I am the Head of the Department of Education and Childhood and lead a team of academic staff and managers. The courses in the Department include MA Education, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies, BA (Hons) Education Studies, BA (Hons) SEND, Foundation Degree in SEND and the Foundation Degree in Child and Young People's Services. The Department also has collaborative working arrangements with colleges locally, nationally and internationally. As a team we are committed to quality provision that is informed by research.
I am also an active researcher and work with colleagues to provide consultancy services in education and social care. I am currently in the process of completing a professional Doctorate programme. My research is focused on the adoption of children in England.
My areas of teaching include:
Adoption and Fostering
Leadership & Management
Attitudes and Values.
I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) since 2007 and regularly attend CPD events organized by the HEA.
I qualified as a Social Worker in 1992 and also gained a Post Qualified Social Work Award in 2000. As a Social Worker I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). I continue to maintain my links with practice in Social Work. My areas of specialism is working with children in care, their families, foster carers and adopters. I have worked with a number of local authorities and voluntary agencies to conduct research and implement projects aimed at improving outcomes for children.
I am currently in the process of completing a professional Doctorate programme. My research is focused on the adoption of children in England and is titled: The Journey to Adopt a Child – A mixed methods study of aspiring parents’ perceptions of the adoption process. I have worked with five adoption agencies from around the country to collect data for the study.
Further areas of interest include: Children and young people’s experience of the care system.
Using a social pedagogical approach to improve outcomes for children in care.
Involving service users and carers in the design and delivery of education programmes.
Membership of professional bodies
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering
Member of the British Association of Social Work
Registered with the HCPC
MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
Post Graduate Programme in Learning and Teaching
Post Qualified Social Worker (PQSW)
PG Cert Child Care Award
BA, (Hons) Appied Social Studies
Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW)
NVQ 5 Operational Management
Adoption Learning Event (2015) Staffordshire County Council. Key Note Speaker
The Journey to Adopt: Perceptions and experiences of prospective adoptive parents (2013) British Association of Social Workers. Key Note Speaker.
Involving Service Users and Carers in Social Work Education (2013) Huddersfield University. Workshop Presenter
Developing Designated Teachers for Looked After Children. Guest Speaker/Workshop facilitator (2009). Guest Speaker
School Nurse Conference (2007) Experiences of Looked After Children. University of Derby – Guest Speaker
Diversity in Fostering & Adoption (2007) Student Conference. University of Derby – Guest Speaker
Children in Need Services for Children and Families from Black and Minority Ethnic Children (2006) Derby City Council – Key Note Speaker
Experience in industry
As a qualified and registered Social Worker I have worked with education, social care and health agencies from local authority, voluntary and private sectors. Before starting to work in higher education I worked with vulnerable adults, children, their families and carers. I also developed and managed the Adoption and Adoption Support services for Derby City Council. Furthermore, I led the review of Children in Need services and coordinated the Children in Need Census.
I have been working in higher Education since 2006 and have worked at two Universities including the University of Derby. I have held various roles including Senior Lecturer, Teaching Fellow, Head of Subject, Head of School and my current role as Head of Education and Childhood. As part of my CPD I have continued to maintain links with practice through being a member of and chairing Adoption and Fostering Panels.
The Department has partnerships with Mediterranean College in Greece and the Swiss Education Group that has bases internationally. Furthermore, we have a number of relationships with Universities across Europe through Erasmus plus programme. This provides opportunities for some of our students to gain work experience and study abroad.
In 2016 I travelled to Canada and attended the Go Study Abroad events in Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. These were aimed at enabling students from Canada to study in the UK as well as develop partnerships with agencies based in Canada.
Jakhara, M. (2014) The journey to adopt a child – A pilot mixed methods study of aspiring parents’ perceptions of the adoption process.The Journal of New Writing in Health and Social Care. 1:1 pp1-13.
Moore, N., Jakara, M., Bowie, J. and Marriott, J. (2013). Social Pedagogy: A Scoping Project for Derbyshire County Council. Summary Report. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby.
Jakhara, M. and Feldman, N. (2008) Communicating with Children and Young People Looked After. University of Derby.