Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Donald Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Teesside. Initially he trained (University of Leicester) and worked as a primary school teacher. He has an MA (University College London Institute of Education) and was awarded a full time scholarship to complete his PhD (Open University). Donald worked as a contract researcher before taking up his current post.

Summary of Research Interests

Donald's research interests lie in the following areas:

1) working with the realities of poverty in the early years;
2) skills and learning as part of transitions among young people regarded as disadvantaged etc. and
3) exploring involvement and the relationships and learning experiences of children and young people in poverty in the field of education.

Research Projects & External Funding

Donald has recently led research considering preschool practitioners’ perspectives on child poverty and how they work with poverty. He is collaborating with colleagues across England and the USA on this project. This research was supported by external funding grants awarded to Donald by The British Academy (in 2012 and again in 2020) and The Society for Educational Studies (2014).

Donald also received a grant from Sir James Knott Trust which allowed knowledge exchange from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood's (CREC's) Higher Achieveing White Working Class (HAWWC) Boys project to be disseminated via a workshop held by Durham County Council's Early Years Services to preschool practitioners from across the county. 



PhD and Research Opportunities

Donald is currently supervising postgraduate research students, and welcomes expressions of interest from those who are considering completing postgraduate research - particularly within his areas of interest mentioned in this profile. Please feel free to get in touch.

External Roles and Professional Activities

External Examiner for Education Doctorate (University of Huddersfield)

External Research Collaborations

Donald has collaborated with a number of external organisations including other higher education institutions, charities, local authorities and schools to complete research activity.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Donald is interested in exchanging knowledge from his research to help support organisations. To this end, examples include a keynote talk and workshop at Cambridgeshire County Council Early Years Service's Conference to advisers and Equality Coordinators.  He has been interviewed about his research by Nursery World - the leading national professional title for the early years education and childcare sector - and took up an invite to write an article about his research in their supplement Nursery Management. He has been invited to sit as an expert panel member at a Public Policy Exchange event. Other collaborators with Donald in his research have also applied knowledge from it when working with external organisations - e.g. when being an expert panel member for the UK Government, when developing some of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Cometencies and in the role of academic advisor with local authorities.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Donald's teaching interests lie in the areas of early childhood, education and youth studies. Donald leads several undergraduate modules within the Education Department at Teesside. He has also led modules at Masters level and is a supervisor on the Education Doctorate.


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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