Professor Tom Billington C.Psychol MEd MSc PhD FBPsS
Professor of Educational and Child Psychology
Director of the Centre for the Study of Children, Families and Learning Communities
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 also contributed to many other international teaching and research programmes in the School, including in the Caribbean, Hong Kong and Malta and he is an experienced examiner at Doctoral level, both of individual research theses and of professional training programmes across Psychology and also Education, in the UK, Australia and Canada. In March 2014 he is to speak in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne as part of a Seminar Series funded by the Australian Association for Educational Research.
Farrell, P. (University of Manchester) and Billington, T. (2008) The Development of a Framework for the Evaluation of Nurture Groups. Nurture Group Network. £38,000
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).
Work in progress and indicative publications
Billington, T. (forthcoming). 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. and Williams, A. (forthcoming) Education. In I. Parker (ed.) The Handbook of critical psychology. London: Routledge.
Billington, T. and Corcoran, T. (forthcoming). Psychology in education. In T. Dragona, K. Gergen, S. McNamee (eds.) Education as social construction: Contributions to theory, research and practice. Worldshare books
Williams, A, Billington, T. and Goodley, D. (eds.) (forthcoming). Critical educational psychology: Research and practice. Wiley Blackwell
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
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
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