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Research Projects

Richard has been involved in research projects mostly in the area of the education of children with special educational needs and disabilities, or children's rights issues. Details of some of these can be found here.

Student Writing

The Total Quality and Special Educational Needs Project (QUEST) into Pupil Involvement in Assessment and Learning: a response to the Code of Practice

Funded by a Nuffield Foundation Research Grant. 1994 – 1996.

The Transfer of Pupils from Special to Mainstream Schools

Funded by Staffordshire Education Authority. 2000 – 2001.

Pupil Involvement in Target Setting

Funded by Department for Education and Employment (UK Government). 2000 – 2001.

Teacher attitudes and beliefs about the education of pupils with special educational needs

with colleagues from Jyväskylä University of Applied Science Finland and Tartu University Estonia.

Funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education. 2002 - 2006.

Use of comparative data from P Scales across schools for pupils with severe learning difficulties

Funded by Department for Education and Skills (UK Government). 2003 – 2006.

Encouraging Voices

With Prof. Michael Shevlin, Trinity College Dublin.

Funded by the National Disability Authority, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. 2003 – 2005.

An investigation into the effectiveness of volunteer mentors in supporting students deemed to be at risk

Funded by The Children’s Fund. 2006.

Evaluation of learning mentors and education support units in the Chesterfield Excellence Cluster

Funded by Derbyshire Education Authority. 2004 – 2006.

The Mental Health of young people with low incidence special educational needs in residential special schools

Funded by National Association of Independent and Non-Maintained Special Schools (NASS). 2006 – 2007.


Extended Schools: An Investigation into the Development and Enhancement of Initial Teacher Education Capacity.

Funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). 2008 – 2009.

Project IRIS: A longitudinal study over three years examining how special education is provided within Irish schools, the experiences of pupils/students with special education needs receiving this education and their associated outcomes   

Conducted in partnership with Trinity College Dublin and The Institute of Child Education and Psychology Europe.   

Funded by the National Council for Special Educational Needs. (Irish Government). 2009 – 2015.


A Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative, Special Needs Assistant Scheme

Funded by the Department of Education and Science, Ireland.  2008 - 2009.


School Leadership for Effective Behaviour Management

With Professor Philip Garner

Funded by the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services.  2010.

The Mental Health of Children with Complex Needs

with Ann Fergusson and Dr. Marie Howley

Funded by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.  2011 – 2012.

Evaluation of Special Education Provision in Malta

Funded by Maltese Ministry of Education with EADSNE 2014.


Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Study: Children with Disabilities in Bhutan

Funded by UNICEF 2015 – 2016.


Evaluation of the Norwegian Ministry supported development of inclusive vocational education in Georgia

Funded by Norwegian Ministry of International Development 2016.


An investigation of provision for children with disabilities in Sierra Leone, and development of inclusion policy

Funded by Ministry of Education Freetown, Sierra Leone and Sight Savers. 2016 – 2017.

News Report 1;   (link to report on research in Sierra Leone newspaper)


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