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Vanessa Rawlings


Vanessa Rawlings

T:  01473 338586

Vanessa teaches in the School of Psychology and Education as a lecturer and personal tutor in education, social policy and practice modules across several undergraduate degree routes including the BA (Honours) Early Childhood Studies, BA (Honours) Early Years and Primary Education Studies, and the BA (Honours) Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies.  Vanessa has over 15 years’ experience working is a qualified early years practitioner and primary school teacher.  She has worked as an outreach/detached youth support worker and also as a mentor to secondary school students in Years 10 & 11. Vanessa believes that education should be accessible, adaptable and available to everyone regardless of their ability. Vanessa is also an active researcher at the university, particularly in the fields of education, online safety, and health and wellbeing. She has co-authored evaluation reports for both local authority and third sector projects on children and young peoples’ health and wellbeing, and most recently co-authored a report to the Home Office on e-safety issues and strategies within Suffolk schools. Vanessa’s passion is for the advocacy of children and young people’s engaged voices and her current PhD thesis is exploring children and young people’s perspectives on wellbeing.

Research Interests

Vanessa’s research interests centre on children and young people’s voice and active agency in society through engaging and empowering young people’s active participation in democratic and educational issues using innovative methodologies. Vanessa is currently undertaking her PhD in the subject area of mental health and wellbeing perceptions, facilitating children and young people’s participation in focus groups exploring their perceptions of and views about what wellbeing means to them.


Rawlings, V. (2018) ‘Educational Perspectives’ chapter in Boggis, A. (Ed) Dis/abled Childhoods. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Bond, E. and Rawlings, V. (2017) ‘Virtual vulnerability - Safeguarding children in digital environments’ in Dastbaz, M.; Arabnia, H.;  and Aghkar,  B (Eds.) Technology and Smart Futures. London: Springer.

Forthcoming chapters

Bond, E. and Rawlings, V. (2018) ‘Children as Active Participants in Health Literacy Research and Practice? From Rhetoric to Rights’ in Okan, O.; Bauer, U.; Pinheiro, P.; Zamir-Levin, D. and Sørensen, K.  (eds.) International Handbook of Health Literacy: Research, practice and policy across the lifespan. Bristol: Policy Press (in press).

Funded Research Reports

Bond, E. and Rawlings, V. (2016) Multiagency E-safety Crime Prevention (MESCP) project report pp 1-141 for Suffolk Constabulary & Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioners Office.

Dogaru, C.; Bond, E. and Rawlings, V. (2017) Evaluation of the Children’s wellbeing fund. Ipswich: University of Suffolk.

Rawlings V.; Coombs S.; Belcher-Hackett D and Dotchin J. (2016) Suffolk Young Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing Profiling Project 12 to 21: Ref: SRGA: 225 Available at .

Rawlings, V.; Coe, J and Bond, E. (2016) Evaluation Review: MyGo’s MyLife Programme: a sports and wellbeing and mental health programme for NEET young people. Ipswich Borough Council

Bond, E.(Ed); Agnew, A. (Ed) and Rawlings, V. (2014) Suffolk Students’ Perceptions of Mentoring Programmes in Secondary Schools & Colleges. pp1-22. Suffolk County Council.

Rawlings, V. (2014) Client Knowledge and Use of NHS services & Alternative Health Care services Report. pp 1-24. ICENI Ipswich.

Conference papers

‘Addressing the Needs of Young people in Suffolk: An Evaluation of Health and Wellbeing Service Provision’. International Conference on Economic Sciences and Business Administration (ICESBA) Bucharest. Panel Participant: Welfare drivers and quality of life. By competition 23-24 Nov 2017

‘Multiagency E-safety Crime Prevention (MESCP)’ project poster UOS Children and Childhoods Conference. By competition 18 -19 July 2017

Poster and Presentation 3 minute PhD thesis on researching young people’s views of wellbeing at UOS Doctoral Colloquium. PhD poster competition prize winner. 7 July 2017

 ‘The Potential of Pastoral & Wellbeing Support in Education’ accepted paper at Liverpool Hope University Childhood and Young People In a Changing World: Action, Agency and Participation Conference. 23 – 24 June 2016

Presentation of 3 minute PhD thesis on ‘Mentoring, wellbeing and mental health’ at UOS Doctoral Colloquium. 27 May 2016

‘The Importance of Maths in Early years’ at Bows and Arrows Nursery Group Practitioners Conference invited as a guest speaker. 8 April 2016

‘Suffolk Students’ Perceptions of Mentoring Programmes in Secondary Schools & Colleges’ UCS/ iSEED research paper findings at Suffolk Learning Mentor Network Meeting. Invited speaker. 24 June 2014

‘A Case study of children’s participation in a UK rural community decision making processes’ paper at UCS Childhood Remixed Conference. 14-15 July 2015