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Dr Rob Webster

Unknown
  • Director, PG Cert SENCo Programme (maternity cover) 

Areas of interest

  • Role and impact of teaching assistants and paraeducators
  • How schools structure and organise provision for learners with SEND
  • Experiences of learners with SEND and their families
  • SEND and inclusive education policy and practice
  • Application, mobilisation and implementation of research evidence in educational settings

Teaching

  • PG Cert SENCo Programme

Research projects

  • Covid-19 Mitigation Measures: Education Provision and Access to Special Schools (2020– ) funded by Nuffield Foundation
  • Researching Allied Health in Schools (2018– ) funded by British Academy for Childhood Disability
  • Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants trial (2016– ) funded by Education Endowment Foundation
  • The Warnock Inquiry on Special Education at 40 (2018)
  • Educational Experiences of Pupils with SEN: the Making a Statement and SEN in Secondary Education studies (2011–2017) funded by Nuffield Foundation
  • Effective Deployment of Teaching Assistants project (2010-2011) funded Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
  • Deployment and Impact of Support Staff project (2005-2010) funded by Dept. for Children, Schools and Families

Background

  • Editor: European Journal of Special Needs Education special issue on teaching assistants (pub. 2021)
  • Advisor: Active Lives survey, led by Ipsos Mori and funded by Sport England
  • Advisor: Children’s Life Histories in Primary Schools, funded by Leverhulme Trust
  • Advisor: Road Safety for Children with SEN, funded by Dept. for Transport
  • Host of the Research for the Real World podcast
  • Judge for the Tes Schools Awards (2019 & 2020)

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Education (University of Reading, UK)
  • MA in Social Policy (Oxford Brookes University, UK)

Awards and honours

  • Winner: British Educational Research Association Public Engagement and Impact Team Award 2019
  • Shortlisted: British Educational Research Journal Editors’ Choice Award 2016

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Member of the Lead Group, SEN Policy Research Forum

Selected publications

Books

  • Webster, R. Bosanquet, P., Franklin, S. & Parker, M. (in preparation) Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants in Primary Schools: Guidance for school leaders. Oxon: Routledge
  • Webster, R. (Ed) (2019) Including Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Learning and Life: How far have we come since the Warnock Enquiry – and where do we go next? Oxon: Routledge
  • Webster, R., Russell, A. & Blatchford, P. (2016) Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants: Guidance for school leaders and teachers. Second edition. Oxon: Routledge
  • Bosanquet, P., Radford, J. & Webster, R. (2016) The Teaching Assistant’s Guide to Effective Interaction: How to maximise your practice. Oxon: Routledge
  • Blatchford, P., Russell, A. & Webster, R. (2012) Reassessing the Impact of Teaching Assistants: How research challenges practice and policy. Oxon: Routledge

Journal papers

  • Webster, R. (2019) A blueprint for evidence-based practice? Assessing the Warnock Inquiry’s proposals for research and development in special education 40 years on. Frontiers in Education, 4(7)
  • Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2019) Making sense of ‘teaching’, ‘support’ and ‘differentiation’: The educational experiences of pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans and Statements in mainstream secondary schools. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 34(1), pp. 98-113
  • Blatchford, P. & Webster, R. (2018) Classroom contexts for learning at primary and secondary school: Class size, groupings, interactions and special educational needs. British Educational Research Journal, 44(4), pp. 681-703
  • Webster, R. (2015) The classroom experiences of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream primary schools – 1976 to 2012. What do data from systematic observation studies reveal about pupils’ educational experiences over time? British Educational Research Journal, 41(6), pp. 992-1009
  • Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2015) Worlds apart? The nature and quality of the educational experiences of pupils with a Statement for special educational needs in mainstream primary schools. British Educational Research Journal, 41(2), pp. 324-342
  • Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2013) The educational experiences of pupils with a Statement for special educational needs in mainstream primary schools. Results from a systematic observation study. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 28(4), pp. 463-479
  • Webster, R., Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C. & Russell, A. (2011) The wider pedagogical role of teaching assistants. School Leadership and Management, 31(1) pp. 3-20
  • Webster, R., Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C. & Russell, A. (2010) Double standards and first principles: Framing teaching assistant support for pupils with special educational needs, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(4) pp. 319-336
  • Webster, R., Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C. & Russell, A. (2010) Engaging with the question ‘should teaching assistant have a pedagogical role?’ European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(4) pp. 347-348

Book Chapters:

  • Webster, R. (2020) ‘Building effective relationships with teaching assistants, the SENCO, SEND specialists and parents/carers’, in The Chartered College of Teaching (Ed) The Early Career Framework Handbook. London: SAGE
  • Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2020) ‘Rethinking use of teacher aides’, in L. J. Graham (Ed) Inclusive Education for the 21st Century: Theory, policy and practice. Sydney: Allen and Unwin
  • Blatchford, P. & Webster, R. (2017) ‘ORACLE to MAST: 40 years of observation studies in UK junior school classrooms’, in R. Maclean (Ed) Life in Schools in Classrooms: Past, present and future. Singapore: Springer
  • Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2012) ‘The impact of teaching assistants on pupils’, in J. Hattie and E. Anderman (Eds) International Guide to Student Achievement. Oxon: Routledge

Research Report:

  • Sharples, J., Webster, R. & Blatchford, P. (2018) Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants. Guidance report. Second edition. London: Education Endowment Foundation

Articles and Media:

Websites

Publications

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