Voice, Inclusion and Participation

Voice, Inclusion and Participation focuses on international discourses, policies and practices of social inclusion and justice in the fields of education and early childhood. Whether in formal settings, such as nurseries, schools or universities, or in contexts such as family, community or virtual spaces, we are interested in the lived experiences of learners, parents, caregivers, volunteers and practitioners. Our research involves working in partnership with practitioners, service users and academics to question and enrich theories, policies and practices of social inclusion, justice, participation and voice.

The interests and the research and scholarship groups members are interdisciplinary. Our research spans a wide variety of sectors including early years provision, Children’s Centres, schools, informal, alternative and community education and contexts, continuing professional development, special educational needs provision, colleges and higher education.

Cluster lead: Joanna Haynes

Our members' key research interests

Cluster members’ research often involves working in partnership with other professionals.  

Maureen McGinty’s research is with Learning Assistants in schools.

Howard Cotton and Carrie Ansell are engaged with teachers and trainee teachers in research around the teaching of reading.

Wendy Lambert-Heggs is interested in lifelong learning and transformative education and is currently researching the inclusion in higher education of ex-military personnel who have been seriously injured in active service.

Ciaran O’Sullivan is concerned with education for sustainability and his doctoral research took him into secondary schools.

Russell Shobrook is concerned with transitions made by forces personnel when a change of role involves training others.

Julie Anderson and Cath Gristy are both involved in working with school teachers and are part of the Cooperative Schools research group.

Cath Gristy and Jan Georgeson have worked with a wide range of multi- professional practitioners through their Common Assessment Framework project.

Caroline Leeson’s research interests involve her in working with professionals in social work and the prison service, as well as with families

Externally funded projects 

Recent examples of our externally funded projects include:

Dr Becky McKenzie’s ESRC funded collaborative project on ‘Prediction of other people's behaviour in healthy and autistic individuals’;

Verity Campbell Barr, Jan Georgeson and colleagues’ project on ‘TWO-YEAR-OLDS in England,’ funded by TACTYC.

Cath Gristy’s EERA funded ‘The Future for schools in rural Europe: an engagement with place and social justice’. 

Verity Cambell-Barr and Chris Mamas have both recently been awarded prestigious Marie Curie Fellowships. 

Joanna Haynes has been awarded funds by the Philosophy of Education Society for her project on teachers’ perspectives on philosophy for children.

Internally funded projects

Our members have also been awarded internal funding. 

Inclusivity researcher Chris Mamas has Institute of Health and Community (IHC) HC funding for his project using social network analysis of classroom interaction.

Cath Gristy has also had IHC funding for projects on school journeys and, with Marie Lavelle, for a project on the current framework for multi-disciplinary professional working. 

Melanie Parker has funding from Learning Support and Well Being for a community adult literacy project. 

Julie Anderson was awarded a teaching and learning fellowship for her research on support for Master’s students writing research projects. 

Joanna Haynes, Melanie Parker and Emma Macleod-Johnstone have had a number of grants from PEDRIO for their ongoing teaching and researching disturbing and dangerous knowledge in HE project.


Postgraduate programmes

“A wonderful opportunity to grow and develop research and teaching skills in a superbly supportive environment” – Third year PhD in Education student.

The MA Education meets individual needs at M-level. Further study involves two doctoral programmes: Professional Doctorate (EdD) or PhD.

Find more information about our postgraduate programmes