Ms Rebecca Carter Dillon

Ms Rebecca Carter Dillon

Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

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

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

Lecturer on BA and MA Early Childhood Studies and FLECS (Flexible Learning in Early Childhood Studies) blended learning BA


Currently studying for PhD Social Policy, University of Plymouth 2014-2019. A 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 and social policy initiatives in improving outcomes. I have accompanied three student study trips to the Gambia in 2010, 2012 and 2014, looking at education and community development in that context.

Since January 2014 I have been working on my PhD looking at the Troubled Families agenda in Cornwall, known locally as the Together for Families Programme. This is a participatory research study seeking to understand the lives of children and families experiencing materail deprivation and marginalisation in Cornwall. The aim is to look at the impact family support agencies have in their efforts to improved outcomes for (so-called) 'troubled families' 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 is so far developing themes around power and powerlessness, structural discrimination, social control, social justice, shame, stigma and labelling.

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.