Sue has been a leading player in national policy and practice relating to the teaching of English in schools for over 20 years. Her extensive knowledge of the subject and its assessment has led her to champion many aspects of the curriculum, such as reading for pleasure, speaking and listening, grammar and creative writing. She has an extensive network of associations and individuals that have been partners in seeking to improve the teaching of English for children and young people of all ages. Her PhD, gained in 1990, was a study in teaching the subject.

Sue and her team at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) were at the forefront of thinking in the subject. Many of their publications were influential in new areas of the English curriculum and are available on the Publications page.


S ue has continued to foreground ways of enriching the English curriculum. She is the instigator of  Looking for the Heart of English ,   which seeks to involve as many people as possible in discussing the Heart of English and what it looks like in the classroom. The group at the centre of the project includes representatives from the major subject associations. The widespread discussions so far have suggested the main principles which really matter in English teaching are found at .  An inspiring conference featuring Michael Boyd (ex RSC) and others was held at the RSA and is available online .  

There is also a publication which explains some of the omissions from the new curriculum Meeting High Expectations: will the new primary curriculum be good enough for our children? We are now looking for contributions on line which show the Heart of English in action. Visit to find out how to tell us what you think, and follow us on twitter @HeartOfEnglish.