Research Projects

Helen is an active freelance qualitative researcher, working on small-scale projects in schools and larger national projects with charities and other organisations. Here are details of her recent work:

Teaching in a Time of Uncertainty: Supporting Our Children through Distance Learning.

Helen was inspired to undertake a project to explore the difficulties experienced by families and educators as a result of her own professional experiences as a teacher, in response to a Department for Education Call for Evidence. She is currently exploring her data, with a view to reporting her findings in the DfE Call fro Evidence.

Wiltshire Local Authority: Dyslexia Friendly Schools Project

Helen was asked to work with a team in the Local Authority SEND division to develop an evaluation framework for a project aiming to improve provision for learners with dyslexia, as schools work towards the British Dyslexia Association Dyslexia Friendly Schools Kitemark. She is supporting with funding allocation, impact evaluation and dissemination of findings.

Council for Science and Technology: Rapid Evidence Review on Using Assistive Technology to Support Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties

Helen has been working with the Council for Science and Technology to provide professional expertise alongside structured, systematic review of evidence of how to best support young poeple with specific learning difficulties. The focus of Helen’s work was the home and school environment. She reviewed literature on parental views, experiences and roles; teachers’ roles and professional knowledge, and different types of technology to support young people at home and school. She the presented her findings to representatives from the Council for Science and Technology and the Deparment for Education, alongside academics from the University of Cambrigde and University College London.

The report on the work is forthcoming and will inform policy at national level.

Dyslexia CodeBreakers: Programme Evaluation

Helen is working with Georgina Smith, creator of Dyslexia CodeBreakers, to evaluate the programme, understand people’s views of it and delineate their hopes and aims for using it with their children and students. She is providing support for qualitative data construction through her expertise of research design and data analysis to explore teachers’, parents’ and learners’ views of the programme and its successes.

This information will then be used to develop the programme further and disseminated to professionals via industry and other publications.

Dr Jennifer Rudd (Swansea University) and Dr Lyle Skains (Bangor University): You and CO2

Helen has provided professional advice relating to educational settings and resource development alongside her expertise in qualitative data analysis for this project, involving work with young people’s understanding of climate change. Helen analysed young people’s responses to a short series of workshops as demonstrated through their online digital fictions. She then developed a theoretical model and presented findings to the project team in the form of PowerPoint Presentations (interim and final) and short interim and then final reports.

Helen and the team are currently writing up findings for conference presentation, and as a journal paper for peer review. You can view findings from Focus Groups with teachers and other education professionals led by Helen in the digital report, produced by The Rice Project led by ESRI at Swansea University.

British Dyslexia Association and John Hicks- the Human Cost of Dyslexia

Helen has worked as a consultant with John Hicks of Spectacles Coaching and the British Dyslexia Association on their recent project the ‘Human Cost of Dyslexia‘. She undertook analysis of qualitative data gathered as part of a semi-structured survey undertaken on line. Findings of the project were then presented at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and Other SpLDs on 24th April 2019 and Helen contributed to the final report, where evidence and recommendations arising from the survey were documented.

In-School Projects

Helen has worked within schools to support the development of practice to support young people with Special Educational Needs. In her own places of work she has developed provision for young people with needs, revising procedures and policies linked to those procedures.

Her own research has explored young people’s experiences of dyslexia and other neurodiversities. Helen subsequently made recommendations to the host-schools regarding their policies based on the evidence gathered from her research and other good practice. Links to publications and other output can be found here.