Hello, I'm Rob Webster

I research and write about special educational needs and inclusion.

I'm an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Portsmouth, where I'm also the Director of the Education Research, Innovation and Consultancy (ERIC) Unit. Between 2005 and 2021, I was based at UCL Institute of Education.   

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/Statement. The results of this study are available in my book, 'The Inclusion Illusion', which is free to download via UCL Press.

A leading expert on teaching assistants, I've written extensively on their deployment and impact, and I created the award-winning Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme.  I have edited the first collection of international writing on TAs.

I have worked on projects investigating the impact of Covid and lockdown on UK teaching assistants, and on special schools and families and children with SEND.

Recently, I've been working on an exciting new project to pilot and test innovative approaches to make public dialogues (like Citizens' Assemblies) inclusive of young people with SEND.

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

Photograph by Russell Sach