Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Gillean McCluskey

Senior Lecturer

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, Univ Edinburgh, Moray House Sch Educ
Exclusion from school

Professional Qualifications

1991General Teaching Council Scotland , GTCS
1989Post-graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary English), PGCE (Secondary)

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseExclusion from school, Restorative Approaches in education


  • PhD (Edinburgh University) 2004
  • PGCE (Secondary) (English) (Jordanhill College, Glasgow 1989-1990
  • Diploma in Housing Studies (Part 11) Glasgow University 1985-1987
  • MA (Hons) General (Edinburgh University) 1981-1985

In recent years, Dr Gillean McCluskey's research, teaching and writing has focused on two related fields of endeavour: a) restorative practices in education and b) exclusion from school. Restorative practices (RP) examines relationships and conflict in school and represents a rapidly developing field of international interest. Her own involvement in this area arises out of a professional and academic interest in, and concern about, the experiences of  children and young people who experience exclusion. Underpinning these interests is a concern more broadly about inequalities in education.  Her work aims to contribute to understanding of the impact of inequalities in education by advancing first, our understanding of exclusion from school and, secondly, the role that RP may have to play in this. She has worked in mainstream schools and alternative settings with young people in trouble and at risk in the past, and maintain a close interest in the lived experiences of schooling, and the importance of listening to young people.

Current Research Interests

  • Exclusion from school
  • Troubled and troublesome pupils and behaviour
  • Restorative Approaches in school
  • Relationships between youth crime and education
  • Multi-agency working
  • Pastoral care and personal support for pupils
  • pupil voice

Collaborative Activity

Current project grant


Recent projects:

  • Understanding learner progress in special schools (Principal Investigator) City of Edinburgh Council, 2013-2014.
  • Theory, policy and practice in behaviour management (Principal Investigator) Moray House School of Education, 2011.
  • Muslim families experience of education in England and Scotland (researcher). Centre for the Study of Islam,University of Edinburgh,2010-2012.
  • Confident Staff, Confident Children;  the impact of staff training on emotional health and wellbeing in schools (Principal Investigator) City of Edinburgh Council, 2011.
  • Behaviour in Scottish Schools 2009 (researcher) Scottish Government, 2009.
  • Restorative Practices in Scottish Schools: Follow-up (Co-investigator) Scottish Government, 2008.
  • Additional Support for Learning: School Staff Survey (Principal Investigator) City of Edinburgh Council, 2008.
  • Evaluation of Development of Restorative Approaches in Falkirk (Co-investigator) Falkirk Council, 2008.
  • Restorative Practices in Scottish and South African Schools, (Principal Investigator) Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2008.
  • Outcomes for Excluded Pupils, (Researcher) Department of Children, Schools and Families, 2006-2009.
  • Religious Education in Multicultural Societies, (Researcher) European Union, 2006- 2009.


  • Children and young people at risk and in trouble (home, school, community)
  • Exclusion and Disaffection from School
  • Restorative approaches in Schools
  • Inter-agency work with children and young people at risk or in trouble
  • Listening to children and young people

Current PhD students supervised

  • Sujin Yoon - North Korean refugee students successes and challenges in alternative school settings
  • Jaye Ware - Young people's perspectives on gender and sexual diversity in Scottish high schools
  • Brendan Kwiatowski - masculinities and young men in high school

Past PhD students supervised to completion

  • Jenestar Wanjiru (2016) The experiences of head teachers in improving retention of vulnerable children in primary schools in Kenya
  • Geetha Marcus (2016) Improving understanding of the experiences of Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland
  • Kevin Wright (2015) How do classroom assistants in Scottish schools negotiate identities?
  • Jessica Pei Wen Chong (2014) Discourses, Decisions, Designs: an international comparative analysis of “special” educational policymaking

Research activities & awards

  1. Exclusion: A four nations study Edinburgh seminar

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  2. The role of schools in ending violence in childhood.

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. Quality and Equality: Building Social Capital in Schools

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

View all (17) »

Research projects

  1. Exclusion from School: A four nations study

    Project: Other ProjectResearch Collaboration with external organisation

  2. How can we understand learner progress in special schools

    Project: Other ProjectResearch Collaboration with external organisation

View all (8) »

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