Judy was awarded an OBE in 2018 and received honorary doctorate from University of Sussex in 2016. She is Emeritus Professor of Education in the Rees Centre, engaging in research mainly on the education of vulnerable children including children in care.

Her research includes factors that contribute to better educational outcomes, a RCT reading intervention combining book-gifting and paired reading and a national research programme developing an evidence base on attachment and trauma training in schools.

  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2011
  • ESRC Peer Reviewer
  • Regular reviewer for six journals


  • Sebba, J., Byers, R., & Rose, R. (2018). Redefining the whole curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties (pp. 1-106).

  • Coleman, J., Vellacott, J., Solari, G., Solari, M., Luke, N., & Sebba, J. (2016). Teenagers in Foster Care. Rees Centre/University of Oxford/University of Bedfordshire/University of Gothenburg.

  • Caw, J., & Sebba, J. (2013). Team Parenting for Children in Foster Care A Model for Integrated Therapeutic Care. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  • Rickinson, M., Sebba, J., & Edwards, A. (2011). Improving Research through User Engagement (pp. 1-148).

  • Book chapters
  • Sebba, J. (2020). Educational interventions that improve the attainment and progress of children in out-of-home car. In E. Fernandez & P. Delfabbro (Eds.), Child Protection and the Care Continuum: Theoretical, Empirical and Practice Insights. Routledge.

  • Robson, C., & Sebba, J. (2018). Staff training and development. In Prospects for People with Learning Difficulties (pp. 72-84).

  • Sebba, J. (2012). Policy and practice in assessment for learning: The experience of selected OECD countries. In Assessment and Learning (pp. 157-170).

  • Sebba, J. (2007). Enhancing impact on policymaking through increasing user engagement in research. In Educational Research and Policy-Making: Exploring the Border Country Between Research and Policy (pp. 127-143).

  • Sebba, J. (2004). Developing evidence-informed policy and practice in education. In G. Thomas & R. Pring (Eds.), Evidence-Based Practice In Education. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

  • SEBBA, J. (2003). A Government Strategy for Research and Development in Education. In Developing Educational Leadership (pp. 11-24). SAGE Publications.

  • Journal articles
  • Winter, K., Sebba, J., Tah, P., Connolly, P., Roberts, J., & Millen, S. (2023). Using the talking album to elicit the views of young children in foster care regarding a reading intervention. Qualitative Social Work, 22(6), 1175-1190.

  • Connolly, P., Sebba, J., Winter, K., Roberts, J., Tah, P., & Millen, S. (2023). The effectiveness of book-gifting programmes to enhance the reading skills of children in care: A randomised controlled trial of ‘Reading Together’ in England. Children and Youth Services Review, 153, 107097.

  • Sebba, J. (2022). Foreword. Implementing the Whole Curriculum for Pupils With Learning Difficulties, viii - x.

  • Berridge, D., Sebba, J., Cartwright, M., & Staples, E. (2021). School experiences of Children in Need: Learning and support. BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, 47(6), 1700-1716.

  • Sinclair, I., Luke, N., Fletcher, J., O’Higgins, A., Strand, S., Berridge, D., Sebba, J., & Thomas, S. (2020). The education of children in care and children in need: Who falls behind and when?. Child and Family Social Work, 25(3), 536-547.

  • Neagu, M., & Sebba, J. (2019). Who do they think they are: making sense of self in residential care, foster care, and adoption. Children and Youth Services Review, 105.

  • Sebba, J., & Berridge, D. (2019). The role of the Virtual School in supporting improved educational outcomes for children in care. Oxford Review of Education, 45(4), 538-555.

  • Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2019). The educational progress and outcomes of children in care: editorial. OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION, 45(4), 435-442.

  • Shuker, L., Sebba, J., & Hojer, I. (2019). Teenagers in foster care: Issues, themes, and debates from and for practice and policy. CHILD & FAMILY SOCIAL WORK, 24(3), 349-353.

  • O’Higgins, A., Sebba, J., & Gardner, F. (2017). What are the factors associated with educational achievement for children in kinship or foster care: A systematic review. Children and Youth Services Review, 79, 198-220.

  • Sebba, J., Luke, N., & Berridge, D. (2017). The educational progress of young people in out-of-home care. Developing Practice, 47, 18-35.

  • Berridge, D., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2015). Study reveals key to education success for looked-after children. Children and Young People Now, 2015(25), 12-13.

  • Sebba, J. (2013). An exploratory review of the role of research mediators in social science. EVIDENCE & POLICY, 9(3), 391-408.

  • Dunne, M., Humphreys, S., Dyson, A., Sebba, J., Gallannaugh, F., & Muijs, D. (2011). The teaching and learning of pupils in low‐attainment sets. The Curriculum Journal, 22(4), 485-513.

  • Sebba, J., Peacock, A., Difinizio, A., & Johnson, M. (2011). Personalisation and special educational needs: Policy Paper 5, Sixth Series, October 2009 Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, - Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, -. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.

  • Robinson, C., & Sebba, J. (2010). Personalising learning through the use of technology. COMPUTERS & EDUCATION, 54(3), 767-775.

  • Edwards, A., Sebba, J., & Rickinson, M. (2007). Working with users: some implications for educational research. BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, 33(5), 647-661.

  • Mittler, P., Jackson, S., & Sebba, J. (2002). Social Exclusion and Education. Journal of Integrated Care, 10(3), 5-15.

  • Sebba, J. (2000). Education: Using research evidence to reshape practice. PUBLIC MONEY & MANAGEMENT, 20(4), 8-10.

  • Sebba, J., & Ainscow, M. (1996). International developments in inclusive schooling: Mapping the issues. Cambridge Journal of Education, 26(1), 5-18.

  • Sebba, J., & Byers, R. (1992). The National Curriculum: Control or liberation for pupils with learning difficulties?. The Curriculum Journal, 3(2), 143-160.

  • Robson, C., & Sebba, J. (1988). Project impact: In-service education and special educational needs. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 11(2), 175-178.

  • Sebba, J., & Robson, C. (1988). Evaluating Short, School‐focused INSET Courses in Special Educational Needs. British Journal of Special Education, 15(3), 111-115.

  • Sebba, J. (1985). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teaching Behavioural Methods to Staff Training in Mental Handicap. Behavioural Psychotherapy, 13(2), 101-109.

  • Sebba, J. (1983). Social interactions among preschool handicapped and non-handicapped children. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 27 (Pt 2), 115-124.

  • Reports
  • Sebba, J., Brown, A., Denton-Calabrese, T., HARRISON, N., LUKE, N., NEAGU, M., & Rees, A. (2022). Phase One Evaluation of the Virtual School Head’s Extension of Duties to Children with a Social Worker and the Post-16 Pupil Premium Plus Pilot.

  • Sebba, J., LUKE, N., Berridge, D., Strand, S., Cartwright, M., Staples, E., McGrath-Lone, L., Ward, J., & O’Higgins, A. (2020). Children in need and children in care: Educational attainment and progress. University of Bristol; Rees Centre.

  • Sebba, J. (2020). Young people in care must be heard: A provocation paper. British Academy.

  • Luke, N., Sinclair, I., Woolgar, M., & Sebba, J. (2018). What works in preventing and treating poor mental health in looked after children?. In Rees Centre. Rees Centre.

  • Plumridge, G., & Sebba, J. (2017). Evaluation of Birmingham City Council’s Step Down Programme: report of the preliminary findings January 2017. In Evaluation of Birmingham City Council’s Step Down Programme (pp. 1-37). Rees Centre.

  • Sebba, J. (2017). Evaluation of the Siblings Together Buddy Project. In Rees Centre Publications. Oxford University Rees Centre.

  • Meakings, S., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2017). What is known about the placement and outcomes of siblings in foster care? An international literature review. In Rees Centre Publications. Rees Centre.

  • Sebba, J., LUKE, N., McNeish, D., & Rees, A. (2017). Children’s social care innovation programme: Final evaluation report.

  • Sebba, J., Luke, N., Rees, A., Plumridge, G., Rodgers, L., Hafesji, K., & Rowsome-Smith, C. (2016). Evaluation of the London Fostering Achievement Programme. In Evaluation of the London Fostering Achievement Programme. Rees Centre.

  • Plumridge, G., & Sebba, J. (2016). The impact of unproven allegations on foster carers. The Rees Centre University of Oxford.

  • Sebba, J., Berridge, D., Luke, N., Fletcher, J., Bell, K., Strand, S., Thomas, S., Sinclair, I., & O’Higgins, A. (2015). The educational progress of looked after children in England: linking care and educational data. In REES Centre Reports. University of Oxford Department of Education/University of Bristol.

  • O’Higgins, A., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2015). What is the relationship of being in care on the educational outcomes of children? An international systematic review. Rees Centre.

  • Cosis Brown, H., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2015). The recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of LGBT foster carers: an international literature review. In Rees Centre. Rees Centre.

  • Cosis Brown, H., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2014). The role of the supervising social worker in foster care. In Rees Centre. Rees Centre.

  • Luke, N., & Sebba, J. (2014). Effective parent-and-child fostering. An international literature review. In Rees Centre Research Reviews. Rees Centre.

  • Dyson, P., & Sebba, J. (2014). Pilot Study into the impact of allegations made against foster carers who accessed FISS or FosterTalk services. Rees Centre.

  • Höjer, I., Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2013). The impact of fostering on foster carers’ children. In Rees Centre. Rees Centre.

  • Orr, D., Westbrook, J., Pryor, J., Durrani, N., Sebba, J., & Adu-Yeboah, C. (2013). What are the impacts and cost effectiveness of strategies to improve performance of untrained and under-trained teachers in the classroom in developing countries? A systematic review. EPPI-Centre.

  • Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2013). How are Foster Carers Selected? An international literature review of instruments used within foster care selection. In REES Centre report. Rees Centre.

  • Sebba, J., & Luke, N. (2013). Supporting each other: an international literature review on peer contact between foster carers. In Rees Centre. Rees Centre.

  • Sebba, J. (2012). Why do people become foster carers? An International Literature Review on the Motivation to Foster . Rees Centre.

  • Aynsley, S., Brown, C., & Sebba, J. (2012). RSA Opening Minds: an evaluative literature review. RSA.

  • Sebba, J., Gazeley, L., Aynsley, S., & Jacklin, A. (2012). Evaluation of the Villiers Park Scholars Programme. Villiers Park Educational Trust.

  • Sebba, J., Kent, P., Altendorff, L., Kent, G., & Boaler, J. (2011). Raising Expectations and Achievement Levels for all Mathematics Students (REALMS): final report to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Esmée Fairbairn.

  • Sebba, J., & Robinson, C. (2010). Evaluation of UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award. UNICEF UK.

  • Sebba, J., Hunt, F., Farlie, J., Flowers, S., Mulmi, R., & Drew, N. (2009). Youth-led innovation: enhancing the skills and capacity of the next generation of innovators. In NESTA. NESTA.

  • Robinson, C., Sebba, J., Mackrill, D., & Higgins, S. (2008). Personalising learning: the learner perspective and their influence on demand. Becta.

  • Sebba, J., Crick, R., Yu, G., Lawson, H., Harlen, W., & Durant, K. (2008). Systematic review of research evidence of the impact on students in secondary schools of self and peer assessment. EPPI.

  • Sebba, J., Fielding, M., & Carnie, F. (2008). Portsmouth Learning Community: final report on the partnership between Portsmouth Local Authority and University of Sussex.

  • Edwards, A., Sebba, J., & Rickinson, M. (2007). Making a difference: collaborating with users to develop educational research. Final Report to ESRC.

  • Sebba, J., Brown, N., Steward, S., Galton, M., & James, M. (2007). An investigation of personalised learning approaches used by schools. DfES Publications.

  • Sebba, J., Dunne, M., Humphreys, M., Dyson, A., Gallannaugh, F., & Muijs, D. (2007). Effective teaching and learning for pupils in low attaining groups. DfES Publications.

  • Kutnick, P., Hodgkinson, S., Sebba, J., Humphreys, S., Galton, M., Steward, S., Blatchford, P., & Baines, E. (2006). Pupil grouping strategies and practices at Key Stage 2 and 3: Case studies of 24 schools in England. DfES.

  • Crossoard, B., & Sebba, J. (2006). An evaluation of Assessment for Learning initiatives in Jersey: final report. University of Sussex.

  • Taylor, I., Sharland, E., Sebba, J., & Le Riche, P. (2006). The learning, teaching and assessment of partnership in social work education. Knowledge Review for the Social Care Institute for Excellence. SCIE.

  • Kutnick, P., Sebba, J., Blatchford, P., & Galton, M. (2005). The effects of pupil grouping: literature review. In DfES Research Report 688. DfES.

  • DINGWALL, N., & SEBBA, J. (n.d.). Bath and North East Somerset Attachment Aware Schools Evaluation Report.

  • DINGWALL, N., & SEBBA, J. (n.d.). Stoke On Trent Attachment Aware Schools Programme Evaluation Report.

  • Funded Research Projects

    • Attachment Awareness in Schools Programme (PI)
    • RCT on book-gifting and Paired Reading in England and NI (CI. With Queens.)
    • The Educational Attainment and Progress of Children in Need and Children in Care (University of Bristol leading)