Nicola is a Lecturer within the School of Education and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education.
She is interested in practices that enable and challenge the continued manifestation of race inequity in contemporary societies. Understanding the role of privilege and power which are often overlooked in race debates is a key aspect of her work. She is especially interested in the ways in which racially minoritised groups survive, strategise and work to create legitimate, meaningful modes of existence, belonging and notions of self within mainly white spaces. Her work therefore engages with the concept of education in its very broadest sense to include both formal and informal sites of learning and social reproduction.
Critical Race Theory is central to her analyses and to facilitating an understanding of the ways in which intersecting forms of identity such as social class and gender work alongside race. Nicola has found the counternarrative (storytelling) aspect of CRT to be a particularly powerful tool for helping to highlight the damaging impact of more subtle forms of racism and has used storytelling in several publications.
PhD Education, University of London 2006
Awarded a Wingate Scholarship for work of 'exceptional excellence and creativity and which has the potential to make a significant contribution to society'
BA Hons Psychology, University of Liverpool 1994
Nicola previously led the Education Programme at the Runnymede Trust where she produced the teaching resource ‘Complementing Teachers: A practical guide to promoting race equality in schools’. She also designed and delivered the teacher training programme ‘Achieving race equality in schools’ to newly qualified and established teachers across England and was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence to train British teachers working at their bases in Germany and Cyprus.
Her report reviewing the government’s progress in implementing the recommendations from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry was debated in Parliament and, more recently she was called to give evidence to the Liberal Democrats Race Equality Taskforce.
Nicola has written for both academic and lay audiences and her work has appeared across several print media including The Observer, The Guardian, The Evening Standard and The Voice newspaper.
Dr Rollock teaches on the BA Hons in Education covering themes around social justice and educational policy, educational attainment, the school experiences of Black students and their parents; the Black middle classes and education; academic success and teacher training.
She is module lead for Educational Policy & Social Justice and co-module lead for Debating Matters and also teaches on the Equality & Diversity module.
Parents’ Strategies into Education & Employment (SEE project)
This project was developed as a direct result of the Black middle classes project (see below) which found that Black parents were working in relative isolation as they sought to get their children through school. Designed as action research, the SEE project works with Black parents (from all social backgrounds) through a series of informal ‘Conversation Groups’ to capture their challenges and successes in engaging with the education system and to share tips on transitioning their children into FE, HE and work. The aim is to develop networks of support to which Black parents can turn for advice on a range of issues including racism, low teacher expectations, assessment and work experience opportunities.
This project is being run in collaboration with the Runnymede Trust.
Funders: John Lyon's Charity, British Foreign Schools' Society
Race, Racism and Education
2013 marks 20 years since the racist murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence. This 2 year research project considers how much has changed in education as a result of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (threeof the recommendations focused specifically on education) and related debates. In particular it will consider, through both qualitative and quantitative methods, how race and racism have been understood by policymakers and how this has shaped educational policy.
Further information on Race, Racism and Education
Funder: Society for Educational Studies
Previous research (selected)
The Educational Strategies of the Black middle classes
This project explores the perspectives and experiences of professional Black Caribbean heritage families in relation to education. In particular it examines whether these families use particular strategies to get their children through the education system successfully. This was a qualitative study involving over 70 semi-structured interviews with parents from across England.
Further information on The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes
Funder: Economic & Social Research Council
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 Years On
This project examines the government’s progress in meeting the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry ten years after its publication in 1999. The report ‘The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: 10 Years On’ (see Publications) produced as a result of the project provides a detailed analysis of government, academic and voluntary sector research and data. It makes five recommendations which speak to advances made since 1999 and, areas (namely stop and search and the recruitment and retention of Black and minority ethnic officers) requiring further improvement.
Funder: StoneAshdown Trust
Further information on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 year on report
Refereed Journal Articles
Rollock, N. (forthcoming) Race, Class and the ‘Harmony of Dispositions’, Sociology
Rollock, N. (2013) A political investment: revisiting race and racism in the research process. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34 (4), 492-509 DOI:10.1080/01596306.2013.822617
Rollock, N., Vincent, C., Gillborn, D. & Ball, S. (2013) ‘Middle class by profession’: Class status and identification amongst the Black middle classes, Ethnicities, 13 (3) pp. 253 - 275. DOI: 10.1177/1468796812467743
Rollock, N. (2012) The Invisibility of race: intersectional reflections on the liminal space of alterity. Special issue: Critical race theory in England, Race Ethnicity & Education, 15 (1), pp 65-84 DOI:10.1080/13613324.2012.638864
Rollock, N., Gillborn, D., Ball, S. & Vincent, C. (2011) The Public Identities of the Black middle classes: managing race in public spaces. Sociology, 45 (6), pp1078-1093. DOI:10.1177/0038038511416167
Rollock, N. (2011) Unspoken rules of engagement: navigating racial microaggressions in the academic terrain. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25 (5), pp 517-532 pp 1-16. DOI:10.1080/09518398.2010.543433
Gillborn, D. & Rollock, N (2010) 'Education' A. Bloch & J.Solomos (Eds.) Race and Ethnicity in the 21st Century. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
Rollock, N. (2009) 'Educational Policy and the impact of the Lawrence Inquiry: the view from another sector.' N. Hall, J. Grieve & S. P. Savage (Eds) Policing and the Legacy of Lawrence. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.
Rollock, N. (2009) The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: 10 Years On. London; Runnymede Trust. Download the report for the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 year on
Rollock, N. (2013) Ethnicity, Gender & Education Association online resource. Available at: www.genderandeducation.com/resources/inclusion/ethnicity/
Rollock, N. & Gillborn, D. (2011) Critical Race Theory (CRT), British Educational Research Association online resource. Available at: www.bera.ac.uk/category/keywords/critical-race-theory