Professor Gillean McCluskey

REF 2021 Co-ordinator, Moray House School of Education and Sport, Deputy Director of CREID


In recent years, my 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. My 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.  My 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. I have 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.


  • 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

Postgraduate teaching

  • 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

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome enquiries about supervision on topics related to my areas of interest.

Current PhD students supervised

Sujin Yoon - North Korean refugee students successes and challenges in alternative school settings

Harriet Obeng- Teaching and learning for effective understanding in Ghana

Brendan Kwiatkowski -Experiences of  'Healthy Masculinities' in high school

Jaye Ware -Young People’s Perspectives on Gender and Sexual Diversity,inn Scottish High Schools

Past PhD students supervised

  • 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 summary

  • Exclusion from school
  • Restorative Approaches in education
  • Relationships between youth crime and education

Research activities

View all 15 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

  • Exclusion from School: A four nations study 2017--18
  • Exploring the intersections of violence in childhood, learning outcomes and educational practices: Towards a new conceptual model 2016-17

  • Understanding learner progress in special schools (Principal Investigator) City of Edinburgh Council, 2013-2014.
  • Youth Justice in Western Europe and the Baltic States (researcher) European Union, 2012-2015
  • Exclusion and Education Provision for Children and Young People Educated Outside School  (Principal Investigator) Welsh Government, 2011-2013
  • 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 Educational Settings 2004-2006, (Researcher) Scottish Government.
  • 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.

View all 64 publications on Research Explorer