Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Staff Profile

Professor Liz Todd

Director of the Institute for Social Science


Liz Todd MA MSc PGCE PhD CPsychol is Professor of Educational Inclusion at Newcastle University.  Liz engages in research with a strong social justice agenda, being known for her work on the interaction between communities and schools, the engagement of young people in societal agendas and in research, and respectful democratic approaches to change (personal and organisational).  

Liz is Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Social Science which is committed to celebrating engaged critical social science, fostering an inclusive research culture and developing interdisciplinary research.

She is currently leading the research project VOICES, co-produced with Children North East and funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council. This project is finding out the views and experiences of 1500 children and young people in the NE and involving stakeholders with the young people to create change in policy and practice. 

Liz is currently leading the Cost of School Day evaluation, 2019-2022, funded by the Child Poverty Action Group.

Liz and colleagues are co-investigators in the 3 year 2022-25 European project SCIREARLY on preventing school drop-out across Europe.

She has written or edited 6 books and many journal papers, blogs and podcasts. 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. 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 was a Prize winner, highly commended, by the Society of Education Studies in 2012. Liz co-edited two books on Video Interaction Guidance with Hilary Kennedy and Mim Landor. Most recently she has had two books published in 2022. One entitled Hope in neoliberal austerity: responses from civil society and civic university was with co-editors Steer, Davoudi and Shucksmith. The other is Repositioning Out-of-School Learning, and is co-edited with Jo Rose, Tim Jay, Janet Goodall and Laura Mazzoli Smith. Liz is co-editor of the International Journal of Research and Method in Education with Jo Rose. She is a member of the Economic and Social Science Research Council review college.

A fellow of the Academy for Social Science Liz is also honorary fellow of the inclusive education network of the European Educational Research Association. She is a trustee of the West End Schools Trust and a founding trustee the West End Children’s Community in Newcastle. 

Liz has a professional background in educational psychology. She actively maintains her practice skills in democratic approaches that people can use used to bring change to their lives. Video interaction guidance (VIG) uses the collaborative review of video clips of successful interaction to bring change in the connection between people. Narrative therapy re-stories identity. Liz delivers courses in video interaction guidance every year as a qualified supervisor, supervises trainees and is active in the Association of VIGUK. She uses narrative practices across all her work.

Liz 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.


Liz Todd joined Newcastle University from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji where she worked for 3 years lecturing in critical educational psychology, training teachers from 13 different pacific island countries, and delivering in-country workshops. She has worked in the roles of educational psychologist and before that maths teacher, and also therapist, market stall trader, and parent advocate.

She 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 masters’ degree 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 in Education, MSc in Educational Psychology, PGCE, MA Psychology

Previous posts

  • Lecturer in educational psychology at the University of the South Pacific
  • Educational psychologist in the local authorities of Northumberland, North Tyneside and Sunderland
  • Mathematics teacher at St Pauls school in West Sussex
  • Research assistant in the Inner London Education Authority 


  • Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society
  • Membership of Health Professions Council as a practicing Educational Psychologist
  • Member of the British Education Research Association
  • Trustee West End Schools Trust
  • Trustee West End Children’s Community


English and French

Other interests

Cycling, allotment, Woodcraft folk, art practice in drawing, folding, printing and collage







Current Funded Research Projects

  • VOICES an 18 month collaboration with Children North East, ESRC funded, to find out the views and experiences of 1500 economically disadvantaged children and young people in the NE in and through COVID and to work with some of the young people in seeking change in practice and policy. Nov 2020-May 2022 
  • UK Cost of School Day Evaluation. A 2 year evaluation of poverty proofing in schools in Scotland, Wales and England (London and Coventry). Funded by the Child Poverty Action Group. 2020-2022
  • SCIREARLY HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-04: Addressing poor learning outcomes in basic skills and early school leaving at national, regional and local level in Europe. 2022-2025. Partners from Spain, UK, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Malta, Belguim and Finland

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). Activities include narrative training for: teams undergoing change on developing resilience in teams.

Current Roles

Director Newcastle University Institute for Social Science


  • Election as Fellow to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2020
  • 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.

Selected publications


  • Cummings, C., Dyson, A. and Todd, L. (2012) Beyond the school gates; can full service and extended schools overcome disadvantage? Routledge. Prize winner highly commended by the Society of Educational Studies, Nov 2012.
  • Todd, L. (2007) Partnerships for Inclusive Education. A critical approach to collaborative working. London: Routledge. Shortlisted (in top 4) for the NASEN/ TES Academic Book Prize.

Edited Books (4)

  • Repositioning Out-of-School Learning, (2021) Eds: Jo rose (Bristol), Janet Goodall (Bath), Tim Jay (Sheffield Hallam), Laura Mazolli Smith (Durham), Liz Todd (Newcastle). Emerald press.
  • Steer M; Davoudi S; Shucksmith M; Todd L, eds. Hope Under Neoliberal Austerity: Responses from Civil Society and Civic Universities. Bristol: Policy Press, 2021.
  • Kennedy H, Landor M, Todd L, ed. (2015) Video enhanced reflective practice: professional development through attuned interactions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publisher.
  • Kennedy, H., Landor, M., and Todd, L. (eds) (2012) Video Interaction Guidance: a relationship-based intervention to promote attunement, empathy and well-being. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

journal articles, key reports and book chapters







  • Teaching and supervision on 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 have included the following:

  • Ruth Prested – Creating Moments of Democracy Through Video Interaction Guidance: A Participatory Exploration of Perceived Challenging Behaviour
  • Joanne Buntin – Making connections through the ‘other’. An exploration of mutuality between parents and teachers.
  • 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.