Disability Equality in English Primary Schools (DEEPS)

Exploring teaching about disability equality and non-disabled children's perceptions of disability.

Disability Equality in English Primary Schools is an Economic and Social Research Council funded research project that began on 1 September 2007.

The project will investigate primary age children's understanding about disability.

In addition, the research will examine the role that teaching in mainstream English primary schools currently plays in promoting 'disability equality' – formerly 'disability awareness' – amongst non-disabled children.

This project will include an exploration and assessment of resources available to schools to facilitate teaching about disability equality, a questionnaire/survey of schools, interviews with teachers and focus groups with children.

For further information relating to the methodology, please contact Dr Angharad Beckett.


In addition to academic publications arising from this project, the findings will also be disseminated widely amongst a range of potential user-groups, including disabled people and their organisations, local authorities, schools and other education professionals.

Furthermore, in the future a section of this website will provide details of resources that might be used to facilitate teaching and learning about disability equality and that are available to schools. Many of these resources will also be suitable for use by parents that wish to address issues relating to disability with their own children.

All members of the DEEPS team have experience of working with children and young people in a research or other professional capacity.

Publications and outputs

Beckett, A.E. and Buckner, L. (2012) 'Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people: definition of, rationale and prospects for anti-disablist education', British Journal of Sociology of Education, iFirst.

Beckett, A.E. (2009) 'Challenging disabling attitudes, building an inclusive society: considering the role of education in encouraging non-disabled children to develop positive attitudes towards disabled people', British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30(3).

Beckett, A. et al (2009). Disability Equality in English Primary Schools: exploring teaching about disability equality and non-disabled childrens' perceptions of disability: Full Research Report ESRC End of Award Report, RES-062-23-0461. Swindon: ESRC

Beckett, A., Ellison, N., Barrett, S. and Shah, S. (2010) 'Away with the Fairies? Disability within primary-age children's literature', Disability and Society, 25 (3), pp. 373-386

End-of-Project Conference for the Disability Equality in English Primary Schools (DEEPS) Project

The aim of this conference is to introduce and discuss the findings of the DEEPS Project. It will be held on 15 September 2009 from 10am to 4.30pm at Weetwood Hall.

Project Publications