Virginia Kay

Name: Virginia Kay
Department: Professional Learning
Current position: Senior Lecturer, SENCo
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education



  • Course Leader, National Award for SEN Co-ordination, Edge Hill University, 2014 to date
  • Senior Lecturer, National Award for SEN Co-ordination, Edge Hill University, 2011 to 2014
  • Associate Tutor, Inclusion and SEN, Edge Hill University, 2010 to 2011
  • Primary Teacher (KS1 and KS2), Lancashire, 2006 to 2011
  • 6th Grade Teacher, North Carolina, USA, 2004 to 2006
  • Year 6 teacher, Hertfordshire, 2001 to 2004
  • Primary Teacher, Nottinghamshire, 1999 – 2001


Virginia has been a member of the Faculty of Education since 2011 and her qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Education and English with QTS, an MA in Inclusion and SEN (with Distinction) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (with Distinction).  Virginia’s professional experience includes 12 years teaching in a variety of settings across key stages 1, 2 and 3, including two years in the United States. She is credited with an in-depth knowledge of inclusion and SEN, in relation to both policy and practice, which was recognised when she was asked to become the Course Leader for the National SENCo Award. Virginia is passionate about social justice within education, especially as this relates to learners with a range of Special Educational Needs and the role of the SENCos with whom they work. Her extensive teaching background, understanding of the demanding SENCo role and her academic knowledge of inclusion give Virginia both the practical and professional expertise to lead and deliver high quality teaching and learning on the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

Qualifications and Achievements:


  • St Martin’s College, Lancaster, B.A. (Hons) QTS Education and English, Class 2:1, 1999
  • Edge Hill Universtiy, M.A Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, Distinction, 2012
  • Edge Hill University, Postgraduate Certificate Teaching and Learning in Higher Education,  Distinction, 2012


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012)
  • TEACCH qualification, UNCG, March 2013


Research Interests

Virginia’s research interests centre around inclusion and social justice in education.  She is particularly interested in the field of Special Educational Needs, the policy and practice of inclusive education provision and the tensions present within the SENCo role.

Research Groups

Virginia is a member of a RIF funded team utilising photo-elicitation to investigate children, teachers and HE students’ understandings and experiences of educational inclusion and SEN.   She also took part in the Faculty Research Apprenticeship scheme, working on a collaborative project related to student teachers’ perceptions of ‘race’ and ethnicity.


  • Dunne, L, Hallett, F., Kay, V. and Woolhouse, C (2017) Spaces of inclusion: Investigating place, positioning and perspective in educational settings through photo-elicitation International Journal of Inclusive Education.
  • Dunne, L., Hallett, F., Kay, V. and Woolhouse, C. (2017) Visualising Inclusion: Employing a photo-elicitation methodology to explore views of inclusive education, SAGE Research Methods Cases.  Part 2. 

Knowledge transfer and enterprise:

Presenting at Conferences

  • Dunne, L., Kay, V., Boyle, R. and Obadan, F. (2016) Student teacher discourse around ‘race’ and ethnicity, ACRE Conference, Edge Hill University, July 2016.
  • Dunne, L., Kay, V., Hallett, F. and Woolhouse, C. (2015b) ‘Utilising photo-elicitation in the study of inclusion in English schools’ at EERA Annual Conference, University of Budapest, Hungary, September 2015.
  • Dunne, L., Kay, V., Hallett, F. and Woolhouse, C. (2015a) ‘Researching space, place and positioning using photo-elicitation methodologies’ at BERA Annual Conference, BERA Annual Conference, Queens  University, Belfast, September 2015.
  • Dunne, L., Hallett, F., Kay, V. and Woolhouse, C. (2013) ‘Understanding images of inclusion’ at CLIS Conference, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, July 2013.
  • Kay, V. (2013) Powerless Responsibility:  frustrations and tensions perceived by Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators within their role.  Discourse, Power and Resistance Conference, Greenwich University, London, April 2013
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