Tom Avery

Tom Avery


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Personal profile

Research interests

My PhD research focuses on how refugee-background children in the UK experience language education in schools. This necessarily draws on their geographic and social trajectories, their experiences of integration into schools, classrooms, and local communities, and the state of English as an Additional Language programmes and policies at both the school and local government levels.

This reflects my wider interest in migration, language and linguistics, and the sociology of education. More specifically, my work draws on Critical Race Theory, Language Policy Planning and Engagement, and decolonial methodologies. As I work with refugees, it's important to examine their place in the English education system and their experience of power(lessness) as an already vulnerable group who also have to negotiate a systematically racist social system and increasingly anti-immigration sociopolitical sentiment (see Brexit).

I am also active in supporting and campaigning for refugee and asylum seeker rights. I volunteer  as an English teacher to two local refugee-background boys through Bath Welcomes Refugees, and in February 2019 I set up Bath STAR (Student Action for Refugees), where I still sit as Chair. Using my local networks, I have been able to oversee the creation of a Homework Club for local refugee-background children and have pressured the University of Bath into holding refugee-focused open days, with STAR hosting the event and bringing in refugees and asylum seekers from across the South West of England.

I have also recently been appointed as an Administrator for the Centre for Research in Education In China and East Asia (CRECEA) in the Department of Education.

Education/Academic qualification

TESOL, Master of Arts, Sookmyung Women's University

Award Date: 31 Jul 2015

Drama and Theatre Studies, Bachelor of Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London

Award Date: 1 Jul 2009


  • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
  • immigration
  • asylum
  • refugee
  • integration
  • ESOL
  • language
  • social cohesion
  • Education
  • Refugees
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Integration
  • Primary Education
  • EAL
  • ESOL
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Sociology of Education
  • Migration
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Minority Education
  • Experience


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