Martin Thrupp's research interests are in education policy sociology with a particular focus on how policy plays out in schools in diverse contexts. After five years secondary teaching in Levin and Porirua, he lectured at Waikato and then spent six years working in the UK where he was Reader in Education Policy at King’s College London and Senior Lecturer in Education Management and Leadership at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Back in New Zealand since 2006, Thrupp has mainly continued to research and write about the influence of school contexts, New Zealand education policy and the politics of educational research.
He is the author of Schools Making a Difference: Let's be Realistic! (1999, Open University Press), Education Management in Managerialist Times: Beyond the Textual Apologists (2003, Open University Press, with Rob Wilmott) and School Improvement: An Unofficial Approach (2005, Continuum). He co-edited, with Ruth Irwin, Another Decade of New Zealand Education Policy: Where to Now? (2010, University of Waikato).
Thrupp's latest research has been into the enactment of the National Standards policy in New Zealand primary schools (the RAINS project - Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards). In 2012 he received an award from New Zealand's Tertiary Education Union for promoting academic freedom. Recent publications include: