Research Associate
Cardiff University


Nigel's research involvement includes work on graduate employees, student course choice, formative assessment and school culture. He has also provided teacher training in relation to fostering student leadership, learning motivation and employability skills.

He is currently working on a project at WISERD, Cardiff University looking at the impact of curriculum reform in Wales on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nigel's PhD research explored the relationship between school culture and students' educational engagement. The research was carried out in Quaker schools in England and the findings point to the importance of a disposition towards inclusiveness in relation to students’ willingness to engage in the learning opportunities their school provides.

Previously, he taught English, Classical Civilisation & World Development mainly in Further Education. He also wrote for the TES FE Focus on a range of subjects including college marketing, lecturer professionalism and the 'skills economy'.

One of Nigel’s papers, "The use of semi-structured interviews..." is in the top five all time most viewed papers on But he prefers his article on Michael Polanyi and Jurgen Habermas.

Finally, Nigel was once short listed for the Bridport Poetry Competition Prize.

Research Interests

Nigel is interested in the complex relationships between personal values & interests, school & organisational cultures and social structures, and the way we can find out about any of these things. He is concerned with social justice and equity within educational systems.

Development of the new curriculum in Pioneer schools
Figure 1: Official and recontextualised fields, derived from Bernstein (1996) Research Questions How are Pioneer Schools developing the new curriculum in a way which benefits all learners? What are Pioneer Schools doing to ensure that the implementation of the new curriculum
Research Team:
Sally Power (Cardiff University), Chris Taylor (Cardiff University), Nigel Newton (Cardiff University)
Seminar Growing up in Wales: young people’s perspectives and prospects
28th November 2018 |
Over the past six years, the WISERDEducation Multi Cohort Study (WMCS) has made an important contribution to understanding the lives of young people in Wales, by conducting an annual survey of over 1,000 young people, aged eight to 18-years-old. A...