Improving reading provision in SEN contexts: assessment and intervention approaches – MRes Scholarship

Improving reading provision in SEN contexts: assessment and intervention approaches

Location: School of Educational Sciences, Bangor University.

Project ID: BUK2E085
Annual Stipend: £11,937
Application Deadline: Monday 12 December 2022.

The successful student will work on a collaborative project between Bangor University, GwE, and a cluster of SEN schools, to explore current reading intervention and assessment practices, and make key recommendations for further development and evaluation of effective and promising practices that will support enhanced outcomes for learners in SEN schools.

In a recent cross-sectional quantitative survey of teachers in special schools across the UK (Roberts-Tyler et al., 2020), one of our key findings was that respondents perceived access to training, curricula, and materials as greater barriers to improving reading skills of children with intellectual disabilities than instructional time or staffing. This indicates a clear evidence need for educational practitioners and learners in special schools; further development and evaluation of potentially effective approaches is required to ascertain their effects specifically for children with complex additional learning needs, and there is a need to collaborate with schools on implementation research to ensure effective practices can be developed, adopted, and consistently implemented to benefit pupils in special schools.

Programme of research:

Utilising a range of methods and approaches, you will seek to answer the following research questions:

1. What reading interventions and assessment methods are used across the participating group of SEN schools?

2. How do these reading interventions and assessment methods align with the current evidence-base for effective practice?

3. What are staff experiences and perceptions of current interventions and assessments used in their schools?

4. What areas of reading provision and assessment could be further developed in these settings to better support the needs of learners?


The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time Research Masters programme and pay an annual stipend of £11,937. There is also around £3k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS 2 Grad School) and conference attendance.

Eligibility of Student:

To be eligible to hold a KESS 2 East studentship, you must:

  • have a home address in East Wales (details below)* at the time of registration.
  • have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence area* on completion of the scholarship.
  • must have the right to work in the region on qualification
  • satisfy Bangor University’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

* The Convergence area covers East Wales: Flintshire/Wrexham/Powys/Monmouthshire/Newport/Cardiff/The Vale of Glamorgan


  • Have a degree (2i or higher) in either psychology, education, health, or other relevant discipline,
  • Possess an interest in educational interventions in SEN settings, ideally relating to literacy
  • Possess a reasonable understanding of qualitative research methods
  • Be willing to work in educational settings
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including the ability to prepare and present reports. Excellent organisational skills.
  • Be highly self-motivated and have the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Experience of working to deadlines.


  • The ability to communicate in Welsh.

To apply, send a CV and covering letter to Emily Roberts-Tyler ( and cc to Penny Dowdney by Monday 12 December 2022.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.