Dr Sarah Cobbe

Dr Sarah Cobbe


Academic background

I recently earned my PhD in Education with the University of Leeds. Prior to this, my qualifications included a Bachelor of Science degree in Maths and Psychology, which was awarded by Keele University in 1993. This award was held concurrently with a certificate in Education - providing me with Qualified Teacher Status. I also gained a Masters in Education from the University of Birmingham in 2010. My MEd comprised aspects of management relating to special education in home and international contexts.


I've worked in the field of autism for more than two decades, primarily as a teacher or an advisor. My research experiences are diverse but united by an emphasis on inclusion and accessible education. I have worked as an independent researcher and in collaboration with other academics. I recently worked as an assistant researcher in the School of Education, exploring student and staff experiences of teaching and learning online during the pandemic.  

Research interests

My thesis explored measures of self-efficacy amongst the staff working in private day nurseries and their relationship to inclusive practice. I concentrated on the practitioners supporting children with autism, speech, language and communication needs. The results showed that levels of self-efficacy were high across the four areas of practice investigated and that these persisted regardless of individuals’ demographic details. Staff judgements of their effectiveness were consonant with Albert Bandura’s (1997) Self Efficacy Theory but also additionally influenced by a new domain of information, which was delineated as Visual Feedback on Performance. I am currently working on a paper to foreground these results.  

In brief, my research interests are exemplified by, but not limited to:

  • autism
  • early years education and childcare
  • inclusive practice
  • private day nurseries and nursery practitioners
  • self efficacy theory

I also have a personal interest in students’ learning experiences in higher education and foreign languages (German and Italian).


  • PhD in Education
  • MEd International Management and Policy
  • BSc Maths and Psychology
  • Qualified Teacher status