World-leading in Early Years and Primary Education, Leadership and Education Policy.
Head of Department: Professor Susan O’Neill
The Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL) specialises in early years and primary education, educational leadership and education policy. The breadth of our work includes internationally renowned research, outstanding teaching and teacher training, and cutting-edge consultancy and enterprise work.
Some examples of our areas of research are: early learning, early years and global childhoods, primary education, national and international education policy, school systems, early literacy, educational leadership and education policy.
Our vision is to lead the way in Research and Teaching Excellence, with the integration of Enterprise and Innovation to deliver transformative, sustainable impact for present and future generations.
Our goal is to catalyse our world-leading expertise in all aspects of Early Years and Primary Education, Leadership and Education Policy to benefit:
- and wider society.
- Early Years and Primary Education
- Educational Leadership
- Teacher training and professional development
- Evaluation and experimental trials
- Inspection and accountability
- Education improvement science
- Education Policy.
- A vibrant teaching programme of full time and part time courses including PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, master's courses, and one of the largest and most highly regarded set of teacher training routes
- Influential national and international research and consultancy
- Events including research seminar programmes, conferences, short courses, and bespoke consultancies.
- Our staff
Management and administrative team
- Head of Department: Professor Susan O’Neill
- Departmental Administrator and PA to Head of Department: Monika Robak
- Heads of Research: Dr Christine Callender and Professor Phil Jones
- Head of Teaching and Learning: Dr Ruth McGinity and Dr Aly Colman
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Study with us
Our department offers a comprehensive range of courses in early childhood and primary education. These include the Primary PGCE, masters courses and doctoral studies.
Our academics, with international reputations for their research, supervise students' research and contribute to all areas of teaching including teacher training.
- Teacher training
The breadth of our department's teaching includes the education of trainee teachers and practising teachers, through to doctoral study. One of our major strengths is the strong connections we make between theory, research, learning, teaching and policy.
- Graduate taught
Our Master's programmes are centred on our main areas of strength in learning and leadership: more specifically, early years education, leadership, literacy, and primary/elementary education.
- Graduate research
Our main aim is to contribute new ideas and knowledge that have the widest possible impact in order to enhance education as an academic discipline, and as a field of practice and policy. As a large department our research is wide-ranging and varied but includes two main areas:
- Learning and the processes of teaching
- Leadership and learning.
Within these two areas we carry out research funded by a range of funders including research councils, charities, governments and non-government organisations.
Examples of our work include seminal work on early years education, how evidence informs policy and practice, literacy teaching and learning, whole curriculum study, including school subjects and areas of the curriculum such as creativity.
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- Food banks in schools: exploring the impact on children’s learning
- Can maths apps add value to learning?
- Student to degree mismatch: the role of schools, and the impact of disruption from COVID-19
- Action Against Stunting Hub: Early Childhood - Education and Cognition workstream
- COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities Study (COSMO)
- Enhancing teacher decision making for children with autism using machine learning
- A duty of care and a duty to teach: educational priorities in response to the Covid-19 lockdown
- 'Intractable' schools: can an Ofsted judgement prevent sustainable improvement?
- Personalised stories
Our department provides advice and consultancy on a range of areas related to:
a) Learning and teaching
Our expertise includes particular strengths in educational leadership and leadership development, school system reform, school improvement and evidence-informed practice; early years and elementary/primary education. We have strong expertise in most areas of the curriculum, and particularly in language and literacy.
We work with governments internationally, politicians and policy makers, research organisations, education organisations, schools and other educational settings, non government organisations, companies and corporations and many other types of entities.
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To discuss consultancy requirements, contact Sue Hellman.
- Seminar series
The Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL) hosts a research seminar series where invited speakers present work relevant to the department’s areas of expertise
The department also hosts the Educating Teachers Matters seminar series with the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research. The series explores core issues in innovating teacher education for higher education institutions and their provider partners.
Professor Phil Jones from the department is also a co-organiser of The Spaces Between: Equity, Voice, Agency, and Care Practices Involving the Arts and Arts Therapies seminar series led by UCL Grand Challenges.