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.
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.
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'
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 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 Clare Lawrence
Clare is Head of Participatory Autism Research at BGU, the East Midlands Convenor for the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) and a Lincolnshire County Council Autism Champion for BGU. She is a graduate of York, Oxford, Northumbria, Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam universities and is the English subject lead on the secondary PGCE course. Her PhD is in parental involvement in the education of autistic children.
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
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.
Autism Resources Community Hub (ARCH)
Inevitably, as each generation of students leaves the hub evolves and changes; we are excited to see how this develops moving forward and are fully supportive of its ongoing development. This student-initiated project included members from across BGU’s wider autism community – undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral research students, academics and staff. It was celebrated as exemplary practice in an article published in 2022.
Lawrence, C. (2022). Our autism resources community hub: a celebration. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education.
Some examples of recent BRIDgE outputs
- Abdulrahman, H. K., Lawrence, C., Peart, S. (2022). Being autistic and Black. Black History Month Magazine.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lawrence, C. (2022). Dancing with the daffodils: using a Shared Reading approach to explore autistic identity. Good Autism Practice (GAP), 23(1), 5-13.
- Lawrence, C. (2022). Who are the experts? Why autistic voices should be central to autism training in schools. BERA blog.
- 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.