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Mrs Beth Tarleton

Mrs Beth Tarleton

Mrs Beth Tarleton

Senior Research Fellow

Office Room G2, 8 Priory Road
Social Science Complex,
8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 0973


Current research projects

Working Together with Parents Network – This is a free network for professionals working with parents with learning disabilities and their children.  The network provides professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds with up-to-date information on policy and practice as well as access to support from a regional group and email discussions.  There are 4 regional practitioner networks England and national networks in Wales and Scotland.

Getting things changed project - Beth leads Strand 4 on Successful practices in supporting parents with learning difficulties in this unique project.  Getting Things Changed (Tackling Disabling Practices: Co-production and Change) is a three year research study funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) in the UK. The project started in April 2015.


Recent projects

Evaluation of the Parent Pioneers/Mellow Futures projects.

Mellow Futures is a programme of ante antal and postnatal support for mothers with learning difficulties.  The programme enables mothers with learning difficulties to attend Mellow Bumps (an antenatal programme) and Mellow Babies (post-natal parenting programme) while also being supported by a volunteer mentor.  In England, this programme is also known as Parent Pioneers.

Beth was the sole evaluator of the Parent Pioneers Project in England which was piloted in two sites.  With support form Raq Ibrahim, Mellow Parenting Evaluations Assistant, Beth  evaluated the piloting of this programme in 4 sites in Scotland.


Evaluation of the Valuing Parent Support Service.  This evaluation was of a specialist support services for parents wtih learning difficulties in Medway.  The project was innovative and jointly funded by Adults and Children's services and was shown to be having a positive impact on the outcomes for the children in the families.

Methoidst Chaplaincy Development Project evaluation using the Mug of Tea Stories methodology.

The current stage of the project (August 2016 - July 2019) is focusing on 'Strategic change'.  We are aiming to ensure that policy and practice respects parents and children's rights while supporting parents to fulfill their responsibilities to their children.

See for more details.


 This evaluation of two local voluntary chaplaincys and the Methodist Chaplaincy Development Project was undertaken with Sue Porter.  It developed a narrative evaluation method called 'Mug of Tea stories' in which stories showing the impact of the Chaplaincy/CDP were told in the length of time it takes to drink a mug of tea.  This methodology was shown to provide in-depth understanding of the significance of these projects and to be useful for the evaluation of a wide range of church projects.

Beth has a long-term interest in easy information for adults with learning difficulties.  Prior to her current focus on research around positive support for parents with learning difficulties, Beth has undertaken work in a wide range of areas relating to service provision for adults with learning difficulties and disabled children.   These include transition, supported housing, short breaks for disabled children.


Beth joined the Centre in 1998, is a qualified primary school teacher and has been involved in supporting adults with learning disabilities for many years.   Beth has undertaken research in a wide range of topic areas including transition, short breaks (respite care), easy information and supported housing. Beth's current interest is the support available for parents who have learning difficulties.


Beth is currently supervising dissertations for MSc and DEd Psychology students. 


  • Beth’s interests include inclusive research and the development of accessible information. Beth co-ordinates the Working Together with Parents Network which aims to improve policy and practice in supporting parents with learning difficulties ( and has undertaken research in this area.


Policy and practice regarding parents with learning difficulties/learning disabilities

  • parents with learning difficulties
  • Memberships


    School for Policy Studies

    Research centres

    Selected publications

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    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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