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Most of my current research is about alternative models of education, including democratic education, small schools, and the Coalition Government’s new ‘Free Schools’. I have a strong interest in the politics of education, and in particular, on policy and practice about inclusion.

Over the past two years, I have been collaborating closely with a colleague at the University of Hull, Dr Catherine Montgomery, to develop a new international research project (Freedom to Learn) which seeks to explore whether educational organisations which value autonomy can have an impact on educational inequalities. This project has been successful in gaining funding from the ESRC for a two-year international seminar series entitled ‘Thinking the yet to be thought’. Further information on the Freedom to Learn Project is available at

Since 2011, I have been a researcher in a three-year EU funded project: Responding to diversity by engaging with students’ voices: a strategy for teacher development. This is a collaborative action research project involving five universities (The University of Hull; Autonoma University of Madrid; The University of Algarve; The University of Manchester; The University of Southampton) and eight secondary schools across UK, Portugal and Spain. This project ended in 2014. There are several publications which have been produced (please email for pdf versions).

I am currently working with several local community organisations to try and set up a project to undertake work (and research) about challenging homophobia and transphobia in schools.

At the University of Hull, I lead the Faculty of Education’s Inclusion and Social Justice Research Group. If you are a student or staff member at the University of Hull, you are welcome to join this group.