Staff profile

Mohammed Jakhara

Head of Department - Education and Childhood

Mohammed Jakhara


Education Studies and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Research centre

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



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. 

Teaching responsibilities

My areas of teaching include:

Professional interests

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. 

Research interests

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


Recent conferences

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.  

International experience

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.

Recent publications

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.