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Dr Elizabeth McNess

Dr Elizabeth McNess

Dr Elizabeth McNess
BEd(CNAA), MEd, PhD(Bristol)

Research Fellow

Area of research

Teachers' work, comparative policy analysis, pupils' perceptions of schooling, school organisation, quality and improvement in education, comparative qualitative methodology.

Office Room 3.11
Helen Wodehouse Building,
35 Berkeley Square, Clifton BS8 1JA
(See a map)


  • Bristol Education Initiative: the narrative stories of vulnerable children
  • Supporting Learning in Transition from Primary to Secondary School
  • Home School Knowledge Exchange Project
  • National Culture, Educational Goals and Pupil Experience of Secondary Schooling: a comparative European study (ENCOMPASS)
  • Learners’ Expectation of Assessment Requirements Nationally (LEARN) Project
  • Survey of the use of Circle Time in Wiltshire Primary Schools 
  • Primary Assessment, Curriculum and Experience (PACE) Project
  • European Teachers and Policy Implementation (ETPI) Project
  • Economic Awareness in Teacher Education (EATE) Project


Elizabeth has worked at the Graduate School since 1995.  During that time she has worked on three major ESRC-funded projects, looking at the impact of context and policy on teachers' work (PACE Project), pupil perspectives of their schooling in England, France and Denmark (ENCOMPASS Project), children's experiences of transferring from primary to secondary school and the role of schools, teachers and parents in supporting this process (HSKE Project).

Her PhD study was a socio-cultural examination of the impact of policy on teachers' work in England and Denmark.

Her connection with Danish schools has been developed over a period of ten years and she continues to have close links with Skaarup Statsseminarium, a Teacher Education College near Svendborg, Denmark, which she visits regularly in order to teach and work with students.

Prior to joining the GSoE, Elizabeth worked for several years as a primary teacher and as a teacher of economics and business studies at secondary level.  She has also held senior administrative posts in both the university and business sectors.

Between 1999 and 2005, Elizabeth was responsible for managing and developing the highly valued Document Summary Service which provides headteachers, governors, LEA officers, inspectors, and others involved in education, with regular updates on government policy.


  • MEd - Educational Leadership, Policy and Development (Bristol) Unit Leader Quality and  Improvement in Education; Unit Leader: Education Policy in a Global Context
  • MEd - Educational Enquiry (Bristol) Session Leader: International and Comparative Research
  • MEd - Management and Policy Studies (Hong Kong ) Unit Leader:  Quality and Improvement in Education
  • MSc - Teaching and Learning for Health Professional Unit Leader:  Research Methods in Education


  • comparative policy analysis
  • pupils' perception of schooling
  • schools
  • teaching process
  • school organisation
  • improvement in education


  • British Educational Research Association (BERA).
  • British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE).
  • Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE).



School of Education

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr McNess currently teaches 3 courses:

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