Sarah Mander

Senior Lecturer BA (Hons) SENDI

Education and Inclusion

Contact Details

tel: 01905 855193

Career History

Sarah's passion for working with children, young people and families has continually developed during almost 20 years working in this field. Her career includes working across the continuum of family need from early intervention and prevention to acute need. Children and young people with whom she has worked experience a range of disabilities and special educational needs, including Specific Learning Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Condition and poor mental health. Sarah has been involved at both Practitioner and Manager level with implementation of new policies, with an emphasis upon inclusive practice to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. Her most recent practice priority has been improvement of Sure Start services across 7 children's centres, to progress from an Unsatisfactory Ofsted grading to Good within 2 years.

Sarah entered the world of academia several years ago, commencing a Higher Education role as Senior Lecturer for Childhood, Family and Community Studies. She endeavours to retain currency within her practice through volunteer work. Volunteering with looked after young people has involved supporting young people with disabilities to leave the care system and also the role of Independent Adult for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Professional Interests

Sarah's professional interests lie in reducing social inequality, including but not limited to inequalities incurred through poverty, disability and family circumstance. She chose to research the journey Sure Start parents embark upon from service users to service shapers for her MA dissertation, Parental Participation: Breaking through the glass ceiling. This involved challenging organisational limitations regarding the devolution of power to parents and, in particular, investigating the potential afforded by the children's centre for the more vulnerable, challenged parents in progressing to higher levels of participation. Sarah is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education and is researching Early Help workforce competencies.


  • MA Leading Community Learning 
  • Staffordshire University
  • Diploma in Teaching in Lifelong Learning Sector
  • Further professional registration to secure QTLS status
  • Staffordshire University BA (Hons)
  • Applied Social Studies

Teaching & Research

  • Special Educational Needs
  • Equality & Inclusion
  • Safeguarding and Well-being
  • Early Intervention & Prevention
  • Family studies
  • Early Years
  • Volunteering

Professional Bodies

Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy



Bywater, A. and Mander, S. (2018) Seamlessly transcending the ‘academic bump’ to support the new lecturer in higher education Oxford: Research in Post-Compulsory Education 23(2)

Mander, S. and Sturge, S. (2015) Early Help Mechanisms – A mere fad or ground breaking reformation to child protection systems? The importance of interprofessional working; the educational and health perspectives Wolverhampton: Pedagogy in Practice, University of Wolverhampton


Bennett, K. Mander, S. and Richards, L. (2015) Inclusive practice for families, in, Brown, Z. (2015) Inclusive Education: perspectives on pedagogy, policy and practice. (ed.) Abingdon: Routledge            

Mander, S. (2017) How big is our society?, in, Brown, Z. (2017) Children, Families and Communities: Contemporary Influences and Challenges. (ed.) Abingdon: Routledge   


External Roles