Dr Elizabeth Done

Dr Elizabeth Done

Lecturer in Education (Special Educational Needs)

Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Elizabeth can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Special educational needs
  • Off rolling
  • Illegal school exclusions


Dr Elizabeth J. Done is a Lecturer in Inclusion in the Plymouth Institute of Education at the University of Plymouth and Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Exeter (G.S.E). 

Liz specialises in inclusion, critical theory and teachers’ professional development. She supervises doctoral students researching inclusion-related topics and leads postgraduate modules related to inclusive education. A key interest is senior leaders’ and educational professionals’ negotiation of conflicting governmental imperatives.

2019 – date. Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter. Research Fellow. Co-investigator in jointly led (University of Plymouth) multi-strand research project on ‘off rolling’; research design; supporting design of data collection instruments; related publications; project development.

2013 – date. Plymouth University, SEN Coordination Programme. Lecturer (Associate Lecturer 2013-8). Providing SENCo programme-wide support; tutoring / teaching groups within the SWC; assessment. Lecturing, tutoring and assessment on a MA in Education programme. Doctoral supervision (inclusion-related).

2012-15 Visiting fellow. Graduate School of Education, Bristol University, Bristol, U.K. 

2009 – 2011 Ahfad University for Women (Sudan). Professor in School of Psychology teaching MSc students. Contribution to Staff Development Unit (workshops and materials). Proposal writing (e.g. design of doctoral qualitative research methods programme for the Gender Unit).  

1983: London School of Economics. B.Sc. Hons. Sociology 2:1 (Including Sociological Theory, Research Methodology with Statistics, Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Sociology of Deviance, Gender Studies)



B.Sc. Sociology (1983) London School of Economics and Political Science

PhD. Education (2011) University of Plymouth

Professional membership

Higher Education Academy Associate Membership

Roles on external bodies

Reviewer for: British Educational Research Journal, Journal of Education Policy; Gender & Education; Studies in Higher Education; Reflective Practice; International Journal of Research Development; Critical Education Studies.



Teaching interests

Research methods (predominantly qualitative, including development of innovative methodologies; post-structuralist).

Student writing.

The politics of inclusion.

Theory-based analysis of inclusion policy and its implications for teachers in varied settings. 

Post-structuralist and feminist post-structuralist theory. 

Pedagogic theory in the context of competing discourses around education. 



Research interests

Leading parent and SENCo strands of a multi-strand collaborative research project (Plymouth Institute of Education / Graduate School of Education, Exeter). 

Theory-driven research into government policy around inclusion and its implications for teachers (with reference to key concepts in the inclusive education literature). 

The post-graduate student experience. 

Academic writing practices. 

Research groups



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Done E, Knowler H & Armstrong D (2021) '‘Grey’ exclusions matter: Mapping illegal exclusionary practices and the implications for children with disabilities in England and Australia' The Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs , DOI Open access
Warnes E, Done EJ & Knowler H (2021) 'Mainstream Teachers’ Concerns about Inclusive Education for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disability in England under Pre-Pandemic conditions' The Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs , DOI Open access
Done E & Knowler H (2021) '‘Off‐rolling’ and Foucault’s art of visibility/invisibility: An exploratory study of senior leaders’ views of ‘strategic’ school exclusion in southwest England' British Educational Research Journal , DOI Open access
Clarke A & Done E (2021) 'Balancing pressures for Special Educational Needs Coordinators as managers, leaders and advocates in the emerging context of the COVID-19 pandemic' British Journal of Special Education , DOI Open access
Done E, Knowler H, Warnes E & Pickett-Jones B (2021) 'Think piece on parents, ‘off rolling’ and wavelength methodology: issues for SENCos' Support for Learning 36, (1) 69-82 , DOI Open access
Done E & Knowler H (2020) 'A tension between rationalities: “off-rolling” as gaming and the implications for head teachers and the inclusion agenda' Educational Review , DOI Open access
Done E & Knowler H (2019) 'Painful invisibilities: Roll management or ‘off-rolling’ and professional identity' British Educational Research Journal , DOI Open access
Done EJ & Andrews MJ (2019) 'How inclusion became exclusion: Policy, teachers and inclusive education' Journal of Education Policy , DOI Open access
Done EJ, Andrews MJ & Evenden C (2018) '(C)old beginnings and technologies of rectification in early years education: the implications for teachers and children with special educational needs' International Journal of Early Years Education , DOI Open access
Done L, Murphy M & Watt M (2016) 'Change management and the SENCo role: developing key performance indicators in the strategic development of inclusivity' Support for Learning 31, (4) 281-295 , DOI Open access
Done EJ & Murphy M (2016) 'The responsibilisation of teachers: a neoliberal solution to the problem of inclusion' Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 39, (1) 142-155 , DOI Open access
Done E, Murphy M & Bedford C (2016) 'Change management and the SENCo role: developing key performance indicators of inclusivity' Support for Learning 31, (1) 13-26 , DOI
Murphy M & Done EJ (2015) 'Towards a Deleuzo-feminist ethics of empowerment and freedom from logics of judgement' Gender and Education 27, (5) 539-554 , DOI
Murphy M & Done EJ (2014) 'Autism and intuitive practice as the art of the prevailing middle' Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs 16, (4) 272-279 , DOI
Done EJ, Murphy M & Knowler H (2014) 'University-based professional learning for women teachers and the ‘to care’ or ‘to lead’ dilemma' Professional Development in Education 42, (4) 610-627 , DOI
Done EJ, Murphy M & Knowler H (2014) 'Mandatory accreditation for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators: biopolitics, neoliberal managerialism and the Deleuzo–Guattarian ‘war machine’' Journal of Education Policy 30, (1) 86-100 , DOI
Done EJ, Murphy M & Knowler H (2014) 'Post-Identitarian Postgraduate Pedagogy: Deleuzian Mediation and Resistance to ‘Measuring Up’' Power and Education 6, (3) 268-282 , DOI
Done E & Knowler H (2013) 'Features of a post-identitarian pedagogy (with reference to postgraduate student writing and the continuing professional development of teachers)' Studies in Higher Education 38, (9) 1319-1333 , DOI
Done E, Murphy M & Irving M (2013) 'In search of inclusive non-dualistic pedagogies through collaborative and affective learning events' International Journal of Inclusive Education 17, (6) 584-596 , DOI
Done EJ & Knowler H (2011) '(Re)writing reflective practice with Deleuze, Guattari and feminist poststructuralism' Reflective Practice 12, (6) 841-852 , DOI
Done E, Knowler H, Murphy M, Rea T & Gale K (2011) '(Re)writing CPD: creative analytical practices and the ‘continuing professional development’ of teachers' Reflective Practice 12, (3) 389-399 , DOI
Done E, Knowler H, Shield W & Bayton H 'Rocks and hard places: Exploring educational psychologists’ perspectives on ‘off rolling’ or illegal exclusionary practices in mainstream secondary schools in England' Educational Psychology: Research and Practice Open access
Done E & Knowler H 'Exclusion and the strategic leadership role of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) in England: planning for COVID-19 and future crises' British Journal of Special Education Open access
Done E; Knowler H (2022) International Perspectives on Exclusionary Pressures in Education: How inclusion became exclusion. London Palgrave Macmillan
Done EJ (2014) The Supervisory Assemblage A Singular Doctoral Experience. Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Done E (2019) 'Education governance and the responsibility to include: teachers as a site of discursive tension' in Allan J; Harwood V; Jorgensen C World Yearbook of Education 2020 Schooling, Governance and Inequalities Routledge
Conference Papers

University of Plymouth Annual PedRio Unit Conferences; April 2019, November 2018; presentations on supporting part-time mature student writing and pedagogy for empowerment.

Done EJ, Randle H & Counsell T (2006) 'The effect of group size on proximity relations in pre weaned foals kept in a commercial stud environment' 199-202
Done E 'Government Policy Around Inclusive Education in the UK and the Implications for Children, Families and Teachers' International Inclusive ECE Conference in Turkey,.A joint initiative by UNICEF and Turkish Ministry of Education 3-/-0/20203-/-0/2020Open access
Done E & Knowler H Done E & Knowler H 'Exploring Senior School Leaders and Parents Perspectives on Illegal School Exclusions or 'Off Rolling' in England' Open access


Reports & invited lectures

Liz delivered a keynote at a UNICEF and Turkish Ministry of Education international conference on March 4th 2020 in Ankara and presented a paper at the European Conference of Educational Research (online) on 28th August 2020. She is presenting at a Public Symposium hosted by the University of Exeter on 7th October where her talk is entitled – Off rolling: A ‘new normal’? Theoretical Perspectives.

International Inclusive ECE Conference in Turkey (UNICEF and Turkish Ministry of National Education), Ankara, Turkey, 4-5th March 2020

Inclusive early childhood education for children with disabilities project 

Keynote title: Government policy around inclusive education and the implications for teachers, families and children in the UK

Abstract: The relevance and value of a post-structuralist theoretical orientation when considering inclusion-related policy will be briefly explained, followed by the identification of recurrent themes in a post-structuralist analysis of UK policy developments. These themes include: a confused policy landscape that EY teachers must navigate, rights as a necessary but not sufficient condition of inclusion, and inclusion as an ethical (not economic) project that rejects deficit models of disability. Foucault (1982, p.778) insists on checking “the type of reality with which we are dealing” and, relatedly, the historical conditions of prevailing discursive fabrications to provide “historical awareness of our present circumstance”. Despite a longstanding inclusion agenda in the UK, academic performance continues to be prioritised with implications for teachers, families and children. An implicit binary of worthiness / unworthiness favours children perceived to potentially contribute to national economic capital. Consequently, the nature of caring has changed and teachers are under pressure to identify special needs and disabilities (SEND) as early as possible in a context of inadequate resourcing, external support and training, and competitive pressures. Children will leave EYE to enter an educational system which is test result driven and in which mental health is increasingly an issue. Parents may find they are liaising with schools where their child’s needs are not understood or cannot be adequately supported, or they may find schools refusing admission or experience pressure to move their child to a different setting. It is argued that a post-structuralist analysis permits recognition that a rhetoric of inclusion or inclusive education can serve to obscure tensions between economic, socio-political and ethical agendas.

European Conference of Educational Research (online), 28th August 2020 

Presentation title: Exploring Senior School Leaders’ and Parents’ & Carers’ Perspectives on Illegal School Exclusions or 'Off Rolling' in England

Thematic questions addressed:

  • How do senior leaders and parents of children in mainstream secondary schools in England understand and explain the practice of off rolling?
  • What are the challenges and dilemmas surrounding this practice for senior leaders and parents?
  • What is the personal and professional impact on senior leaders and parents of involvement in cases that might be defined as off rolling?
  • What do senior leaders and parents say about how the practice of off rolling might be avoided in England?