Charlotte Haines Lyon

Dr Charlotte Haines Lyon Profile Photo

My background is in Youth and Community work, and my first degree was in Informal and Community Education (YMCA George Williams College).

Having worked in a variety of youth and community settings, I moved on to Adult Education including working with Age Concern and volunteers and staff at the Methodist Church Connexional Team (headquarters). During this time I gained my Masters in Philosophy and Religion at Heythrop College (UCL).

In 2004, I started work as a freelance writer for a variety of charities and agencies including Christian Aid and the Department for International Development.

I also enjoyed teaching craft skills in clubs, pubs and cafes with Craft Guerrilla.

Throughout my career I have had a strong interest in social justice and democracy and this is evident in my writing, teaching and research.

Between teaching and my doctoral research, I am also Chair of Governors for my local primary school.


Further Information



I teach on the Foundation Degree, Top Up, Masters programme and also the current Youth and Community Programme. I teach a variety of modules including Family Interventions, Understanding Life Chances, Global Perspectives and Research modules.




Title: 'Unpicking the neoliberal noose: working towards democratic parent engagement in a primary school.'

I am in the final stages of my part-time PhD which has explored how parent engagement is promulgated as the answer the problems of the English education system and inequality in England.  This relegates parental engagement to being a mechanism in the neoliberal endeavour; creating economic beings; parents transmitting correct ways of knowing and living (Ramaekers and Suissa, 2011). My thesis details how performative parent engagement removes agency, relies on compliance and individualises parents, thus removing any sense of democratic participation for parents in the schooling of their children, and moreover wider education policy. It also details how a small group of parents in one school resisted their de-agentification.

A Participatory Action Research project was undertaken to create a space for democratic parent engagement. This included using Community Philosophy  (SAPERE, 2015) with a group of parents in a coastal primary school. Drawing on the work of Glynos and Howarth (2007) and Laclau and Mouffe (1985/2014), Critical Discourse Analytics were used as part of the PAR project. The findings will be discussed together with the new understandings of democratic parent engagement and a reconceptualisation of Action Research.  My thesis concludes by offering a model for the necessary conditions for democratic parent engagement. 

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Clarke, Dr Jane Rand, Dr Margaret Wood





Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2018) Democratic parent engagement: relational and dissensual. Power and Education. (In Press)

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2016) For the love of libraries: a student eye view. Taking Stock, 24 (2). p. 18.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2015) Exploring community philosophy as a tool for parental engagement in a primary school. International Journal for Transformative Research, 3 (1).

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2008) 'Kill Bill Volume 2: A Film Worthy of Meaning Making?' Particip@tions, 5 (1).

Book Chapter

Haines Lyon, Charlotte and Marsh, Clive (2008) Film's role in contemporary meaning making; a theological challenge to cultural studies. In: Knauss, S. and Ornella, A., (eds.) Reconfigurations; Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion in a Post-Secular Society. London, Lit Verlag

Conference Papers

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2017) Parents: villains, ineptitudes or fellow actors? Using Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory to contest and renew the home-school imaginary. In BERA Conference 2017, 5-7th September, University of Sussex.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2017) Beyond Rigour Mortis in Symposium: Reconceptualising the Practitioner, In BERA Conference 2017, 5-7th September, University of Sussex.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2017) Parent Engagement: Beyond Instrumentalisation. In European Research Network About Parents in Education Conference 2017, 5-7 July 2017, University of Roehampton.

Rand, Jane and Haines Lyon, Charlotte and Clarke, Matthew (2016) Beyond the sage on the stage: PubMethods as radical research practice. In: Value and Virtue Conference 2016, 5-6 July 2016, York St John University.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2016) ‘Precarious Voices’: From Containment to Dissensus. In: Precarity, Rage and Reason. SWIP 2016, 8-10th July 2016, Brighton University.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2016) Community Philosophy as Democracy in Action? In: BERA Conference 2016, 12-15th September, University of Leeds.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2016) Relational Democracy. In: BERA Conference 2016, 12-15th September, University of Leeds.

Haines Lyon, Charlotte (2015) Researcher influence in the context of collaborative and political research. In: Value and Virtue Conference 2015, 9-10 June 2015, York St John University.



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