Achieving better outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
Supporting schools, changing lives
We have over 25 years’ experience in providing training and strategic support to schools to help them care for their pupils. We work with headteachers, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) and teaching assistants (TAs) to improve their practice in a variety of settings.
Our work is diverse. We support individual reflective practice and conduct whole school development work. We work locally, nationally and internationally. We conduct our own ethically-approved research in schools to improve approaches for:
- Vulnerable pupils during COVID-19 via the Back on Track for Vulnerable Learners programme.
- Oracy and spoken language via the Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom (SSLiC) programme.
- Looked-after children via the Promoting the Achievement of Looked After Children (PALAC) programme.
- Mental health and wellbeing via the Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning (SWERL) programme.
- Teaching Assistants via the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) programme.
- Making autism research accessible to teachers via the Making Autism Research Accessible to Teachers (MARAT) programme.
We have a wealth of expertise in inclusion in all its forms and have access to contemporary research around all types of special educational needs and/or disabilities.
CIE has designed a cutting-edge structure for schools to access and contribute to research and we also run accredited courses. We can also:
- evaluate and consult on schools’ SEND provision
- support research
- conduct bespoke training and CPD.
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.
We achieve this by:
- undertaking research in inclusive education that has immediate application for the classroom and beyond
- offering a range of core programmes, tailored to meet the needs of schools, colleges and local authorities to support professionals in the implementation of evidence-informed practice in their settings
- providing postgraduate study in SEND and inclusion.
- Our people
- Gill Brackenbury - Director of the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education
- Dr Amelia Roberts - Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education
- Dr Paula Bosanquet - Senior Teaching Fellow
- Rosanne Esposito - Programme Leader: National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination
- Liz Herbert - Programme Leader - Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)
- Donna-Lynn Shepherd - Senior Teaching Fellow in Special Educational Needs and Disability
- Dr Emma Sumner - Lecturer in Psychology and Special Educational Needs
- Rob Webster - Associate Professor
Our fellows make up a distinguished group of experts in the field of special educational needs and disability. They contribute to the centre with time and expertise on a pro bono basis:
- Professor Klaus Weddell CBE
- Dr Rona Tutt OBE
- Lorraine Peterson OBE
- Professor Brahm Norwich
- Nicholas Peacey
Courses and CPD
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.
- Postgraduate programmes
- National Award for Special Education Needs Coordination (SENCO) PG Cert
- Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia) MA
- Special and Inclusive Education MA
- Special and Inclusive Education (Autism) MA
- Special and Inclusive Education (Specific Learning Difficulties) MA
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.
- Whole school professional development
We have developed a Knowledge Exchange (KE) programme in which researchers, practitioners and policy makers can 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 KE models have brought real advances in knowledge and practice for practitioners and researchers.
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 KE ethos.
- Short courses
Our cost-effective short courses programme ensures that 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.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): Developing Quality Inclusive Practice is an online, non-accredited short course offered to SENCOs and aspiring SENCOs, teachers and support staff who seek to improve provision in school for pupils with SEND.
Participants can enrol and do the course at any time as it is an asynchronous online course.
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- Email us email@example.com
- 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 facilitated by lecturers from the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education.
- email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- 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, Language 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.
More info: email us email@example.com
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
Examples of our work
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Additional case studies
- Lesson Study for Special Educational Needs
- LA and Schools' Bespoke Projects
UCL Centre for Inclusive Education’s new membership package to be launched soon.
Gain exclusive access to expertise, resources and discounts on our courses and programmes. Register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team of experienced and award-winning practitioners, experts and policy specialists offer bespoke consultancy and advice in a wide range of topics related to inclusive education, including but not limited to:
- Leadership for inclusion
- Strategies for inclusive education
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Communication and interaction
- Looked after children
- Teaching assistants / Support staff
- Sensory and physical needs
- Supervision skills for leadership / SENCOs
- Supporting oral language in the classroom.
Depending on your needs, we will advise on and evaluate policy and practice, write literature reviews, develop teacher training materials and deliver school development programmes or customised training.
For more information and enquiries please contact Amelia Roberts on email@example.com
We are involved in a variety of research projects at an international, national, regional and local level. Our research develops new knowledge that is immediately relevant and impactful for practitioners in schools.
- COVID-19 mitigation measures: education provision and access to special schools
- The role of teaching / classroom assistants during the COVID crisis (in collaboration with colleagues at the International Literacy Centre)
- iRead (in collaboration with colleagues at UCL Knowledge Lab)
- Bug Club Reading Programme
- Lesson Study case studies in Special Schools - The challenges of implementing group work in primary school classrooms and including pupils with special educational needs
- Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants. EEF MITA efficacy trial
- The Deployment and Impact of Support Staff (DISS) project / DISS Final Report 1: Characteristics, Working Conditions & Job Satisfaction of Support Staff / DISS Final Report 2: The Impact of Support Staff
- Effective Deployment of Teaching Assistants (EDTA) project. Developing and evaluating strategies for the effective deployment of TAs. EDTA project final report
- Making a Statement (MAST) study. A study of the teaching and support experienced by pupils with a Statement of SEN in mainstream primary schools. MAST study final report
- SEN in Secondary Education (SENSE) study. A study of the teaching and support experienced by pupils with Statements and EHCPs in mainstream and special schools. SENSE study final report
- Webster, R., Bosanquet, P., Franklin, S. and Parker, M. (2021). Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants in Primary Schools: A Practical Guide for School Leaders
- O’Brien, T. and Roberts, A. (2019). A domains‐based approach to meeting social, emotional and mental health needs, Support for Learning, 34 (2), pp. 179- 192
- Webster, R. (2019). A Blueprint for Evidence-Based Practice? Assessing the Warnock Inquiry's Proposals for Research and Development in Special Education 40 Years On, Frontiers in Education, 4 (17), pp. 1-9
- Webster, R. (ed.) (2019). Including Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Learning and Life: How far have we come since the Warnock Enquiry – and where do we go next? London: Taylor and Francis Ltd
- Esposito, R. and Carroll, C. (2019). Special Educational Needs Coordinators' Practice in England 40 Years on From the Warnock Report, Frontiers in Education, 4 (75), pp. 1-9
- Carroll C. and Cameron, C. (2017). Taking Action for Looked After Children in School. A Knowledge Exchange Programme. London: UCL Institute of Education Press
- Webster, R., Russell, A., & Blatchford, P. (2016). Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants: Guidance for School Leaders and Teachers. (2nd ed.) London: Taylor and Francis Ltd
- Blatchford, P., Russell, A., & Webster, R. (2012). Reassessing the impact of teaching assistants: how research challenges practice and policy. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
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- International activities
Our team at CIE works with policy makers, governments, charities, schools and private organisations around the world to design and deliver programmes which meet the challenges in the education of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Our team include experts in research methodologies, experienced and award-winning practitioners, and policy specialists.
We provide a range of services from targeted training to significantly increase the effectiveness of classroom-based staff, to large-scale professional audits and evaluations of your organisation’s structures, systems and culture.
Our offer for international clients includes:
- customised consultancy for policymakers or practitioners
- applicable research for evaluation, decision-making, and future planning
- quality training on evidence-based practices
- strategic collaborations with partners at IOE and around the world.
Our work, both domestic and international, has taken us to many places, including:
Expert training provided for teachers, teaching assistants and parents at the British School in Tokyo.
Training teachers to masters level in Special and Inclusive Education for the Learning Resource Centre, Cairo.
Strategic evaluation for JK Rowling’s charity, the Lumos Foundation, carrying out a midterm evaluation of their Inclusive Education Unit.
Training development and strategic planning with UNICEF and the Omani Minister of Education to write a teacher training guide to support the roll-out of an inclusive classrooms initiative in Primary Schools.
Consultancy supporting the teaching of children with special educational needs and advising the Director of Education on policy development.
Comprehensive consultancy – assessing special needs and inclusive teaching elements in national Initial Teacher Training programme for the Department for Education.
For more information and enquiries please contact Gill Brackenbury at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Governmental support
Summary of work with Department for Education
- Member of DfE Analytical Associate Pool (rapid evidence reviews/evaluations)
- Inclusion Expert – Behavioural (Standards and Testing Agency)
- DfE Advisory Panel - ‘Effective SEN support: research evidence on effective approaches and examples of current practice in good and outstanding schools and colleges’
- Advisor on DfE commissioned ‘Deployment of Teaching Assistants in Schools’
- Co-authors of ‘Drivers, Demand and Supply of SEND CPD in schools’
- Written submissions to the Education Select Committee
- Written submission to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Oracy
- Resident expert in SEND (Labour Party)
- Resource bank to support Covid-19 home-schooling for children with special educational needs (featured on DfE website and BBC World Service)
International policy activities
- Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Education 'Inclusive Classrooms' project
- Moldova Ministry of Education presentation of mid-term evaluation of Inclusive Education Unit
- Department for International Trade consortium for SEND (Saudi Arabia)
- Back on Track: Guidance for schools and families on supporting pupils with SEND in response to COVID
- Homeschooling children with SEND
- Effective practice for special educational needs and/or disabilities content in initial teacher training
- A Study of the Drivers, Demand and Supply for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)-Related Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for School Staff
- Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report
- Teaching Assistant Deployment Review Guide
- Professional Supervision: Guidance for SENCOs and school leaders