through a multi-scale, mixed methods approach, the social patterning and underlying causes of varied participation and attainment in school mathematics. Of particular concern was the impact of school mathematics departments upon mathematics learning trajectories but the project also explored the impact of learners' dispositions acquired in their particular social milieu. The study used large-scale, longitudinal data sets of learner attainment to conduct analyses of school effects (e.g. multi-level modelling) and the impact of various social factors upon trajectories.

The Evaluating Mathematics Pathways (EMP) project was an independent evaluation of the Mathematics Pathways pilots. This project evaluated the manageability and impact of a range of proposed new 14-19 mathematics qualifications. It was conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Universities of Manchester and Sussex. The EMP project provided evidence regarding the extent to which the Pathway models address the concerns raised in Making Mathematics Count (Smith, 2004).

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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