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About Dr Kelly Burgoyne

(CPsychol, PhD, BSc (Hons))



 Qualifications and Research experience


Dr Kelly Burgoyne was awarded a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire in 2003 and later received her PhD from the same institution in 2007 for a doctoral thesis entitled The Comprehension Skills of Children Learning English as an Additional Language.


Kelly has enjoyed a successful research career and has published many scientific research articles and articles for practitioners. Following her PhD, Kelly worked alongside Professor Sue Buckley at Down Syndrome Education International (DSEI) from January 2009 to December 2012. Here she played a significant role in the development and evaluation of the new Reading and Language Intervention for children with Down syndrome, published by DSEI in 2012 (see In her time at DSEI, Kelly also developed and evaluated an intervention to support phonic reading skills in children with Down syndrome and worked with researchers at the University of Leeds to develop and evaluate an intervention to support comprehension skills in this group of children.


Kelly moved to University College London in 2012 to work alongside Professor Charles Hulme, a world-recognised expert in reading and language and in 2016 became senior research fellow in his group at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, Australia. Due to increasing demand, Kelly returned to the UK in April 2017 to focus on her consultancy work.


Practical experience


Kelly has considerable experience in directly supporting children with Down syndrome, and has worked closely with a large number of children, their educators and their parents. Kelly has particular insight and experience in supporting the development of reading and language for children with Down syndrome in the classroom having trained, observed and supported many teaching assistants delivering Reading and Language Intervention. In addition, she has experience of a wide range of issues in the classroom that may affect children’s learning experiences and in providing support and advice to educators to better meet children’s needs.


She has expertise in conducting observations and assessments with children to identify their current level of ability and appropriate teaching targets to continue progress. Kelly has developed teaching materials to meet particular needs and provided support and guidance to those teaching children to enable them to most effectively deliver teaching, including advice on behaviour, attention and motivation, differentiation of learning materials, and delivery of teaching. She has extensive experience in tailoring teaching to meet individual strengths and weaknesses, working with a large range of children with differing abilities and needs. Kelly also has extensive experience in writing and delivering training on a range of educational issues both in the UK and abroad for parents and educators working with children with Down syndrome.


Selected Publications 


  • Burgoyne, K., Malone, S., Tolan, A., Witteveen, K., & Hulme, C. (in preparation). Patterning predicts variations in early reading and arithmetic.

  • Burgoyne, K., Gardner, R., Whiteley, H., Snowling, M. & Hulme, C. (in preparation). The effectiveness of parent-delivered early language intervention.

  • Burgoyne, K., Witteveen, K., Tolan, A., Malone, S. & Hulme, C. (submitted). Children’s pattern understanding and its relationship with math and reading: A review. Child Development Perspectives

  • Malone, S., Burgoyne, K., Tolan, A., Long, I. & Hulme, C. (submitted). The cognitive foundations of arithmetic. Finger gnosis predicts variations in counting and number knowledge in young children. Developmental Science.  

  • Hulme, C., Zhou, L., Burgoyne, K. & Lervag, A. (submitted). The cognitive foundations of learning to read in Chinese. Psychological Science.

  • Fricke, S., Burgoyne, K., Bowyer-Crane, C., Kyriacou, M., Zosimidou, A., Maxwell, L., Lervag, A., Snowling, M. & Hulme, C. (under review). The effectiveness of early language intervention: Evidence from a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

  • Burgoyne, K., Duff, F., Nielson, D., Ulicheva, A., & Snowling, M. (2016). Bilingualism and biliteracy in Down syndrome: Insights from a case study. Language Learning 66, 4, 945-971. doi: 10.1111/lang.12179

  • Long, I., Malone, S., Tolan, A., Burgoyne, K., Heron-Delaney, M., Witteveen, K., & Hulme, C. (2016). The cognitive foundations of early arithmetic skills: It is counting and number judgement, but not finger gnosis, that count. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 152, 327-334, doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.08.005

  • Burgoyne, K., Baxter, R. & Buckley, S. (2014). Developing the reading skills of children with Down syndrome. In R. Faragher & B. Clarke (Eds.), Educating Learners with Down syndrome. Routledge Education.

  • Burgoyne, K., Duff, F., Snowling, M., Buckley, S. & Hulme, C. (2013). Training phoneme blending skills in children with Down syndrome. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 29 (3), 273-290.

  • Burgoyne, K., Duff, F., Clarke, P.J., Buckley, S., Snowling, M. & Hulme, C. (2012). Efficacy of a reading and language intervention for children with Down syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 10, 1044-1053, doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02557.x

  • Burgoyne, K., Duff, F., Clarke, P., Smith, G., Buckley, S., Snowling, M. & Hulme, C. (2012). A reading and language intervention for children with Down syndrome: Teacher’s handbook. Down Syndrome Education International, Cumbria, UK.

  • Burgoyne, K., Duff, F., Clarke, P.J., Buckley, S., Snowling, M. & Hulme, C. (2012). Improving reading and language in children with Down syndrome. Special, September.

  • Burgoyne, K. (2011).  Reading the evidence: What does research tell us about developing the reading skills of children with Down syndrome? Special Educational Needs, January.

  • Burgoyne, K., Whiteley, H.E. & Kelly, J.M. (2011).  The role of background knowledge in text comprehension for children learning English as an additional language. Journal of Research in Reading, 36, 2, 132-148, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2011.01493.x (Journal Impact Factor = 0.94) (Article short-listed for UKLA/Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award 2014).

  • Burgoyne, K., Whiteley, H.E. & Hutchinson, J.M. (2011).  The Development of Comprehension and Reading-Related Skills in a Sample of Children Learning English as an Additional Language and their Monolingual, English-Speaking Peers.  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81 (2), 344-354.

  • Burgoyne, K. (2009). Reading interventions for children with Down syndrome.  Down Syndrome Research and Practice,

  • Burgoyne, K., Kelly, J.M., Whiteley, H.E. & Spooner, A. (2009).  The Comprehension Skills of Children Learning English as an Additional Language (EAL).  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 735-747.

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