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Dr Rebecca Clarkson

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
Areas of Expertise:
Education and teaching
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Rebecca teaches on the Education undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and is Course Leader for the MA Education. Her main research interests are teaching and assessment practices in primary literacy.

Email: [email protected]


Rebecca started her career as a primary school teacher in Southend. She later moved into educational research, working at the NFER for 8 years on a variety of projects including randomised control trials, evaluations, and assessment. During this time she developed a specialism in assessment research and test development, working principally on the KS1 and KS2 reading and writing national curriculum tests. Rebecca has also worked at the DfE, Trinity College London, and as a freelance consultant, on numerous literacy and English language assessment projects. Prior to moving to Anglia Ruskin University in 2021, Rebecca taught at the University of Bristol and Plymouth Marjon.

Research interests
  • Literacy assessment
  • Assessment policy
  • Moderation practices
  • Assessment and teaching

Rebecca has broad interests in literacy, assessment and the intersection between these, especially in terms of policy. She is interested in research about the practicalities of different forms of literacy assessment, exploring moderation practices and how assessment affects teaching.

Areas of research supervision

Rebecca would be interested in supervising any Doctoral students whose work accords with the research interests outlined above.

Current supervisions

Learning to reflect: developing teaching approaches to support development of reflective writing – Nicola Walters


BA (Hons) Primary Education Studies

MA Education

  • PhD Education, University of Exeter, (2020): Key Stage 2 teacher assessment of writing: exploring aspects of validity.
  • Certificate in English Language Teaching (CELTA), Exeter College, (2018)
  • MSc Educational Research, Exeter University, (2016)
  • PGCE Primary with English Specialism + QTS, Thames Primary Consortium SCITT (Luton University), (2001)
  • MA Twentieth Century English Literature, Leeds Metropolitan University, (2000)
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology and Politics, University of Salford, (1998)
Selected recent publications

Clarkson, R. (2023). ‘It's missing the heart of what writing is about’: teachers' interpretations of writing assessment criteria. British Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3916

Clarkson, R. (2023). A shared understanding of good writing? Exploring teachers’ perspectives. Writing and Pedagogy, 14(3), pp.267-295. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.23446

Gibson, P., Clarkson, R., and Scott, M. (2022). Promoting potential through purposeful inclusive assessment for distance learners. Distance Education, 43(4). DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2022.2143321

D. Myhill and R. Clarkson. (2021). School writing in England. In J. V. Jeffery & J. Parr (Eds.), International Perspectives on Writing Curricula and Development: A Cross-Case Comparison. London: Routledge.

Durrant, P., Brenchley, M., and Clarkson, R. (2020). Syntactic development across genres in children’s writing: the case of adverbial clauses. Journal of Writing Research, 12(2), pp. 419-452.

Recent presentations and conferences

Educational assessment in England. Presentation to PRIMM and Assess graduate school, Stockholm University, Sweden, June 2022

Development in children's use of subordinate clauses from Key Stages one to four. Corpus Linguistics International Conference, Limerick, Ireland, July 2021

Building bridges to future writing assessment: what next for writing assessment at KS2? AEA Europe, Arnhem, Netherlands, November 2018

Writing standards in England: writing in a high-stakes assessment regime. EARLI SIG Writing, Antwerp, Belgium, August 2018