Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor Simon Gibbs

Professor of Inclusive Educational Psychology and Philosophy


Please note I'm afraid I cannot provide supervision for any new PhD candidates.


My initial professional experience of education was as a Maths teacher working in comprehensive schools and, briefly, a secondary modern school where I saw at first hand the effects on children and staff of the arbitrary labelling of children who had 'failed' the 11 plus. I studied Counselling and Human Relations before taking a degree in psychology and qualifying as an Educational Psychologist at Nottingham University. On completion of my training I was fortunate to gain a post as an Educational Psychologist in Hartlepool. While there I studied for a PhD under the supervision of Professor David Wood at Nottingham University. From 1997 to 2007 I was  a Senior Educational Psychologist in North Yorkshire. I started working at Newcastle University in 2000 and was Director of Initial Training in Educational Psychology (the Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology) from 2007 - 2017. Along the way I have been fortunate to have worked with many brilliant, interesting people. These have all helped me gain experience of how to facilitate learning, organisational development and leadership. But throughout my career I have been fascinated by children's development, how they acquire (or sometimes don't) the skills that are required for reading, and how the beliefs and attributions of teachers are involved in the way children's education is structured and managed.

These issues continue to underpin my professional and academic interests. My primary aim is to improve children's experiences of education. In my view this entails the challenge of thinking about the fundamental purpose of education. This is underpinned by the question: 'What do we need to do to help young people (especially) become human beings who can be with, cooperate with, respect and support each other now and in the future?' and the necessary corollary missions to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination and segregation. My research activity, therefore, seeks to provide greater understanding of the relationships between educational structures, policies, beliefs and practices that enable / disable teachers from developing inclusive approaches to education.

Current Position

  • Emeritus Professor of Inclusive Educational Psychology and Philosophy.

Topics of Concern and Research

  • The meaning of 'education';
  • The ethics (or otherwise) of education;
  • Educational psychology;
  • Inclusion;
  • Teachers' Well-being.


  • BSc, (Pure Maths and Chemistry)
  • DipEd (Pastoral Care and Counselling),
  • MEd (Human Relations),
  • MA (Child Psychology, Educational),
  • PhD (Phonological Awareness: Influences and Associates in the Context of the Development of Word Reading in Young Children)'


  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society;
  • Member of the Association of Educational Psychologists;
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Google scholar: Click here.


Research Interests

Teachers' beliefs and wellbeing;

The philosophy and purpose of education;

The effects of categorising and labelling;

Inclusive education;


Current Work

I am currently examining the ethical status of what passes as education in schools. 

However, Please note I am not at present in a position to provide supervision for any new/additional doctoral candidates.


Postgraduate Teaching