Susan Ellis


Personal Statement

Sue Ellis is interested in how to make literacy research, policy development and implementation more effective.  This involves understanding how the local policy environments of schools and local authorities shape, and are shaped by, national frameworks and local authority organisational systems, data use and staff expertise.  

She has a strong commitment to knowledge exchange and to research that directly supports improved literacy outcomes for pupils. The recurring themes in her work concern literacy and equity, policy implementation and teacher development.  She developed the Strathclyde Literacy Clinic as an innovative and cost-efficient way to help student teachers become diagnostic, responsive literacy teachers, able to address children’s socio-cultural and cognitive knowledge.  (

She is co-author of the influential Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Closing The Attainment Gap In Scottish Education  ( and was the ‘Education Lead’ on the Renfrewshire Poverty Commission, chaired by Sir Harry Burns.  She is a frequent guest on TV and radio current affairs programmes such as Scotland 2015, Scotland Tonight, and You and Yours, commenting on education issues.

Professor Ellis is Co-Director of the Centre for Education and Social Policy, which brings together expertise from across the university and is part of Strathclyde’s International Public Policy Institute. The Centre focuses on three work-streams: Transformative Data; Tackling Social Disadvantage; Changing Welfare States. It promotes cutting-edge, innovative research, hosts high-level policy-focused seminars and conferences and publishes Policy-Briefs and Occasional Papers. (

 Before joining Strathclyde University, Professor Ellis worked in Primary Schools in West Sussex and in the east end of London. 



Teaching Interests

Sue Ellis teaches language and literacy on the B.Ed and PGDE courses and on the MEd at Strathclyde University.



  1. Scottish Government (External organisation)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

  2. Winning Scotland Foundation (External organisation)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

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  1. Influencing Professional and Public Debate on Phonics and Literacy Teaching

    Impact: Impact - for External PortalPublic understanding, information and debate

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Susan Ellis

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