Dr Rebecca Carter Dillon

Dr Rebecca Carter Dillon

Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

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

Dr Rebecca Carter Dillon can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Child poverty and social inequalities
  • Social policy in education
  • Equal opportunities in education
  • Diversity in education


Lecturer on BA Early Childhood Studies and MA Education.


Completing PhD Social Policy, University of Plymouth: A Feminist Critique of the Troubled Families Programme.

PG Cert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LTHE), University of Plymouth 2010.

MA Applied Social Research, University of Manchester 2008
    - thesis on the educational experiences and well-being of refugee and asylum seeker children in the UK.

MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management, University of Birmingham 2001    
    - thesis on educational provision for Somali Pastoralists in NE Kenya.

BA (hons) English/ African Studies 2(i), University of Birmingham 1999.
    - disseration on literature of Bessie Head, South African writer.

Professional membership

British Educational Research Association
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy



Teaching interests

Social policy, inequalities and poverty, child well-being in the developing world, social and educational research methods.



Research interests

Social policy, inequalities and poverty, in the UK and beyond.

I have worked in community development in London and Manchester, including on projects to support looked after and refugee children, and I am particularly interested in how statutory agencies and NGOs engage with and address the needs of disadvantaged communities. I have lived and worked in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa and am also interested in global issues of child welfare, particularly in the role of education, social policy and community development initiatives in improving outcomes. I have accompanied three student study trips to the Gambia, looking at education and community development in that context.

I am close to completing my PhD, looking at the Troubled Families agenda in Cornwall, known locally as the Together for Families Programme. This study focused on seeking to understand the lives of 'troubled' families experiencing material deprivation and marginalisation in Cornwall. The aim is to look at the impact family support agencies have in their efforts to improved outcomes and as such is a study of the current Government's social policy agenda in the context of austerity and public sector cuts.

My PhD research covers themes around power and powerlessness, structural discrimination, social justice, shame, stigma and labelling.

Other research

I am currently undertaking a University of Plymouth Knowledge Exchange Research Project with Dangerous Dads CIC, looking at the impact of the Plymouth Dads Project on the lives of the dads/male carers and children who participate in the project.

Grants & contracts

University of Plymouth Knowledge Exchange Grant, plus Big Lottery funding for Plymouth Dads Project 2020-2021: £4000

University of Plymouth and Cornwall Council PhD Studentship 2014-2017: £50000 



Key publications

Carter Dillon, R. (2013) 'A critique of euro-centric perspectives on early childhood education and care in the Gambia' in Georgeson, J. and Payler, J. (Eds) International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care.  Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Morgan, J., Leeson, C. and Carter Dillon, R. (2013) How can schools support children with a parent in prison? Pastoral Care in Education. Vol 31, No 3, 199-210.  

Morgan, J., Leeson, C., Carter Dillon, R., Wirgman, A.L., and Needham, M. (2013)  ‘A Hidden Group of Children’:  Support in Schools for Children who Experience Parental Imprisonment.  Children and Society DOI:10.1111/chso.12012

Carter Dillon, R. and Huggins, V. (2010) 'Children’s well-being in the developing world: issues of family, economics, health and education' in C. Leeson and R Parker-Rees (Eds) Early Childhood Studies. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Boyask, R., Carter, R., Waite, S, Lawson, H. (2009) 'Concepts and patterns of diversity: Mapping efforts to address learning and diversity in English schools' in K. Quinlivan, R, Boyask and B. Kaur (Eds), Educational Enactments in a Globalised World: Intercultural Conversations, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.  

Key publications are highlighted

Morgan JE (2013) 'How can schools support children with a parent in prison?' Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Carter Dillon RM & Huggins V (2011) 'Children’s well-being in the developing world: issues of family, economics, health and education' in Leeson C; Parker-Rees R Early Childhood Studies Exeter Learning Matters
Boyask R, Carter R, Lawson H & Waite S (2008) 'Concepts and patterns of diversity: Mapping efforts to address learning and diversity in English schools'
Conference Papers
Carter Dillon RM (2011) 'The Value and Potential Pitfalls of Study Trips in Challenging Euro-Centric Perspectives on Early Years Provision and Child Well-being in the Gambia' Early Childhood in Developing World Contexts International Conference University College Cork, Rep of Ireland 4-/-0/20114-/-0/2011
Boyask R, Carter R, Lawson H & Waite S 'Concepts and patterns of diversity: Mapping efforts to address learning and diversity in English schools' British Educational Research Association Conference 2008 Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh 9-/-0/20089-/-0/2008