Professor Julie Allan

Professor Julie Allan

School of Education
Professor of Equity and Inclusion

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Julie Allan is Professor of Equity and Inclusion and was formerly the Head of the School of Education. Her work encompasses inclusive education, disability studies and children’s rights and is both empirical and theoretical. She has a particular interest in educational theory and the insights offered through poststructural and social capital analyses. Julie has been advisor to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Dutch and Queensland Governments and has worked extensively with the Council of Europe.


  • PhD (Stirling)
  • BEd (Moray House, Edinburgh)


Postgraduate supervision

Julie has supervised to completion a large number of EdD and PhD students. Their research has focused on a wide range of areas within education, including students with profound and multiple learning difficulties, disaffected learners, professional education, curriculum, speech and language therapists, art education and homework. She has also supervised doctoral students investigating other professional contexts including cultural policy, medical handover, nurse education, and hospitality.

Julie is currently supervising doctoral students working on inclusion in early years, ADHD and sexual abuse within the autism population.

Prospective doctoral students working in inclusion, disability and children’s rights would be particularly welcome, as would those with a focus on other aspects of education but who wish to engage with educational theory.


Julie is currently writing a book (with Valerie Harwood and Clara Joergensen) on educational governance, which will feature in the Routledge World Yearbook in Education Series. She is also undertaking a project, Our School, Our Space, within the University of Birmingham School.


Selected publications

Allan, J and Sturm, T (forthcoming, May 2018) School development and inclusion in England and Germany in B Hamre, A Morin and C Ydesen (Eds) Testing and inclusive schooling. London: Routledge

Allan, J (2017) The inclusion challenge. Scuola Democratica. Learning for Democracy, No. 1, p175-182,

Allan, J and Artiles, A (Eds) (2017) The Routledge World Yearbook in Education. London: Routledge.

Allan, J and Persson, E (2016) Students’ perspectives on raising achievement through inclusion in Essunga, Sweden, Educational Review, 68 (1), pp. 82-95.

Allan, J and Harwood, V (2016) The risk factors for psy-diagnosis? Gender, racialization and social class. In E Bendix Petersen and Z Millei (Eds) Interrupting the psy-disciplines in education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barow, T, Persson, B & Allan, J (2016) Inclusive education in Großbritannien und Skandinavien. In  H Ingeborg, G Biewer, J Hollenweger & R Markowetz (Eds) Handbuch inclusion and sonderpädagogik. Bad Heilbrunn: Verlag Julius Klinkhardt.

Allan, J (2016) At tænke inclusion anderledes. In B Hamre og V Larsen (red) Inclusion, udsathed og tværprofessionelt samarbejde. Friederiksberg: Frydenlund Academic. 

Allan, J (2015) Critiquing policy: Limitations and possibilities. In D Connor, J Valle and C Hale (eds) Practicing disability studies in education: Acting towards social change. New York: Peter Lang.

Allan, J (2015) Waiting for inclusive education? An exploration of conceptual confusions and political struggles. In F Kiuppis and R S Hausstätter (eds) Inclusive education twenty years after Salamanca. New York: Peter Lang.

Harwood, V and Allan, J (2014) Psychopathology at school: Theorizing mental disorder in schools. London: Routledge.

Allan, J (2014) Making a difference – in theory – in Sweden and the UK. Education Inquiry, 5 (3),

Allan, J (2014) Inclusive education and the arts. Cambridge Journal of Education, 44 (4), 511-523.

Allan, J and Catts, R. (2014) Schools, space and social capital. Cambridge Journal of Education. DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2013.863829

Allan, J, and Harwood, V (2013) Medicus interruptus in the behaviour of children in disadvantaged contexts in Scotland. British Journal of Sociology of Education. DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2013.776933

Biesta, G, Allan, J and Edwards, R (2013) (Eds) Making a difference in theory: The theory question in education and the education question in theory. London: Routledge.

Fox, A and Allan, J (2013) Doing reflexivity: Moments of unbecoming and becoming. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. DOI: 10.1080/1743727X.2013.787407

Allan J and Catts R (2012) (eds) Social capital, children and young people: Implications for practice, policy and research. Bristol: Policy Press.

Allan, J (2012) Introduction in Persson, B and Persson, E Includering och måluppfyllelse: all nå framgång med alla elever (Inclusion and achievement: The success of all students). Stockholm: Liber.

Allan, J (2012) Foucault and his acolytes: Discourse, power and ethics. In M. Murphy (ed) Social Theory and Education Research: Understanding Foucault, Habermas, Bourdieu and Derrida. London: Routledge.

Allan, J (2011) Responsibly competent: Teaching, ethics and diversity, Policy Futures in Education, 9 (1), 152-159. DOI :10.2304/pfie.2011.9.1.130

Allan, J (2011) Complicating, not explicating: Taking up philosophy in learning disability research, Learning Disability Quarterly, 34 (2), 153-161.

Allan, J (2011) Civilising teacher education? Learning with diversity, Teacher Education Practice, 24 (3), 351-353.

Biesta, J, Allan, J and Edwards, R (2011) The theory question in research capacity building in education: Towards an agenda for research and practice, British Journal of Educational Studies, 59 (3), 225-239. DOI:

Allan, J (2010) The sociology of disability and the struggle for inclusive education, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31 (5), 603-619. DOI:10.1080/01425692.2010.500093

Allan, J, Ozga, J and Smyth, G (2009) (eds) Social capital, professionalism and diversity. Rotterdam: Sense.

Allan, J (2008) Rethinking inclusion: The philosophers of difference in practice. Dordrecht: Springer.

Allan, J and Slee, R (2008) Doing inclusive education research. Rotterdam: Sense

Allan, J, Duffy, C, Loening, G and Moran, N (2010) Knowledge exchange with Sistema Scotland, Journal of Educational Policy, 25 (3), 335-347. DOI: 10.1080/02680931003646196

View all publications in research portal



Disability in education and special educational needs; all aspects of diversity and education policy.

Policy experience

Expert adviser to Council of Europe on educational policy; organised several European ministerial conferences and high level meetings relating to educational policy; adviser to the Scottish Parliament on special educational needs; adviser to the Welsh Assembly on special educational needs; adviser to the Queensland Government on education and inclusion.

Other information: School Governor.