Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

First UK Professor of Mental Health in Education joins Oxford Brookes

Wednesday, 20 December 2017


Professor Barry Carpenter is a leading light in the Special Educational Needs (SEN) sector. In a career spanning 30 years, he has authored over 150 articles on a variety of topics in SEN. Barry won the nasen/TES Academic Book Award in 1996 for his co-edited book ‘Enabling Access’ and was awarded an OBE and CBE by the Queen for services to children with Special Needs.

The School of Education is pleased to welcome Barry as Professor of Mental Health in Education to their teaching and research team. Oxford Brookes are the first university in the UK to appoint a role of this type and it underscores the commitment of the School of Education to create training pathways for teachers at all levels in the SEN sector.

Barry’s formative years were spent at the then Westminster College which was based at Harcourt Hill Campus, (and has subsequently become a part of Oxford Brookes University). He qualified a teacher and forged a remarkable career in the education sector. Speaking on his return to Harcourt Hill with the School of Education, Barry said: “To return to the place where I originally trained as a teacher is a strange feeling, but one about which I am excited. The creation of this new Professorship on Mental Health in Education is timely in the light of concerning trends in the erosion of our Children’s Mental Health. Oxford Brookes University has the opportunity to offer much needed leadership and research in this field.”

Some of Barry’s more recent projects include: co-founding the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education; overseeing the development of online training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities; and chairing the National Inquiry into the Mental Health of Young People with Learning Disabilities for the Mental Health Foundation. His current research is  looking at the needs of Girls on the Autism Spectrum, which will be the focus of his next book.