School of Education and Social Work

Centre for Teaching and Learning Research (CTLR)

Welcome to CTLR


CTLR activity visual: June 2021The Centre for Teaching and Learning Research (CTLR) is engaged with education in all its pedagogical and social complexity. The interests of members span local, national and international contexts and a range of formal and informal settings, running from Early Years to Higher Education and including Initial Teacher Education. Consistent with this, we aim to foster the development of more holistic, contextualised  and systemic understandings of education in all its many forms.

The Centre's strapline is Making Connections, reflecting its focus on bringing research, theory, policy and practice together with a view to promoting positive change. Each year we host an Annual Change Event that brings researchers, students and stakeholders together to promote understanding of how more equitable and inclusive approaches to teaching and learning might be achieved. We are also actively engaged in the development of locally-based practitioner researchers, hosting two conferences a year linked to our Masters in Education and Masters in Early Years programmes. CTLR is also strongly committed to supporting the development of doctoral researchers, including through its support for the ESW Doctoral Research in Progress seminar series.



Since 2018 CTLR Director Louise Gazeley has been working in partnership with national research consultancy ECORYS on a Departnment For Education-funded evaluation of the alternative provision innovation fund (APIF).

Nine projects were selected for inclusion in the programme which was designed to provide  insights into three major areas:

  • Reintegration into mainstream school
  • Transitions to post 16 destinations
  • Engagement of parents/carers 

A research report and three practice papers covering the main findings from the evaluation have now been published


Visit 'Our news' for more CTLR news

   Missed a CTLR event? No worries ...

    10th Annual Teacher Researcher Conference: 12 June 2021
    See details, presentations and pics

  See also 'Our recent events' for details, presentations and recordings of events such as:

  • Income Support in Sweden: Facilitating educational opportunities for young people in newly-arrived families from Syria
    18 May 2021
    Presented by Professor Anette Bolin (Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, University West, Sweden) who described her study involving 36 young people in newly arrived families from Syria and their perceptions of receiving social assistance.

  • Building Confidence, Community and Connection Inside and Outside the Classroom
    28 April 2021
    Verona Ní Drisceoil (Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex) shared insights from several student experience projects aimed at building confidence, community, and connection. 

  • Translation in Research
    26 April 2021
    What is involved in cross-cultural and cross-linguistic research work, exploring the interpretation and translation of data/texts between one language to another, and how meaning itself is translated or lost or changes within these transformations. 

'Happier in his own clothes' report cover‘Happier in his own clothes’:Post-pandemic possibilities for education for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Perspectives from parent carers

(Dr Jacqui Shepherd, Claire Durrant and Dr Christina Hancock)

This research was the second of two surveys examining the experiences of children with SEND during 2020/21. 

This second survey focused on the return to school in September 2020 and the experience of undertaking home-learning during the January/February 2021 lockdown. While celebrating the achievements of schools in supporting children with SEND back into school last September and improving the quality and provision of home learning during the second lockdown, the report also exposes some of the significant limitations in the education system not least in meeting the fundamental needs of children with SEND but also in enabling them to flourish and achieve.

Some children did thrive during lockdown without the stress and anxiety of school and the pressure of social interaction but many did not. ‘Happier in his own clothes’ was a comment made by a parent about one of the positives of lockdown in not having to wear school uniform but we also use it as a metaphor here for how school could be for children with SEND and indeed all children if we can seize this opportunity to learn from lockdown. We make recommendations, based on the learning from the positive and negative experiences of the last year, for a more reflexive and recalibrated school system which works better for all children – especially those with SEND. 

Check out our Annual Report ...

CTLR annual report 2021 coverFind out what CTLR members have been doing over the last 12 months in the CTLR Annual Report: 2021 [PDF 3.84MB]


The Centre for #Teaching and #Learning #Research (CTLR) at the University of Sussex #education #UKedchat

RT @SEND_Action: There are 1.1 million disabled children in the UK. More than 8,000 of them currently have no access to education. M……

Responding to Neil’s request for questions: why isn’t there more crossover in approaches between universities and s……

Responding to Neil Hamilton’s questions: do we need more localised approaches to WP- less of a centre led agenda -……

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Key Contacts

Dr Louise Gazeley, Senior Lecturer

Sue Pinnick, Lecturer