I have worked at Canterbury Christ Chuirch University for the last 10 years.
I currently work part time, for one day a week, in the Directorate of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, in the Faculty of Education.
I led on the development of the Nastional AWard for SEN Coordination programme, which I set up in 2009, and I now teach on that programme as well as other Masters programmes in SEN and Inclusion. In addition to this, I am also a doctoral supervisor, supervising a number of Ed D and PhD students.
When I am not working at CCCU, I work in a secondary school as Head of the Foundation Learning Department and am Director of SEN in an Academy Trust.
Research and knowledge exchange
My Doctoral research was focused on an exploration of the development of inclusive practices in two case study schools. This is now published as a research book by Routledge.
I am currently involved in multi-professional research with colleagues in the Facuilties of Health and Social Care and Education. This research is focused on ways to understand the needs of, and support, mainstream teachers who are working with children weith life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
I am also part of a multi-professional group researching ways to improve multi-professional collaboration, comunication and understanding through the activities that teacher educators provide to their diverse student cohorts, and the understandings of different professional practices that we can embed into our own teaching.
I am regularly involved in supporting clusters and groups of schools to take forward their own research and knowledge exchange projects.
Teaching and subject expertise
My areas of specialism are SEN, inclusion, multi-professional working and strategic leadership in schools.
I have worked closely with the National Award for SEN Coordination Training Providers group, who are linked to nasen (National Association of Special Eductaional Needs).
I am an External Examiner at two other Higher Education Institutions.
I have recently been a governor and Chair of Governors at a local special school.
I work part time as Head of Department in a large secondary school, and as Director of SEN across a growing Academy Trust.
Publications and research outputs
Ekins, A. & Grimes, P. (2009) Inclusion: Developing an effective whole school approach, Open University Press.
Ekins, A. (2015) The Changing Face of SEN: implications for schools and SENCOs (2nd Edition), Routledge.
Ekins, A., Savolainen, H. & Englebrecht, P. (2016) "An analysis of English teachers' self-efficacy in relation to SEN and Disability and its implications in a changing SEN policy context", European Journal of Special Needs Education: Vol 31 (2) 236- 249.
Ekins, A. Reconsidering Inclusion: Sustaining and building inclusive practices in schools, Routledge.
Ekins, A., Robinson, S., Durrant, I., Summers, K. (2017) Educating Children with Life-Limiting Conditions: A practical handbook for teachers and school-based staff, Routledge.