About me


Professional career

After completing a degree in French and Spanish at the University of Hull, I taught in UK schools for 10 years and have worked in various Universities in the UK for almost 40 years, as a researcher and a teacher educator. I am currently Emeritus Professor of Literacy Education and former Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick. Although retired, I have not stopped my professional work, having produced 2 books and about 6 papers and articles in the past 3 years.


I have published over 50 books on aspects of literacy teaching and am best known for my work on developing teaching strategies to help students of various ages access the curriculum through literacy. This has resulted in such innovations as the Extending Interactions with Texts (EXIT) model to guide the teaching of reading to learn, and writing frames to help with the writing of factual text types. My work was made an integral part of the National Literacy Strategy in England at both primary and secondary levels.


My research has generally focused on literacy development and teaching, with major projects on Extending Literacy and Effective Teachers of Literacy. I have acted as consultant to a number of learning projects for groups such as Dorling Kindersley, the Guardian Newspaper and Scholastic Publications and have begun new research programs exploring the importance and teaching of handwriting, the nature and measurement of text readability, the teaching of modern foreign languages and the use of mobile learning devices.

Personal life

I have lived and worked in several parts of the country, from Hull to Cardiff and from Cumbria to Essex. I’ve now settled in the heart of the country, Warwickshire, the model for Tolkien’s Shire. I haven’t seen any hobbits yet though!
I live in a lovely village with Jane, my wife, and Alexander, my son, and two spaniels, Jarvis and Ludo. The dogs and I spend a great deal of time walking the Warwickshire fields, so my best investment has been a good pair of wellies!
I am a Parish Councillor, chairperson of the Village Hall, and editor of the local villages newsletter, the “Voice of the Villages”. I am easily as busy now as I was before I retired from the University.