Dr. Gill Richards
A biography of Dr. Gill Richards
Dr Gill Richards
Having originally trained as a primary school teacher, I went directly into teaching in an Observation and Assessment Centre, working with young people who had been through the courts and were viewed as needing to be locked away from society. These young people ranged from six to sixteen years old and had been involved with a variety of criminal activities. I found working with these young people both challenging and rewarding and they taught me a lot about their view of the world.
This set me on the route to working with marginalised young people, usually with some kind of ‘special needs’ label. I have worked in borstals (as they were then called), children’s homes, inner city comprehensive schools and youth clubs, and further education colleges. Twelve years ago I joined Wolverhampton University as a tutor for their Special Needs and Inclusion Studies course and eventually became their Director of Education Subjects. I moved in 2005 to Nottingham Trent University to take up a post as Director of Professional Development and teach on their MA (Inclusive Education).
I have been fortunate to have been awarded three funded study leaves in Canada, spending time observing and learning from their fully inclusive education system, where some areas have not had special schools for over 30 years. Further study leave in Japan (May 2009) will provide another opportunity for learning about other approaches to special and inclusive education.
My research interests lie in experiences of inclusion and how these may be used to improve practice. Through this, I have become involved with a range of projects involving ‘learner voice’, including those of disabled students in further education and girls’ aspirations. These have lead to a range of publications and conference papers, the latest of which will be at the international conference, ‘Making Inclusive Education Happen’ in New Zealand in September 2009.