Dr Una O’Connor Bones is Head of the Research Graduate School and Deputy Director of the UNESCO Centre based in the School of Education.
As Director of the Children and Youth Programme (2010-2014), Dr O’Connor Bones developed an inter-disciplinary approach to monitor the rights and well-being of children and young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. She presented findings of this work to the Education Committee and the All Party Group for Children and Young People as well as delivering key note conference addresses on the theme. With colleagues, she secured support from the children’s sector and government officials to develop a unique set of child rights outcomes indicators which have been instrumental in informing the development of the new government strategy for children and young people in Northern Ireland.
She is currently engaged with the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) in a project to access, navigate, and link existing administrative data to explore longitudinal educational records for pupils with SEN in Northern Ireland and to link this data with relevant socio-economic and census data sets. The study intends to establish a comprehensive administrative data evidence base upon which to build future research, facilitate future data sharing and enable on-going action to improve educational outcomes for pupils with SEN in Northern Ireland.
Dr O’Connor Bones’ research findings have been published in key international journals including the International Journal for Inclusive Education. She has co-edited a compendium on Education for Citizenship and Diversity in Irish Contexts published by the Institute of Public Administration and has secured over £700,000 in research funding through awards from Atlantic Philanthropies, the Department of Education, OFMDFM, the Gordon Cook Foundation and the Integrated Education Fund. She is an Executive Member of the Education Studies Association of Ireland, sits on the NICCY Advisory Forum and is a member of the Expert Reference Group on the new government strategy for children and young people.
Dr O’Connor Bones works closely with agencies in the statutory and voluntary sectors to enhance educational outcomes for children and young people including NICCY, Children in Northern Ireland, the Children with Disabilities Strategic Alliance, Autism NI and the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership.