Hello, I'm Rob Webster

I research and write about inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

I've worked on some of the most ground-breaking SEND research projects of recent years, including the UK’s largest study of the everyday school experiences of pupils with an EHCP. The results of this study are available in my book, 'The Inclusion Illusion', which is free to download via UCL Press.

I'm a leading expert on teaching assistants (TAs). I was a researcher on the world's largest study of TA deployment and impact: the ground-breaking DISS project. I created the award-winning Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme. I've written extensively on TAs, and edited the first collection of international writing on TAs.

I've worked on projects investigating the impact of Covid and lockdown on teaching assistants, and on special schools and families and children with SEND. In 2023, I co-led a project to pilot and evaluate approaches to making public dialogues (e.g. Citizens' Assemblies) inclusive of young people with SEND.

My most recent research looks at the extent and impact of TAs covering classes and leading lessons in place of teachers.

A passionate advocate for and communicator of education research, I am an occasional columnist for Tes, and I presented UCL's Research for the Real World podcast. I also help coordinate the SEN Policy Research Forum.

I have a PhD in Education from the University of Reading, and an MA in Social Policy from Oxford Brookes University. 

On this website you'll find links to my various articles and podcasts, books and publications, and to practical resources I've developed. If you can't find what you're looking for, or if you want to get in touch, please email me