Ben Willis

Job title: 
Research Fellow

Phone 0114 225 6059
Email b.willis@shu.ac.uk

Ben joined the Centre in 2006, his research interests are focused around the broader dimensions of education, particularly in relation to children and younger people's health and wellbeing. His academic focus in recent times has centred upon how schools are engaging with the PSHE curriculum. Ben is an active member of CEIR's wellbeing group.

Ben has amassed substantial experience of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies having worked upon a wide variety of research/evaluation projects for government departments such as Department for Education (DfE) and Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) through to smaller scale ones for local authorities and charities. However, he is particularly practiced in conducting in-depth case studies with a focus on interviews (face to face and telephone) and focus groups. In more recent times he, along with other CEIR colleagues, have taken a keen interest in developing and applying, innovative child centric research methods; as deployed in recent projects such as the Process Evaluation of the Year1 Phonics Screening Check Pilot (DfE, 2011) and the evaluation of the Children's Experience s of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2010).

Ben has successfully assumed the role of project manager on a number of occasions, most recently for the Investigation of Key Stage L6 tests for DfE (2012 – forthcoming).

Selected publications

Willis B, Clague L, Coldwell M (2013) Effective PSHE education:
values, purposes and future directions
Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, 31:2, 99-111

Coldwell M, Willis B and McCaig C (2013) Investigation of the Key Stage L6 tests for Department for Education

Merchant G, Levy R, Shipton L, Willis B (2012) Evaluation of Booked up for Booktrust

Willis B, Clague L, Coldwell M (2012) Effective PSHE education: values, purposes and future directions in Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development (first published 19 Dec 2012).

Formby E, Willis B (2011) Tackling Homophobia and transphobia in settings supporting young people: What are the barriers and facilitators? Findings from a South Yorkshire study (PDF 745KB)

Coldwell, M, Shipton, L, Stevens, A, Stiell, B, Willis, B and Wolstenholme, C(2011) Process evaluation of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Pilot for Department for Education
> Download research report from DfE website
> Download research brief from DfE website

Formby, E, Coldwell M, Stiell B, Demack S, Stevens A, Shipton L, Wolstenholme C, Willis B (2011) Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education: A mapping study of the prevalent models of delivery and their effectiveness for Department for Education
> Download research report from DfE website
> Download research brief from DfE website

Bath C, Garrick R, Dunn K, Maconochie H, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2010) Children's Experiences of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for Department for Education
> Download final report from DfES website
> Download research brief from DfES website

Stiell B, Willis B, Stevens A, Wolstenholme C and Maxwell B (2010) School meal uptake research in Rotherham, for Rotherham MBC and NHS Rotherham

Formby E, Owen J, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2010) Mapping Bradford Tic Tacs: An Evaluation of School Based Health Services for Young People

Stiell B, Maxwell B, Willis B, Stevens A (2009) A Community use of Schools in Rotherham, for Rotherham MBC

Centre for Education and Inclusion Research (2009) Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Yorkshire and the Humber for Yorkshire Futures
> Download main report part 1 (PDF 6MB) / appendices part 2 (PDF 1.92MB)

Coldron J, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2009) Selection by attainment and aptitude in English secondary schools British Journal of Educational Studies
> View abstract
> Download pre-published version (PDF 162KB)

Formby E, Hirst J, Wilis B (2009) Socialising and Sexual Health: An evaluation of the needs of gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men in Sheffield, for Centre for HIV and Sexual Health
> Download executive summary (PDF 101KB)
> Download report (PDF 1.14MB)

Drew S, McCaig C, Marsden D, Haughton P, McBride J, McBride D, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2008) Trans-national Education and Higher Education Institutions: Exploring Patterns of HE institutional Activity (PDF from DIUS website) for DIUS

Shipton L, Stiell B, Willis B, Wolstenholme C, Coldron J (2008) Choice Advice: Results of a Pilot Evaluation (PDF from DCSF website) for Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)

Coldwell M, Simkins T, Coldron J, Smith R, Aspinwall K, Close P, Elliot N, Garrett Viv, Maxwell B, Wainwright J, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2008) Developing the whole school workforce An evaluation of the Testbed programme (Final Report - PDF from TDA website) for the TDA

Coldron J, Tanner E, Finch S, Shipton L, Wolstenholme C, Willis B, Demack S, Stiell B (2008) Secondary School Admissions. Sheffield Hallam University with National Centre for Social Research (Report DCSF-RR020)

Hunter C, Hodge N, Nixon J, Parr S, Willis B (2007) Disabled people's experiences of anti-social behaviour and harassment in social housing (PDF 933KB): a critical review for the Disability Rights Commission