Professor Tom Billington C.Psychol MEd MSc PhD FBPsS
Professor of Educational and Child Psychology
Co-Director of the Centre for Critical Psychology and Education
Director of Educational Psychology
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 8113
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222
Tom is an educational and child psychologist, researcher and teacher. Much of his work focuses on the work of professionals in inter-disciplinary and multi-agency contexts, in particular, via critical and qualitative methodologies. He has been working at Sheffield to build a community (local and international) committed to Critical educational psychology in which we
We invoke ‘three scientific distinctions’:
‘between the diagnosis and the child;
In using qualitative methodologies we
We also invoke ‘five critical questions’:
How do we speak of children?
Tom has guided the expansion of Educational Psychology at Sheffield and our programmes now attract almost 300 students and trainees - practitioners, researchers and policy-makers from many countries across the globe (e.g. psychologists, social workers, teachers, health professionals).
In addition to the above, Tom’s own specific teaching interests focus on critical approaches to attachment, autism, child safeguarding, developmental psychology and neuroscience in education, often juxtaposing cultural and political analyses of social exclusion.
Tom has supervised to completion over 60 personal Doctoral students in Psychology and Education from across the globe (PhD, DEdCPsy and EdD) and has examined widely both in the UK and internationally (Australia, Canada, Holland, USA).
Billington, T., Fogg, P., Emerson, L-M., Gibson, S. (2017) Evaluation of the Sheffield Healthy Minds Framework (HMF) for Schools. Sheffield City Council. £49875. URMS no. 152285
Billington,T. and Overton, P. (2016) Attention and behaviour: Transforming achievement and social inclusion following primary-secondary school transition. ESRC (1+3) PhD White Rose Collaborative Studentship (in partnership with Sheffield City Council). £73,229
Billington, T. Williams, A., Abdi, M and Lahmar, J (2015) Evaluation of the emotional well-being mental health service for schools. Sheffield City Council. £24334. URMS no.145254
North of England Education Conference (2013) Mind, brain, community: Developing resilience, inspiring resilience. Co-organizer. Sheffield City Council, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallan University c.£143,000
Billington, T. and Wellington, J. (2012) Exploring young Somali men’s experiences of identity and belonging. ESRC PhD White Rose Studentship. £73,659
Selected Keynote and Invited Conference Presentations
Other professional and scholarly activities
Tom is a Chartered Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He continues in professional practice providing independent expert witness testimony to the courts in Children Act cases relating to a wide range of child and family issues, including child protection, domestic violence, adoption and attachment.
Prior to a previous career in teaching, Tom had obtained a degree in Music (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester), a Diploma in Piano (Royal Academy of Music, London) and a Masters degree in Creative Arts (University of Exeter). Later he studied at the University of Manchester and following qualification worked as an Educational Psychologist and subsequently Specialist Educational Psychologist (autism). His PhD was supervised by Professor Erica Burman in the Department of Psychology at the Manchester Metropolitan University (1997).
Billington, T. (2017) Educational inclusion and critical neuroscience: Friends or foes? International Journal of Inclusive Education. Published on-line 2 February.
Williams, A., Billington, T., Goodley, D. and Corcoran, T. (2017) (Eds.) Critical Educational Psychology. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Billington, T. and Williams, A. (2017) The national and international growth in qualitative research within the field of educational psychology. In J. Hardy and C. Hobbs (Eds.) Using qualitative research to hear the voice of children and young people: The work of British educational psychologists. London: Sage.
Cameron, H. and Billington, T. (2015) ‘Just deal with it’: Neo-liberalism in dyslexic students’ talk about dyslexia and learning at university. Studies in Higher Education, October, 1-15. ISSN: 0307-5079 ; E-ISSN: 1470-174X ; DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1092510.
Cameron, H. and Billington, T. (2015) The discursive construction of dyslexia by students in higher education as a moral and intellectual good. Disability & Society 30 (7-8), pp.1225-1240 ISSN:0968-7599; DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2015.1083846
Billington, T. and Williams, A. (2015) Education and Psychology: Change at Last? In I. Parker, (Ed.) Handbook of Critical Psychology. London and New York: Routledge.
Corcoran, T. and Billington, T. (2015) Being well: Educated. In T. Dragona, K. Gergen and S. McNamee (Eds.) Education as Social Construction. New Mexico: Worldshare Books.
Billington, T. (2014). Changing the subject: The past, present and future of educational psychology. In T.D. Corcoran (ed). Psychology in education: Critical theory-practice. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Billington, T. (2013) Constructing critical resources for research and professional practice with young people: Feeling, thinking, learning and neuroscientific narratives. Qualitative research in psychology, 10 (2), 174-188. ISSN: 1478-0887; E-ISSN: 1478-0895 ; DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2011.586105
Billington, T. (2012) 'When they're making breakfast they'll talk...': Narrative approaches in the evaluation of Nurture Groups. Journal of early childhood research, 10 (3), 318-331. ISSN: 1476-718X ; DOI: 10.1177/1476718X12442063.
Billington, T. (2009) Open Dialogue: `Working with children: psychologists at the boundaries of knowledge and experience´, The Psychology of Education Review, 33 (2), 3-11