Megan Dixon - Director of Research & Development
Since training to be a teacher in London in 2000, I have gained extensive experience in working with children, both as a teacher, consultant and a teacher trainer in a wide variety of schools in the UK and abroad. I have continued to learn, leading to a Master of Teaching (IoE/UCL) and a Masters in Literacy Learning and Literacy Development (IoE/UCL). I have a strong track record in school improvement, supporting schools to quickly and effectively raise attainment for all learners, with expertise in providing bespoke support for schools in challenging circumstances and in areas of disadvantage.
I am involved in number of roles within the Aspire Educational Trust and the Aspirer Teaching School Alliance (ATSA). Since the establishment of the AET, I have been working to establish effective networks across the schools to ensure outstanding literacy learning for all. Literacy Leaders are regularly supported through Excellence in Literacy meetings, all class teachers attend regular writing moderation opportunities, leading to the development of reading and writing attainment exemplification for every year group in reading and writing. All schools have access to a comprehensive programme of professional learning delivered through the ATSA.
I have been the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for Cheshire and the Wirral since 2011, training specialist literacy intervention teachers. In addition, I am a national trainer for a number of reading and writing interventions, (Inference Training, Switch On, FFT Wave 3, Talking Partners, Talk Boost and Boosting Reading@Primary) and an Excellence in Literacy Quality Mark Assessor for IoE/UCL. I have developed a number of bespoke small group interventions to support children, including Pulling it Together (PIT) and Handwriting Bootcamp. I regularly support teachers to develop their literacy teaching skills by delivering training in guided, group and whole class reading, teaching writing and teaching phonics effectively and presenting at national and international conferences.
Within ATSA, I am the Director of Research and Development and English Lead, working to ensure research evidence informs every strand of teaching, learning and leadership. In the past two years, ATSA has established a strong research and development department, with close links to many UK Universities. ATSA is regularly involved in national research projects, including Education Endowment Fund trials, the DFE/NCTL Closing the Gap projects and the DFE/Manchester Metropolitan University Evidence Based Teaching Access study. Through the DFE/NCTL Closing the Gap Early Adopter programme, ATSA completed and reported on several micro-studies leading to the development of a rigorous research framework for schools. In particular, I am interested in developing innovative ways to support teachers to become evidence informed and evidence engaged. The Research2Teaching Seminar series provides the opportunity for educational researchers to share their findings directly with teachers and consider the implications within their classrooms.
My personal research interests focus on the literacy acquisition, in particular how the oral language skills of children relate to the development of their reading and writing skills.
In my fee time i enjoy reading, travelling, sports (swimming, running, skiing) and caring for my menagerie of animals (including my children!)