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.

Between 2011 and 2017, I led a landmark research study of the everyday educational experiences of pupils with an EHCP/Statement, which included the UK’s largest observational study of pupils with SEND. The results are available in my book, 'The Inclusion Illusion', which is free to download via UCL Press.

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

I have been co-investigator on several SEND-related projects, including investigations of the impact of Covid and lockdown on mainstream and special schools, teaching assistants, and children and families with SEND. I'm also on the lead group of the SEN Policy Research Forum.

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.

A passionate advocate for the power of educational research, I write about applying evidence in schools and classrooms. I also helped develop and presented the first seven seasons of the Research for the Real World podcast. 

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

Photograph by Russell Sach