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Centre of Excellence for Childhood, Inclusion and Society (CECIS)


Working towards a more inclusive society through creative co-productive approaches

In collaboration with:

  • University of Oxford Early Years Research Network
  • West Sussex Maintained Nursery Schools
  • National Activity Providers Association (NAPA)

The Centre of Excellence in Childhood, Inclusion and Society [CECIS] welcomes students, academics, external partners, and partner settings from a range of different disciplines. Co-production is at the heart of everything we do and hope to achieve.

Our activities and research are highly regarded, both nationally and internationally, across social work, social care, childhood, education, and innovative qualitative methodologies.

We are an enthusiastic and experienced interdisciplinary team committed to fostering a nurturing environment for collaborative research that make a positive difference to people’s lives and contributes towards the creation of a more inclusive society.

The Special Education interest group, affiliated with the Centre, has a particular focus on working with children with special educational needs and disability using co-productive approaches.

Contact us

If you are interested in working with the Centre of Excellence in Childhood, Inclusion and Society, or are interested in postgraduate study with us, please contact Dr Denise Turner (d.turner@chi.ac.uk) and Dr Sandra Lyndon (s.lyndon@chi.ac.uk).

Student playing toys with young child


Sandra Lyndon
Dr Sandra Lyndon
Becky Edwards
Becky Edwards
Andre Kurowski
Dr Andre Kurowski
Carol Lloyd
Dr Carol Lloyd
Heather Green
Heather Green
Sam McNally
Dr Sam McNally
Eva Mikuska
Dr Eva Mikuska
Dr Steven Donbavand


Working to improve outcomes for all


Our members publish regularly with leading journals and publishers. See below a select list of recent outputs.

  • Edwards, B. and Lyndon, S. (2021) From adversity to university – the transformational power of a bespoke bridging module to support those affected by homelessness into higher education. . 23(1):102-122
  • Lyndon, S. (2023) ‘Supporting those in poverty’ in Webb, R. and Solvason, C. (eds) Exploring and celebrating the Early Childhood Practitioner: An interrogation of pedagogy, professionalism and practice. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Lyndon, S. and Moss, H. (2022) Creating meaningful interactions for young children, older friends and nursery school practitioners within an intergenerational project. Early Childhood Education Journal.
  • Mikuska, E., Raffai, J. and Vukov Raffai, E. (2023) Thinking through the lens of dialogical self,positions and intersectionality for exploring how Hungarian kindergarten pedagogues experienced the new Curriculum Framework.Global Studies of Childhood. 14 (2)
  • Mikuska, E., Fairchild, N., Sabine, A. and Barton, S. (2023) Quality Early Childhood Education and Care practices: Importance of skills, knowledge, and the graduate practitioner competencies.International Journal of Early Years Education.31 (3)
  • Mikuska, E., Raffai, J. and Vukov Raffai, E. (2022) Secondary analysis of qualitative data: Hungarian minority kindergarten pedagogues’ perspectives of the new Curriculum Framework in Serbia.Journal of Early Childhood and Society. 3 (3), 259-269.
  • Simpson,D., Mazzocco, P., Loughran, S., Lumsden, E., Lyndon, S. and Winterbottom, C. (2023) New Normal' or continued 'Social Distancing'? Preschool practitioners’ responses to poverty across post-lockdown England and the USA. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI: 10.1177/1476718X231175459/ ID: JECR-22-0094.R1
  • Turner, D and Linton, A; Virtual wobble spaces: A pilot study of the outcomes of online therapeutic spaces on practitioner well-being and social work practice,The British Journal of Social Work, 2022;, bcac226,
  • Turner, D (2022) ‘You Took me Back to the sea:’ Using Narrative to Explore and Inform the Practice of Social Work with Dying People’Illness, Crisis and Loss,Available at
  • Turner, D. (Ed) (2021)Social Work and Covid 19: Lessons for Education and Practice, Critical Publishing, Foreword by Dr Ruth Allen
  • Turner, D; Price, M (2020) ‘Resilient when it comes to death’: Exploring the significance of bereavement for the well-being of social work students,Qualitative Social Work,

can be found on our ChiPrints page.


How we're helping create change

So far, a total of more than 149 students have taken part in our From Adversity to University project – 33 of whom have been affected by homelessness, and many of whom are recovering from addiction.

Nine of these have progressed to study at degree level, one has completed a degree in Fine Art (and is currently studying a law conversion course at Masters level), and one has completed a PGCE and is now employed as a teacher in a school.

For those who have experienced homelessness, the module is run in collaboration with local charities and many of the students live in hostels or ‘move on’ houses.

From Adversity to University
Watch our recent appearance on BBC's Morning Live to learn more about what we do.

Events and News

Dr Denise Turner - Upcoming Keynote

‘Sudden Unexpected Child Death: Learning from Parental experience.’ Pan Sussex Bereavement Support Network Conference, delivered by the Sussex Child Death Review Partnership, the University of Sussex, 5th September 2023.

Monthly Research Cafés in Childhood and Social Policy

The research café is a friendly and supportive space to share research, regardless of whether you are at the beginning of your research journey or a seasoned traveller.

The café is open once a month (Monday from 4pm to 5pm) and is accessible both face-to-face on the University’s Bishop Otter Campus and online.

If you would like more information about the research cafes please contact Sandra Lyndon (s.lyndon@chi.ac.uk) and Denise Turner (d.turner@chi.ac.uk).


Sandra Lyndon
Dr Sandra Lyndon

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