Staff profile

Dr Geraldene Codina

Associate Professor - Research

Geraldine Codina


Education, Childhood and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation





My main areas of research address inclusive education, special educational needs and disability (SEND) and embodied pedagogy. I recently directed the DfE funded Opportunity Area (OA) SEND Peer Challenge Project and Chaired the OA SEND Project Management group; I am currently a member of the OA Inclusion sub-group. I am also the Deputy Director for the End of Three-Year Review of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) funded by the Irish government.

As part of my work, I lead the ISEND Research Cluster for the Institute of Education (University of Derby). The Cluster engages in high-quality scholarly research in the field of inclusion, special educational needs and disability. The Cluster is particularly focused on supporting leaders of ISEND (schools, SENCOs, Local Authorities, local and national governments, and academics) and also welcomes participation from students, parents/carers of children with additional needs, advocates, and people with a disability. A key aim of the Cluster is widening access to research, as such the Cluster hosts a range of free online symposiums. To hear more about the work of the ISEND Research Cluster please feel free to message me.

I am also the co-convenor of the ISEND Research Co-operative. Comprising of a range of members (SENCOs, Local Authority and Research School staff, and academics from the University of Derby) this co-operative is currently researching quality first teaching in our local schools.

I have Programme Leadership for two programmes:

As part of my Higher Educational (HE) role, I regularly work with the Department for Education, Nasen and a number of Local Authorities, providing training, writing for publication and leading research projects. Previously I taught Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students (PGCE and BA) and worked as the Head of Quality in the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care (University of Winchester).

Prior to working in Higher Education, I worked as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and school teacher in both special and mainstream settings.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the following modules:

Research interests

Focussed on inclusive education, social inclusion, SENCO Leadership, teacher resilience and methods of qualitative data analysis, my research often draws on the work of Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Merleau-Ponty. Methodologically my research tends to employ hermeneutic phenomenology.

Doctoral Supervisions: Current students

Director of Studies for Wykeham Bosworth-Nightingale (PhD scholarship student, University of Derby), title: An ethnographic study of a supported internship programme

Director of Studies for Wendy Conrad (EdD student, University of Derby), title: Supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of learning-disabled learners in the mainstream secondary classroom

External Supervisor for Julie Wharton (PhD student, University of Winchester), title: Welcoming schools and the language of inclusion in Schools of Sanctuary

Doctoral Supervisions: Completed students

Dr Rosemary Shepherd (EdD, University of Derby), title: A phenomenological study of students with hidden disabilities in Higher Education: A cross-sectional study of learning support needs in a university in the UK

Membership of professional bodies

Awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in 2015.

Member of the National Award for SEN Coordination Provider Partnership and a member of their Working Group and Research subcommittee.


Recent conferences

Selected Presentations

Robinson, D., Codina, G., Hanson, J., Dimitrellou, E and Qureshi, S. (2020, 26-28 August) Developing more inclusive schools for pupils with special educational needs: Key messages for school leaders and communities [Presentation]. European Conference for Educational Research, Glasgow, Scotland

Robinson, D., Codina, G. Dimitrellou, E., Hanson, J., & Qureshi, S. (2020, Apr 17 - 21) Developing More Inclusive Schools for Pupils with Special Educational Needs: Key Messages for School Administrators [Roundtable Session]. AERA Annual Meeting San Francisco, CA (Conference Cancelled)

Browning, K., and Codina. G. (2021, 28 June) Distributive Leadership of SEND [Workshop Presenter] OA (DfE) funded Derby City SEND Conference, University of Derby. SEND Peer Challenge Project - International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) - University of Derby

Codina, G. and Grady, A. (2019 9th July), How to prevent exclusion through inclusion, OA (DfE) funded Derby City SEND Conference, University of Derby. SEND Peer Challenge Project - International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) - University of Derby

Codina, G. (2019, Sept 2 – 6) Reading Movement: Towards an embodied inclusive pedagogy [Workshop session]. European Conference Educational Research (ECER), Hamburg, Germany

Codina, G. (2018) Invited Panel Member, 1st Annual Education Studies Conference: The Battle for Children’s Minds, University of Derby

Codina, G., Walker. M., Wharton. J. (2016) Welcoming Schools: Enabling inclusion, British Educational Research Association (BERA) Leeds, Leeds University

Codina, G. (2015) Talking SEND in the 21st Century, [Keynote presenter] Hampshire County Council SENCO Conference, Hampshire

Codina, G., Egan, B., Fox., A., Lawrence, P. (2013), Embodied communication in pedagogical relationships: dancing interactions, [Workshop Paper] REID: Revisiting Identity - Embodied Communication across Time and Space, 2013-10-22 Örebro (Sweden)

Recent publications

Robinson, D., Codina, G., Strogilos, V., and Dimitrellou. E. (2021) Editorial: Education as a catalyst for the social inclusion of people with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(4): 385-39 

Beaton, M.C., Codina, G.N., and Wharton, J.C (2021) In Response—Reply to John Paul Donnelly. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(4): 406-408

Beaton, M.C., Codina, G.N., and Wharton, J.C (2021) Decommissioning Normal: COVID-19 as a disruptor of school norms for people with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(4): 393-402

Beaton, M.C., Codina, G.N., and Wharton, J.C. (2021 Eds.) Leading on Inclusion: The role of the SENCO. Abingdon: Nasen Spotlight, Routledge

Codina, G.N., and Wharton, J.C. (2021) ‘The language of SEND: Implications for the SENCO’.  In M.C. Beaton, G.N. Codina, and J.C. Wharton, (Eds) Leading on Inclusion: The role of the SENCO. Abingdon: Nasen Routledge, pp. 15-25 (Chapter 3)

Codina, G., Fordham, J. (2021) ‘Resilience, Reflection and Reflexivity’.  In S. Soan (Ed) Why Do Teachers Need to Know about Diverse Learning Needs? London: Bloomsbury, pp. 119-135 (Chapter 8)

Robinson, D., Codina, G., Hanson, J., Dimitrellou, E and Qureshi, S. (2020) 'Careers coaching for social justice: the case of school leadership and inclusive education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities'. Derby: University of Derby

Wharton, J., Codina, G., Middleton, T., & Esposito, R., (2019) SENCO Induction Pack: Supporting you at the start of your journey, Tamworth: NASEN [available at] SENCO Induction Pack: revised edition | SendGateway

Wharton, J., Codina, G., Middleton, T., & Esposito, R., (2019) Inclusion Mini-Guide, Tamworth: NASEN

Adams, L., Tindle, A., Basran, S., Dobie, S., Thomson, D., Robinson, D., Codina, G. (2018) Education, Health and Care Plans: A qualitative investigation into services user experiences of the planning process, London: Department for Education

Hanson, J., Codina, G., and Neary, S. (2017) Transition programmes for young adults with SEND: What works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company