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Manchester Institute of Education

Special Educational and Additional Needs (SEAN)

The focus of this thematic programme of research is on developing, understanding, applying and evaluating approaches that aim to support vulnerable learners in schools and other contexts.

Our work in this area has spanned local, national and international levels. This has included:

  • a portfolio of school-based evaluations of interventions designed to address behaviour, mental health and wellbeing (including evaluations of the 'Achievement for all', 'Good Behaviour Game' and 'FRIENDS' programmes)
  • an evaluation of specialist resourced provision for pupils with autism in Manchester
  • an examination of impacts on children, schools and children's services as a result of the 'bedroom tax'
  • the production of an online database of social, personal and wellbeing measures for use in schools.

SEAN research projects have been funded by Research Councils, government departments, charities, and professional bodies. Funding bodies include:

  • Association of Educational Psychologists
  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Department for Education
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • National College for Teaching and Leadership Education Endowment Foundation
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Relate.

Grant capture in the last three years currently exceeds £2,200,000.

Staff working within SEAN are nationally and internationally renowned for their research and are regularly invited to give keynote presentations at conferences, such as the Spanish Society of Professionals in Autism (AETAPI) and the International School Psychology Association (ISPA), as well as working as consultants for governmental and other bodies.

Research closely relating to professional practice in counselling psychology and educational psychology is supported through our approved doctoral training programmes for counselling psychology and educational psychology – the D.Couns.Psy. and D.Ed.Ch.Psychol. respectively. The programmes of research relating to each programme have forged strong networks with regional schools and professional services for children and young people.

At all levels, our work is recognised as directly impacting on educational policy and practice (e.g. the national scaling-up of the Achievement for All programme).

Research sub-themes

There are three key, cross-cutting strands that contribute to the SEAN research group:

  • Applied Prevention in Education (APE) - Applying the principles of prevention science with educational settings, with a primary focus upon behaviour, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Educational and counselling psychology (ECP) - The application and development of transferable knowledge and theory to support and enhance professional practice in counselling and educational psychology.
  • Knowledge, Power and Identity (KPI) - Understanding that educational theories, practices and policies work to constitute categories of identity and subjectivity that reflect knowledge and power reflations.

Staff

Staff who undertake this research include: