Patrick Stark


  • Room 02.002 - 2 Fitzwilliam Street

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My interests all tie together in the pursuit of effective and evidence based education. My colleagues and I have had recent success with our research into Spaced Learning being cited in the most recent Ofsted inspection framework (2019). We are using this teaching strategy to deliver CPD to teachers all over England in the SMART Spaces project.

My research interests are focussed in three areas:

Educational programme design and evaluation – My recent research in education has involved an evidence based approach to the design and evaluation of educational programmes. Most recently I have worked on pilot studies and programme design projects to improve both academic and social factors in children. I am currently project manager and CI on the SMART Spaces Science Revision Programme which is being evaluated through a cluster randomised controlled trial. 

Language and literacy development – I have conducted research which has explored language and literacy development in childhood from numerous perspectives. My doctoral work examined the role of speech perception in the phonological awareness of poor readers using both developmental psychology and neuroscience methods, and more recently I have worked on a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention to target speech, language and communication development. Recently, I am trial manager and CI on the Reciprocal Reading evaluation study - an RCT which is evaluating a reading comprehension programme.

Neuroscience, psychology and education- A common thread through my research is exploring how we can apply the findings of neuroscience and psychology research in the classroom. Having conducted neuroscience and psychology research myself during my PhD, I have recently been examining how we can apply research in these areas to educational programmes which target areas such as language development and science attainment in schools.


Research funding:

I have attracted external research grants to a value of over £1 million.

Current Projects and Recently Completed Projects:

Talk of the Town RCT (Completed October 2015). Funder: EEF.

Dead Cool RCT (Completed 2015). Funder: Public Health Agency.

NewsWise Pilot trial Study (Completed June 2016). Funder: Primary Science Teaching Trust.

Spaced Learning - Feasibility and Optimisation Study (Completed January 2017). Funder: EEF.

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) Science Learning Project (Completed June 2017). Funder: Big Lottery Fund.

Positive Action Pilot Study(Co-Investigator and Co-Project Manager - Completed January 2018). Funder: EEF. 

Reciprocal Reading RCT (Co-Investigator & Trial Manager - August 2016 - present). Funder: EEF.

Cluster RCT of SMART Spaces (Co-Investigator & Project Manager - January 2018 - present). Funder: EEF.


This year I am lecturing on Educational Assessment on the MEd programme. I have lectured in the Education for Transformation International Summer School for the past two years.

I am currently a research supervisor for MSc students on the MSc Educational Leadership, MSc Autism Spectrum Disorders and TESOL programmes.


I am currently Project Manager and CI on the Cluster RCT of SMART Spaces. In this role, I am managing the delivery of the SMART Spaces Science Revision programme during its evaluation. I am also managing the delivery of a pilot version of the SMART Spaces Science teaching programme during its implementation study. 

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Research Output

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access

    An implementation study of the Positive Action social learning programme in English schools

    O'Hare, L., Orr, K., Stark, P., Biggart, A. & Bonnell, C., 28 May 2018.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Positive Action Pilot Report and Executive Summary

    O'Hare, L., Stark, P., Orr, K., Biggart, A. & Bonell, C., May 2018, Education Endowment Foundation. 60 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access


    SMART Spaces

    Patrick Stark (Speaker)
    Mar 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Campbell Library (Publisher)

    Patrick Stark (Peer reviewer)
    2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Education Endowment Foundation (Publisher)

    Patrick Stark (Peer reviewer)
    2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    EARLI - SIG 22 Neuroscience and Education conference 4-6 June 2018

    Liam O'Hare (Participant), Alastair Gittner (Speaker), Patrick Stark (Participant)
    04 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    PGCE Research Showcase

    Patrick Stark (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course