Staff profile

Dr Mohammed Jakhara

Acting Head of the Institute of Education

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 Acting Head of the Institute of Education and lead a team of nearly 80 academic staff and managers. The Institute’s portfolio comprises of a range of professional and academic courses that focus on Education and Childhood at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Institute is also home to the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation that includes the International Centre for Education Guidance Studies. Furthermore, the Institute has collaborative working arrangements with schools and colleges locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. As a team we are committed to quality provision that is inclusive and informed by research.

I am an active researcher and work with colleagues to provide consultancy services in education and social care. I also maintain links with practice through my work with Fostering and Adoption Panels as well as being a member of a Multi Academy Trust. My Doctorate is in Health and Social Care. 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

My Doctorate is focused on the adoption of children in England. Five adoption agencies were involved 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

Designated Teachers Conference. Risk, relationships and rapport. (2017) University of Derby. Workshop.

The Childhood Research Cluster. The motivations, perceptions and experiences of adopters. (2017) Keynote speech. University of Derby.

Faculty of Education Conference. The Student Voice. Expert, customer or community of learning? (2017) Canterbury Christchurch University.  Key Note Speaker

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. 

BAAF Seminar. The Journey to Adopt: Perceptions and experiences of approved adoptive parents (2014) British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering.  

BASW Seminar. The Journey to Adopt: Perceptions and experiences of prospective adoptive parents (2013) British Association of Social Workers.  

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

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, Head of Education and Childhood and my current role as the Acting Head of the Institute of Education.  As part of my CPD I have continued to maintain links with practice through being a member of and chairing Adoption and Fostering Panels as well as being a meber of a Multi Academy Trust.  

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. We also have good working relationships with a number of universities and schools across China.

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.

Chavaudra, N. Moore, N. Marriott, J. and Jakhara, M. (2014) Creating an evidence base to support the development of a holistic approach to working with children and young people in Derbyshire: a local authority case study on the integration of social pedagogy in children and young people’s services. The International Journal of Social Pedagogy.

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. (2010) The impact on the quality of provision by involving People Who Use Social Care Services (previously known as service users) in Higher Education Social Care Programmes. University of Derby.

Jakhara, M. and Feldman, N. (2008) Communicating with Children and Young People Looked After. University of Derby.

Blog Posts

Mohammed Jakhara, Head of Department for the Institute of Education at the University of Derby, offers advice to teachers to help students during Clearing.