School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Eric Fletcher

Res Ex Academy Post-Doc Fellow


I am a part-time Research Associate the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS) situated in the Centre for Learning and Teaching. I joined Newcastle University in December 2018 as a Research Excellence Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow. I am a member of the ECLS Research Ethics Committee and convene the ECLS Paper Writing Group.

My research interests include the personal and social development of children and young people, and professional 'boundary crossing' in multi-agency and inter-disciplinary settings.

I worked in policing for 34 years in a range of operational and teaching roles. I was recently appointed to a part-time post with the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit in developing Domestic Abuse and Knife Crime learning for children and young people.

Since 2012 I have volunteered with a sail training charity providing Adventures under Sail for children and young people from across the north of England. I also volunteer as a trainer with a Local Safeguarding Children Partnership in the development and delivery of their multi-agency child protection training for education, health and social care professionals.

I am a member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, and a co-coordinator of the NE Outdoor Learning Practitioner Research Hub (hosted by CfLaT). I am also a member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), and the PSHE Association.


Since 2013 I have been investigating the processes to be found in Sail Training, an outdoor adventure residential experience aboard a sailing vessel manifesting in personal and social development, with outcomes including inter- and intra-personal, such as well-being and the formation and development of character. My doctoral study explored the process(es) and experiences of sail training practitioners and crew participants during a six-day sail training voyage.

My research interests include:

  • the investigation of outdoor adventure education (OAE) processes for personal and social development; 
  • boundary crossing experiences, that is the subjective experience as we move from one context, setting or 'frame of mind' to another;
  • using and further developing innovative approaches to educational research, such as visual methods, collaboration and co-production.

In addition to internal projects, I am a named Co-I for a forthcoming bid to study Mantle of The Expert, a cross-curriculum, drama-enquiry approach to teaching.

My own research is currently developing a funding bid to investigate the experiences of children in care or with experience of care as they transition to secondary school, and how boundary crossing attributes, skills and behaviours may be developed to ease this often challenging period and prepare for other types of transition, such as adolescence to adulthood, or secondary to tertiary education or employment. 


My current post does not include any teaching responsibilities, however, I do hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Post-Compulsory Education (PGCE; University of Bedfordshire). I have been involved in the design, development and delivery of specialist vocational training for police officers and police staff.

My volunteering now includes experiential learning in a sail training context, and classroom-based learning for professionals working with children and young people for a Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.

I am currently supervising an MEd student.