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By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from University of La Verne, California and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.

Supervisors

Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Neil Harrison (former)

Lisa Cherry is a Third Year Full Time DPhil Student based in The Rees Centre.

Director of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services, author, trainer and speaker, Lisa brings 30 years of experience working in education and social care settings. In the last thirteen years, Lisa’s work has been focused on creating and delivering training across all sectors – Education, Children’s Services, criminal justice and health – with the sole aim of contributing to the facilitation of developing settings, services and systems that prevent trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and do not add to trauma.

Lisa’s research in her MEd looked at the intersection of school exclusion and being in care and the impact upon education and employment across the life course.

Publications
  • The Brightness of Stars; Stories of adults who came through the care system, 2016 KCA Publishing
  • Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People: Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline, 2021 Routledge

Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.

Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).

Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

 

·         Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279

·         Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002

·         UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf

 

Vânia is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, conducting research in the field of foster care placement success.

Her Doctoral research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding about successful placements, through analysing the associations between parenting and professional skills of foster carers and emotional, social, and behavioural outcomes of looked after children. The analysis will also compare findings between the English and the Portuguese foster care systems.

Her academic pathway started with a degree in Psychological Sciences and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA – University Institute. Following these degrees with two postgraduate diplomas: one in “Protection of Minors” from the Faculty of Law – University of Coimbra, and the other in “Data Analysis in the Social Sciences” from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She also gained professional experience in the Portuguese child protection system by working as a Clinical Psychologist in vulnerable communities.

Currently she is a research collaborator at the InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and a Board member of various networks, such as: the EUSARF Academy, the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and the Centro de Estudos Comparados da Criança em Família. She has several publications in the field of child protection systems, decision-making processes, foster care, and indicators of placement success.

Publications
  • Delgado, P., Pinto, V. S., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Gilligan, R. (2018). Contact in Foster Care in Portugal. The views of children in foster care and other key actors. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V. S., & Oliveira, J. (2017). Carers and Professionals’ Perspectives on Foster Care Outcomes: The Role of Contact. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 533-546.
  • Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S.  (2017). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work, 21(2), 296-310.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decision, Risk and Uncertainty Withdrawal or Reunification of Children and Young People In Danger? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28(2), 217-228.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J. M. S., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Growing-up in Family: The Permanence in Foster Care. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
  • Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038.

By Victoria Bogdanova, DPhil student

It’s always nice to receive New Year wishes but some messages are really precious. This year I got a call from Petya (name changed), one of my former students. Today, he is a confident, handsome young man. He has a brilliant sense of humour and makes a lot of jokes. I was his maths teacher and tutor five years ago. And the story was very different back then.

For over 10 years I’ve been working for a Moscow charity called Big Change which supports care-experienced children and young people in their education. Petya was the first student for whom I was also a tutor, meaning that I not only taught him maths but I was also responsible for his individual learning plan and general life issues.

He was 17. Lived in an orphanage with his younger brother. Failed most of the exams last year. Had terrible relationships at school (he could be very naughty and revengeful when needed to defend himself). As the last hope, he was brought to our charity by his social worker.

Unfortunately, it was a typical situation. In state schools in Russia, teachers are often lacking time, resources and training to support teenagers with behavioural and educational difficulties. It’s not a secret that teenagers in care like Petya had experienced so much loss and trauma at a young age that it had led to severe gaps in learning. For example, Petya’s knowledge of maths and Russian was at the level of primary school when I first met him, even though he was supposed to pass secondary school exams in a few months. Failing these exams restricts further educational and career opportunities. Many of these young people also suffer from drug or alcohol misuse or have criminal records.

When I first met Petya, his hood covered his face, he never looked into other people’s eyes, and he said no more than a few words. What could I have talked to him about? Definitely not maths… rap was the only thing I knew he seemed to be interested in. It made me listen to rap songs at home, to have some topics in common. Surprisingly, it helped, and I celebrated a small victory when after a math class he looked around and said, “You should listen to Tupac, I think you might like it.”

Over a year of lessons with Petya, I learned a lot; how smart and quick-witted he was, how polite he tried to be (he apologised every time a swear word accidentally slipped his tongue in my presence), how deeply he loved his younger brother whom he had saved from starving when their mother had been drinking, how much he cared about his elderly grandmother who cooked her best bortsch for him every time he came to see her. Of course, I also learned a lot about teenagers’ slang and culture. Petya, in return, stopped wearing a hood, started smiling, raised his head and, hopefully, learned something about maths.

Petya passed some of his exams but not all and couldn’t continue his education. However, he now lives independently, supports his brother, has a job, and his employer appreciates him. The fact that he calls me every New Year’s eve makes me think that my work was not in vain. It’s not about maths, of course, but some trust to this world that was fostered in this once aloof young man.

In my PhD research, I’m not only trying to describe what approaches can help these young people on how they can catch up with their studies, but also find their confidence and thrive in life, and what teachers can do about it.

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.

Supervisors

Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Amy is a DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship.

Her doctoral research focuses on the educational provision for separated asylum-seeking and refugee children within the UK context. Alongside her DPhil, she also works for a London local authority’s Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, as an ‘Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Advisory Teacher/Caseworker’.

Prior to starting the DPhil, she completed an (ESRC funded) MSc in Sociology at Oxford University, a MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge University, and a BA in International Development and Portuguese at Leeds University. She also spent a year studying Social Work at Rio de Janeiro’s PUC University.

Supervisors

David Mills and Ellie Ott

Abdul Karim has completed a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and Computational Medicine (Imperial College London), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Queen Mary University of London), and Master of Science in the Philosophy of Science and Economics (The London School of Economics).

He has delivered lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature and the History of Metaethics at the University of Cambridge and for Health Education East Midlands. This, in addition to the current positions he holds as a Hospital Doctor and Health Policy and Management Advisor at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Abdul Karim’s current areas of interest include the biological definition of psychological states relevant to the learning environment, and the influence of language on the variable interpretation of a particular social context. For the latter of which he has published primary research.

Another is the appraisal and deployment of physiological measurement devices in learning environments as a means of quantitatively evaluating psychological states. Such research areas hold promise in enhancing the questionnaire-based evidences of contemporary theories in education, such as those regarding motivation, self-determination and engagement. This will to contribute to the evidence-based public policy optimisation in education and social care.

 

Publications

Ismail, A.K. 2017. A Cross Sectional Study to Explore the Effect of the Linguistic Origin and Evolution of a Language on Patient Interpretation of Haematological Cancers. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 225-232.

Ismail, A.K. 2017. The Origin of the Arabic Medical Term for Cancer. Advances in Biological Research. 11 (4): 198-201.

Ismail, A.K. 2018. The Impact of da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings and Calculations on Foundation of Orthopaedics. Advances in Biological Research. 12 (1): 26-30.

Lucy is a third-year DPhil student, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Her DPhil research aims to engage in a meaningful and creative way with service children to explore how service life has shaped their experiences of education and sense of self. By choosing this focus, the research seeks to widen and nuance current understanding of service children’s educational experiences in addition to furthering knowledge into how service children see themselves. As a result of this, it is hoped that the research will support in developing the professional body of knowledge and understanding of this group of children in schools and help inform the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) funding choices in addition to wider school practice.

Before embarking on her DPhil at Oxford, Lucy completed her PGCE and MEd in Primary Education at the University of Cambridge. In addition to her DPhil work, Lucy is a Trustee for the Armed Forces Education Trust (AFET) – a grant-giving charity for service children – and a volunteer for the Oxford based charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ellen’s background is in Psychology and Education with 15+ years of experience working as a school counsellor, IBDP & undergraduate and graduate lecturer for international institutions in Greece.

Her passion for engaging adolescents and young adults in experiential community projects for positive youth development prompted her to initiate the non-profit organization, EIMAI-Center for Emerging Young Leaders. As director of EIMAI and PeaceJam Greece, Ellen provides programs for youth leadership development by bringing together university mentors and vulnerable youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to empower their self-concept and purpose in self, school, society and transition to adulthood. Ellen has served on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Athens and the Greek Adlerian Psychological Association, where she has been trained as an Adlerian therapist. Her service- learning work with youth has been awarded by the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas schools, the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative- Billion Acts of Peace, the Loukoumi-Make a Difference Foundation and best practices in character education by Character.Org.

As a scholar practitioner, Ellen has supported research projects at the Rees Centre, Department of Education and others on trauma- informed practices in UK schools.

Ellen’s research interests include: participatory action research, adolescent purpose, student voice, youth trauma, transition to adulthood, and trauma-informed and restorative educational practices with youth in social care and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, a Master’s of Education—Special Emphasis School Counseling from