What is BRIDgE?

The Base for Research in Inclusion, Diversity & Equality (BRIDgE) at BGU is an integral element of the university’s profile. The base brings together some of the outstanding range of diversity research that BGU has to offer and showcases some of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives taking place at the university.

The academics who lead on BRIDgE present richness of expertise integrated into and at the heart of their fields, combining lived experience and research interests spanning wide areas of diversity for example: sex, gender, race, disability, and sexual orientation.

Please contact BRIDgE@bishopg.ac.uk for further information, or to get involved.

EDI Week 2024

Below is a downloadable EDI Prize consent form for students taking part in the prize and for their artwork to be used. See also information on submitting - deadline for all submissions is 5pm, Friday 10th May.

BGU EDI Prize 2024 Consent Form

The BRIDgE annual prize for student contribution to EDI 2024

Meet the Team

We are a diverse group of academics, widely published through both peer-reviewed and professional outputs and through conference and presentation. We work collegiately, supporting each other at the intersection of our interests, and we have a host of wider connections within our communities that enable us to implement a vibrant national and international network.

Visiting Professor Catherine Lee

Catherine was awarded the MBE for her work promoting inclusivity in education in the King’s 2023 Honour’s List and was our keynote speaker at EDI week this year. She says, “It is my absolute pleasure to join your research base. You are doing such fantastic work on EDI at BGU that it goes without saying that I am happy to do whatever I can to help you further the significant work you are already doing'


BRIDgE is pleased to announce that Ann Osborne of 42BR Chambers in London will be joining BRIDgE as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow.

Ann has been practising for a number of years and has regularly acted in highly contentious and complex matters in the Family Courts, High Court and in the Court of Appeal and is skilled in working with diverse clients and groups. Her professional ethos is inspired by a belief in social justice and human rights. Her track record includes regular instruction in some of the most challenging and complex public law matters, involving non-accidental injuries and child abuse. She also undertakes complex private law matters often involving allegations of domestic violence, coercive controlling behaviour, parental alienation and child sexual abuse. Ann has a deeply held belief in equality, diversity and inclusion and is able to bring her extensive legal background to BRIDgE to extend the group's knowledge and understanding of equality issues as it relates to education. We are all looking forward to working with Ann in the future.

42BR welcomes Ann Osborne


Dr Sheine Peart

Dr Sheine Peart is Associate Professor in Access, Equality and Inclusion as well as the Programme Leader for PhD and EdD. She has had a diverse career in education as a secondary school teacher, youth worker and education adviser before moving into higher education in 2006. Her outstanding doctoral research on the experience of Black male learners in the post-compulsory sector which privileged the voices of marginalised, silenced learners won the national BERA/SAGE award for research.


Dr Clare Lawrence

Clare is Associate Professor of Participatory Autism Research at BGU, the East Midlands Convenor for the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) and works closely with the new Lincolnshire Virtual Autism Hub. She is a graduate of York, Oxford, Northumbria, Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam universities and has published widely on the subject of neurodiversity on both academic and public-facing platforms. Her latest book, Creativity in Autism, will be published February 2024.


Dr Helen Bushell-Thornalley

Helen has oversight of Secondary PGCE for Physical Education and Dance, leadership in secondary mentor training and Educational Ethnography research in the Education Master's programme team. Helen had an International career of fourteen years, playing Hockey for England and Great Britain and coaching professionally within this sport. The focus of Helen’s PhD is in Physical Education and School Sport and how the Olympic movement has politically influenced practices in the UK, from its origin in Victorian Britain and then during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Further consultancy and research activities have focused on Dance, Tennis and disability sports working with Dame Darcey Bussell, the Lawn Tennis Association, Public Health Merton and a decorated paralympic athlete. All of this work is positioned through the lens of equality and access to all through leisure and elite activities.


Dr Lyndsay Muir

Lyndsay teaches undergraduate Drama and is the subject specialist for the PGCE Secondary Drama course, leading on equality, diversity and inclusion in secondary ITE. Her PhD ‘A Teacher’s Progress – professional identity development, gender transitioning, and drama praxis’ (2023) brings ideas about gender transitioning from Trans Studies into dialogue with Teacher Education and proposes (drama-based) practices to support the holistic processes of becoming a teacher. She argues that these creative and critical transitional elements, often overlooked or absent from initial teacher education are, nevertheless, crucial in 'passing as a professional'.


Examples of current doctoral supervision within BRIDgE

This PhD study explores the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing an autism “diagnosis”, as understood from the parental perspective.

This PhD study examines the experiences of autistic individuals as they transition from university into employment within the creative industries.

This project investigates the contested domains of race, racism and anti-racism and what this means for Head teachers as they work out their own identities and ways to manage their legal obligations within school settings.

Taking the Home Office requirement that all migrant doctors wishing to practice in the NHS must pass a compulsory English language test, this study explores the relevance of that test and whether it equips migrant doctors for the role the wish to complete.

This study explores the conflicts experienced, compromises made and challenges encountered by this small community of authors in Britain in the long eighteenth century and explore how they navigated the world they found themselves in.

Current and recent projects

EDI Week 2024

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Week at BGU is an annual event aimed at raising awareness and promoting understanding of the importance of equal rights and opportunities in education.

Using Black History Month to develop knowledge and increase cultural understanding.

This reports on our annual work showcasing BHM as pedagogy, resource, celebration and visibility.

Trans inclusion in secondary school PE and dance

We are investigating current practice through capturing the voice of trainee teachers, Early Career Teachers (ECTs) and mentors within our partnership schools. Early data was shared at the Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) conference 2023.

Creative approaches to exploring autistic identity

This is an ongoing project that foregrounds the voice of autistic people in explorations of what it means to be autistic. The exploration includes this year’s exhibition at the Learning & Teaching Conference.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as explored in a Secondary PGCE course

As presented at the UCET conference in September 2023, this research explores the ongoing evolution of work from an initial focus on ‘Diversity’ to more recent explorations of inclusion and belonging.


Some examples of recent BRIDgE outputs

  1. Abdulrahman, H. K., Lawrence, C., Peart, S. (2022). Being autistic and Black. Black History Month Magazine.
  2. Beardon, L., Lawrence, C., Muir, L., Thompson, S., Thornalley, H., McNichol, S., Howe, S., ... & Tasker, J. (2019). Teacher Education and Autism: A Research-Based Practical Handbook. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  3. Collyer, E., Peart, S., Abdulrahman, H. K., Lawrence, C., & Mahon, C. (2022). Representation of Black autistic people in children’s picture books: different perspectives. Advance HE Race and Equality Colloquium.
  4. Gachago, V., & Peart, S. (2022). ‘One step forward, one step back ’inclusive education in Kenya. In International Issues in SEND and Inclusion (pp. 61-74). Routledge.
  5. Lawrence, C. (2022). Dancing with the daffodils: using a Shared Reading approach to explore autistic identity. Good Autism Practice (GAP), 23(1), 5-13.
  6. Lawrence, C. (2022). Who are the experts? Why autistic voices should be central to autism training in schools. BERA blog.
  7. Puttick, S., Nye, Z., Wynn, J., Muir, L., & Hill, Y. (2021). Student teachers’ beliefs about diversity: analysing the impact of a ‘diversity week’ during Initial Teacher Education. Teacher Development, 25(1), 85-100.