Developing Special and Inclusive Education Practice

This research has informed the inclusive education guidance used by national and international education agencies, local education authorities, schools and Further Education (FE) colleges. As a result, it has had an impact on the professional development of teachers’ practice and on the learning of children and young people.

National/international teacher professional development policy and practice

As a result of Professor Gill Richards' research, specific Special Educational Needs (SEN) placements are now an integral part of initial teacher training courses. Her research has also informed how new and existing teachers develop the skills to raise the attainment of pupils with SEN.

Richards’ work has been disseminated through publications, presentations at national and international conferences, government websites and local authority conferences. Her research has had a significant influence on national training for SEN co-ordinators and her text for new teachers is recommended for many primary and secondary teacher-training courses.

National FE teacher education

The context of Professor Susan Wallace’s and Dr Sheine Peart's research is disengagement and exclusion among FE learners, arising from behaviour and motivation issues rooted in experiences of social and/or cultural exclusion.

Peart's research into Black men's experiences of FE has been widely reported in the local and national press. It won a British Education Research Association Award (2012) and led to the creation of the East Midlands' Black on Track programmes, aimed at raising the levels of inclusion and engagement among Black males. Peart's research has been disseminated through journal articles and her 2012 book, Making education work.

Wallace's research findings reach a wide readership of teachers and trainee-teachers in texts which are essential reading on most FE teacher training programmes. These, along with her academic papers, have informed national policy and practice debate about learner behaviour and motivation in FE. Wallace's work has been disseminated through publication in international journals, presentations at international conferences and keynote addresses at events for education practitioners.

School practice

Research by Dr Anne Emerson and Dr Andrew Grayson has had an impact on the use of facilitated communication, a technique to help disabled people to communicate. Their research has provided evidence of the technique's effectiveness, particularly in the assessment of people with severe intellectual impairment.

Emerson's work with Nottingham City Council's Children’s Services has changed special schools' practice by introducing facilitated communication with autistic children who have severe communication difficulties. Videos from the project are used in staff training to demonstrate how each child has progressed as a result of the new teaching methods.

Group of children
Group of adults and children