Institute of Education


UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Achieving better outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

Our mission is to develop and implement evidence-informed inclusive practice in education.

Teachers and educational practitioners have been working with our centre for over 25 years to grow professionally and develop their careers through collaboration, partnership and taught courses.

About us 


Our expertise spans all areas of SEN and inclusion, the education of vulnerable children, school improvement and evidence-informed practice. The importance of inclusion is widely recognised by practitioners and policy makers globally.


    We are committed to supporting inclusion through our SEN accredited programmes, online modules on high quality teaching, and our direct work in partnership with schools, colleges and other providers.

    Our main aims include:

    • addressing challenges in the education of children and young people with SEND and other potentially vulnerable groups through our knowledge exchange programmes, research networks and partnerships
    • extending our impact globally through a network of international activities, collaborations and partnerships
    • integrating research and education as underpinning the student experience.
    Our people
    • Gill Brackenbury - Director of the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education
    • Amelia Roberts - Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education
    • Paula Bosanquet - Senior Teaching Fellow
    • Catherine Carroll - Associate Senior Research Fellow
    • Rosanne Esposito - Programme Leader: National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination
    • Sally Franklin - Senior Teaching Fellow
    • Liz Herbert - Programme Leader - Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)
    • Matthew Parker - Senior Teaching Fellow Lysandra Sinclaire-Harding - Senior Teaching Fellow
    • Emma Sumner - Lecturer in Psychology and Special Educational Needs
    • Rob Webster - Associate Professor

    Study with us

    Our programmes are designed to react and respond to the needs of educational professionals at every stage of their career - whether that's a formal qualification to become a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), a specialist in the field of dyslexia, or to help stay apace with the latest developments in educational research.


    What people say

    Thank you for your excellent teaching which has given me the confidence to progress my career, empowered me to rise to this new challenge and to fight for those children with learning difficulties. The course has made this job possible, manageable and I believe it will be deeply satisfying.” - Rachel Morrison, SpLD student.

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

    Short courses

    This cost-effective programme ensures practitioners have access to courses created from the latest evidence-informed research, delivering practical strategies and solutions, and meeting the needs of pupils and professionals.

    These courses are designed by teachers for teachers and all attendees receive a certificate of attendance to add to their CPD portfolio.

      Professional Learning Networks (PLN)

      These are comprised of three sessions which run over the course of the academic year and are an opportunity for like-minded colleagues to develop and exchange professional expertise.

      The content of the sessions is directed by delegates and facilities by lecturers from the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education.

      Book a short course or PLN 

      For further information and queries, see available CPD courses or email inclusive.education@ucl.ac.uk

      What people say

      Fantastic! So insightful but also with really useful suggestions to help support and make impact. Absolutely jam packed with information." - course delegate
      Many thanks for responding to our needs and your hard work and good humour" - short course participant



      UCL Centre for Inclusive Education partnered with the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) to produce this free mini-guide for all leaders, staff, governors, link persons, clinicians and agencies working with pupils with medical conditions, to support an inclusive approach.

      Bespoke courses: schools and local authorities

      Our centre can work with schools, Teaching School Alliances, Multi-Academy Trusts and local authorities in a variety of ways. We can offer bespoke CPD days on a wide range of topics, including:

      • High Quality Teaching, including assessment, differentiation and growth mindset
      • The four categories of need: 1 - Cognition and Learning (eg Dyslexia and Dyscalculia); 2 - Communication and Interaction (eg Autism); 3 - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (including resilience, behaviour for learning etc); 4 - Physical and Sensory Needs
      • Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants
      • Leadership in Special Educational Needs
      • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
      • Speech, Langauge and Communication Needs

      We can advise, design and coordinate research projects within schools and also provide conference speakers on a wide range of topics and current research.

      What people say

      Very useful. I now have a long to-do list." - SENCO, Hounslow
      "Can I take this opportunity to heartily thank you for suggesting Amelia as a facilitator for our group. Her calm, insightful facilitation was truly breathtaking. Her input made such a difference to the group and most importantly she made it feel safe. What an achievement given the vagueness of the brief she was given." - Anne-Marie Buchanan, Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist, Lambeth Educational Psychology Service


      Case studies

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      Additional case studies

      • NQT training Newham
      • Lesson Study for Special Educational Needs
      • LA and Schools' Bespoke Projects

      Further information

      Knowledge Exchange programmes

      In the last three years our centre has developed a programme of Knowledge Exchange (KE) that creates an environment in which researchers, practitioners and policy makers work together in long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. This way of working has a direct and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people.

      Our innovative models of KE have brought real advances in knowledge and practice for practitioners and researchers.

      Such models are at the heart of Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA), Promoting the Achievement of Looked After Children (PALAC) programmes and our new programme Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom (SSLiC):

      These programmes can be commissioned as part of a Teaching School, Multi-academy or local authority offer for school-to-school support embedded within the Knowledge Exchange ethos.

      Our staff are actively engaged in research in SEN, with publications in KE including:

      Fellows Report

      The Fellows of the Centre for Inclusive Education make up a distinguished group of experts in the field of special educational needs and disability. They contribute their time and expertise to the Centre on a pro bono basis. Our current Fellows are:

      • Professor Klaus Weddell CBE
      • Dr Rona Tutt OBE
      • Lorraine Peterson OBE
      • Professor Brahm Norwich 
      • Nicholas Peacey

      The topic of the most recent Fellow’s event was Knowledge Exchange.  Knowledge Exchange (KE) supports schools through facilitating access to research and then helping schools to undertake their own practitioner enquiries. Through presentations, Q&A panel and discussion groups the Fellows explored how KE helps schools become ‘communities of enquiry’ and creates ongoing opportunities for teachers to collaborate and reflect on their teaching practice for learners with Special Educational Needs. 

      Programme membership offers

      Our programme combines Continuing Professional Development (CPD) taught courses with Professional Learning Networks (PLN) in which participants share learning, research and experience. These sessions are run at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in Bloomsbury, Central London. See our programme:

      We can also deliver these sessions at your location, cluster or local authority, as well as designing bespoke courses to address your local priorities and specific SEN and disability training needs:


      By taking up membership you can benefit from research being undertaken at the IOE and even be part of this research yourself.

      Practitioner Membership

      £180 per year

      This package is designed for teaching professionals and can also be taken up by individual schools. Benefits include:

      • termly newsletter
      • research Digest: a regularly updated summary of emerging research
      • access to the Audit Resource: a collection of auditing tools for practitioners
      • unlimited access to our programme of PLNs
      • 15% discount on short courses and conferences.

      Full Membership

      £2340 per year

      This package is designed for local authorities and School Federations. Benefits include all benefits of Practitioner Membership, plus:

      • bespoke joint professional practice offer: one-day CPDL with feedback twilight session
      • invitation to our annual Fellowship Event (max two attendees).

      More information

      Email inclusive.education@ucl.ac.uk or call +44(0)20 7612 6305 

      Our activities


      Our research projects include:

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      International activities


      In December 2016 Dr Amelia Roberts spent two weeks in Port Stanley, working intensively with both schools there. The schools were working on High Quality Teaching for SEN, which meant there was a focus on strategies to support Literacy and Numeracy teaching as well as whole class approaches to differentiation, peer dialogue and collaborative learning. Amelia also completed two Lesson Study cycles with Year 3 teachers in one group and Year 4/Year 5 teachers in another.


      Dr Amelia Roberts flew out to Muscat, Oman in early December 2016 to work with UNICEF to advise on the teacher-training curriculum. The project involved re-writing and re-thinking the delivery of teacher training and is the start of a longer term project. 


      In October 2016 Dr Amelia Roberts hosted a group of visitors from Copenhagen visiting for an introductory day on Leadership and Policymaking in Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education. The group explored the Communicating Supporting Classroom Observation Tool as an evidence-based audit of oral language opportunities for children and looked at core components of inclusive teaching and joint professional practice to support long term development in schools. Subsequently, we were invited again to share knowledge and ideas with two municipalities in Denmark in early 2017.

      Policy advice

      House of Commons

      Our interim report to the Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Raynor MP was prepared in time for the Labour Party Conference at the end of September 2016. In November Dr Amelia Roberts met with the new Shadow Minister of Children and Families, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, to discuss next steps. 



      Latest news

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      Forthcoming events

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      Other projects of interest