Simon  Gibbs Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Simon Gibbs

Reader in Educational Psychology
Newcastle University

Simon has been a school teacher, educational psychologist and university academic. He is concerned that education as a social and socialising process is under threat in many countries. His latest work 'Immoral Education: The assault on teachers' identities, autonomy and efficacy' is his response to that concern and his concerns for teachers' well being.

Subjects: Education, Philosophy


Simon has been working in education for over 40 years. First as a school teacher then, having retrained as a psychologist, as an Educational Psychologist. Latterly he has been an academic with involvement in training Educational Psychologists.
He studied for his PhD (researching the development of phonological awareness and word reading) under David Wood at Nottingham University and was later involved (with Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme) in large scale reading interventions in schools.
More recently he has been investigating influences on teachers' efficacy beliefs and how these beliefs may be compromised. He is particularly concerned by the attrition of teachers and the dehumanising of education. Central to this is his work to develop understanding of educational systems (as currently operationalized in England and other countries) perpetuates discrimination and the 'essentialising' of  difference. Work in hand includes an international study of the effects on teachers' beliefs of labels ascribed to children.
In 2017 he was honoured to receive the British Psychological Society Division of Educational and Child Psychology's Award for his Distinguished contribution to Educational and Child Psychology.


    BSc, MEd (Human Relations), MA (Educational Psychology), PhD

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Teachers' mental health; The effects of labelling; Teachers' efficacy beliefs; Reading development in young children; Educational Psychology

Personal Interests

    Walking and climbing; The music and poetry of JS Bach and Bob Dylan.




Flip the system UK: A teachers' manifesto (Ed L.Rycroft-Smith & JL Dutaut)

Inclusion and teachers' beliefs in their efficacy

Published: Nov 24, 2017 by Flip the system UK: A teachers' manifesto (Ed L.Rycroft-Smith & JL Dutaut)
Authors: S.Gibbs
Subjects: Education

In this chapter, Gibbs sets out some of the parameters for teachers' beliefs. In doing so he draws attention to what teachers may hold as their beliefs and what is actually permitted and encouraged

Educational Psychology in Practice

Identifying the costs and benefits of educational psychology: a preliminary exploration in two local authorities

Published: Nov 08, 2016 by Educational Psychology in Practice
Authors: S. Gibbs & I. Papps
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

This article provides an account of a small-scale pilot study of the cost and perceived benefits of the educational psychology services in two comparably small local authorities in England. Provisional findings indicate significant differences between the impact of the two services that participated. The authors offer speculation on the effects for local authorities and schools.

School Psychology International

Supervision for School Psychologists in Training: Developing a framework from empirical findings

Published: Jun 01, 2016 by School Psychology International
Authors: Gibbs, S., Atkinson, C., Woods,K., Bond, C., Hill, V. & Morris, S.
Subjects: Education

In common with other professional disciplines, supervision within school psychology has attracted considerable attention within recent years. Despite this, systematic review of current literature reveals a dearth of empirical literature proposing underlying theoretical structures. This study extended our findings by using a survey of school psychology interns. We propose a warranted framework for professional practice.

European Journal of Special Needs Education

The differential effects of labelling: how do ‘dyslexia’ and ‘reading difficulties’ affect teachers’ beliefs

Published: Apr 17, 2015 by European Journal of Special Needs Education
Authors: S.Gibbs & J.Elliott
Subjects: Education, Thinking & Reasoning

This paper reports a survey of primary school teachers’ beliefs about working with poor readers. The findings indicated that labels were associated with differences in teachers’ efficacy beliefs.

The Psychology of Education Review, 39(1)

The study of 'reading difficulties' as a phenotype of psychology.

Published: Mar 01, 2015 by The Psychology of Education Review, 39(1)
Authors: S.Gibbs
Subjects: Education, Cognitive Psychology

In this paper I acknowledge that: Reading is a Puzzle; Reading is Power; Reading is a Miracle; and that there is Unfinished Business.