Professor Liz Todd
Prof of Educational Inclusion

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6572
  • Address: Room 2.62
    King George VI Building
    School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU

Liz Todd is Professor of Educational Inclusion at Newcastle University.  She engages in research with a strong social justice agenda and looks at all kinds of social and educational inequalities.

Her 2007 monograph published by Routledge, 'Partnerships for inclusive education: A critical approach to collaborative working', was nominated for the 2007 NASEN/TES academic book prize. This book looks at what gets in the way of some of the key areas of collaboration that schools and services try to develop: multi-agency working; parent partnership; and the involvement of children and young people.

In recent years Prof Todd has brought just under £1M in research funding into the School of Education, Communication and Language Science. For the last 10 years she has directed 6 funded projects looking at community orientated and extended schooling.

She is co-author of two other monographs that were published in 2011. Both are the first books on their topics to be published in the UK. One, with Alan Dyson and Colleen Cummings, published by Routledge called 'Beyond the School Gates', is on the role of schools in tackling disadvantage. It is a Prize winner, highly commended, by the Society of Education Studies in 2012. The other, with Hilary Kennedy and Mim Landor, is the first UK book on Video Interaction Guidance. Prof Todd is, with Melanie Nind, co-editor of the International Journal of Research and Method in Education, one of the only journals that focuses on innovation in the full range of educational research methods.

Liz Todd actively maintains her educational psychologist's skills, by training people in and using directly democratic approaches that can be used to bring change to people's lives. Narrative therapy re-stories identity, and video interaction guidance uses the collaborative review of video clips of successful interaction to bring change in the connection between people. She uses these approaches with individuals, families, and professionals working in (mostly) school settings. Liz delivers courses on each of these approaches every year.

Liz Todd is regularly asked to contribute to national and international conferences. She has been asked to contribute expertise to the governing authorities in Amsterdam on the development of extended schools, to the schools and colleges in Catalonia on theory of change in the evaluation of educational interventions, and on child involvement in research to the Master Class in Children's Rights at University Institute Kurt Bosch, Sion.

Prof Todd is the leader of the research cluster on inclusion in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. She is also deputy research director in the School, with particular responsibility to co-ordinate education staff for the research assessment framework (REF).


Liz Todd joined Newcastle University 1994, having worked abroad in Fiji for 3 years lecturing in critical educational psychology at the University of the South Pacific, training teachers from 13 different pacific island countries, and delivering in-country workshops. She has worked in the roles of market trader, researcher, maths teacher, parent advocate, lecturer, therapist and educational psychologist.

Prof Todd has always been drawn to community practices that help people to act in ways that are in line with their values and with ideas of justice. She likes to find out, research and be part of such practices. In her own professional training one of her placements was in Edinburgh with Jimmy Boyle, the Glaswegian gang member who had served a sentence for murder and who had, on release, set up a community project, run by the community, to help people coming out of prison, and those dealing with issues of drug dependency and mental health problems. She was particularly interested in the facilitation of non-professional solutions to the problems of those attending the project. 


  • PhD  MSc in Educational Psychology  PGCE (Primary/Middle Years)   MA Psychology

Previous posts

  • Lecturer in educational psychology: University of the South Pacific
  • Educational psychologist: Northumberland LA, North Tyneside LA and Sunderland LA
  • Parent partnership office: North Tyneside LA 
  • Mathematics teacher: St Pauls school, Haywards Heath, W. Sussex
  • Research assistant: Inner London Education Authority 


  • Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society
  • Membership of Health Professions Council as a practicing Educational Psychologist
  • Council Member of the British Education Research Association


English and French

Other interests

Cycling, allotment, Woodcraft folk, weaving & sculpture, singing

Current Research

  • A three year evaluation (2013-6) of the 'Thinking Differently' programme, managed by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 3 innovative projects about young people and alcohol in Scotland, funded by Children in Need, Comic Relief, JRF, The Robertson Trust, The Tudor Trust and The Scottish Government.

I have a continuing interest in the development of tools to help the process of change in communities and individuals, using two approaches: narrative practices and video interaction and guidance. Some of the projects, both on-going and competed last year, include:

  • University-funded project developing the use of narrative practices to assist resilience building amongst communities. Liz Todd and Marilyn O'Neill (Sydney Narrative Therapy Centre). Oct 2013 - ongoing. Activities in Oct 2013 included narrative training for: teams undergoing change on developing resilience in teams.
  • Co-editor with Hilary Kennedy and Mim Landor of the first book on Video Enhanced Reflection on Practice (VERP), to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers later in 2013. This is a highly reputed relationship-based intervention that focuses on attunement and collaboration in the development and enhancement of professional practice. 
Current Roles

  • Learning for Change Theme Champion, Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal
  • Deputy Research Director, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences.
  • Head of Engagement of School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
  • Research Co-ordinator for education UoA for the REF

Recent Past Research

  • Evaluation of Pupil Premium funded by the Department for Education, 2012-3, with Karen Laing and colleagues Alan Dyson and Kirstin Kerr at Manchester University and Hannah Carpenter at TNS-BMRB
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded review of evidence on 'Interventions in aspirations and attitudes: influencing educational attainment'. A multi-disciplinary research team: Prof Liz Todd, Colleen Cummings, Dr Elaine Hall, Pam Woolner, Prof James Law (from speech), Dr Janice McLaughlan (sociologist, director of PEALS) and Dr Ivy Papps (economist from Tecis Ltd). October 2010 - July 2011.
  • A review of Early language Delays in the UK funded by Save the Children (with Prof James Law)


  • Membership of 'Investing in Children' (Quality Mark) 2013 as a result of the quality of involvement of young people in a number of research projects in 2012
  • Prize winner highly commended by the Society of Educational Studies, Nov 2012 for: Cummings, C., Dyson, A., and Todd, L. (2011) Beyond the School Gates: can full service and extended schools overcome disadvantage? Routledge.
  • Shortlist (in top 4) for NASEN/TES Academic Book Prize 2007 for sole author monograph published by Routledge, 2007: Partnerships for Inclusive Education: A critical approach to collaborative working.
  • Co-editor International Journal of Research and Method in Education.


Postgraduate Teaching

  • Degree Programme Director of the doctorate in educational psychology (DEdPsy).
  • Teaching and supervision on the both the DEdPsy and the professional educational psychology doctorate (DAppEdPsy).
  • Teaching on modules in qualitative research (qualitative data analysis, researching children and young people, participative research, visual methodology, theory of change)
  • Teaching on particular therapeutic practices: narrative therapy and video interaction and guidance.
  • A number of teaching sessions relating to research in extended schools, parent partnership, multi-agency working and consultation with children.

Postgraduate Supervision

Selected successful doctorate submissions over the last few years:

Lee Wilkinson, PhD, 2003; Charmian Hobbs, DEdPsy Thesis, Oct 2005; Dennis Wilson, EdD Thesis, April 2005; Barry Hymer, DEdPsy Thesis, April 2007; Nathalie Fletcher, DEdPsy Thesis, 2008;Alan Haughey, DEdPsy Thesis, 2008; Liz Locke, DEdPsy Thesis, 2009 and Claire Camsey DAppEdPsy Thesis and Denise McCarten DAppEdPsy Thesis 2009. Geraldine Jones 2009. Pam Grandison DEdPsy thesis 2010. Debra Brewer DEdPsy thesis 2010. Linda Corlette 2010. Katherine Parker 2011. Katie Gibson 2011. Patricia Murray 2012. Wilma Barrow 2012. Philomena Keane 2012. Katherine Philips 2012.

Topics have included the following:

  • Debra Brewer - Storying Lunchtimes - What is the lunchtime supervisors' story of lunchtime
  • Denise McCartan - Using Video to Promote the Development of a Collaborative Approach between Parents and Teachers around Pupil Behaviour
  • Claire Camsey - Reconsidering the Concept of Resilience: A study of the ways some care experienced young people understand their lives
  • Charmian Hobbs - Professional Consultation with Pupils Through Teaching about Learning
  • Liz Locke - ‘We can do it together’ An investigation into multi-disciplinary team meeting in schools where a solution focused approach is used.
  • Barry Hymer - Learning to be gifted: students’ self-identification of individual gifts and talents through meta-cognitive reflection.
  • Dennis Wilson - Using Solution Focused Brief Therapy To Support Secondary Aged Pupils Facing Exclusion From School