Brian Lally

Research project: Educational experiences of Syrian refugees in Lebanon: voices from the margins


My research examines the experiences of young Syrian refugees in a range of education programmes in Lebanon.  By exploring their education life histories, it aims to share the voices of some of those too easily ignored or forgotten and thereby to improve the quality of education for children and young people who are refugees, or otherwise affected by conflict and fragile contexts.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Educational experiences of Syrian refugees in Lebanon: voices from the margins
  • Research supervisor: Dr Melania Calestani


I am an educator and researcher with broad experience in the sector including teaching, education leadership, safeguarding/child protection and programme management.  I have worked extensively at local, regional and national levels both within schools in the UK (including as Headteacher of a secondary school) as well as in the SWANA region, East Africa, Indonesia, Central America, West Africa and China.

For my MA at the UCL IOE, I specialised in education in emergency, conflict and fragile contexts, and education provision for refugees in particular.  My most recent focus has been with community-led NGOs supporting refugee children and young adults in Lebanon, Uganda, Turkey and northern Syria through non-formal education provision, schools, vocational training and in facilitating access to higher education.

Areas of research interest

  • Education in Emergencies
  • Education Leadership
  • Professional Development in Education
  • Education and International Development
  • Education in Conflict and Fragile Contexts


  • MA in Education & International Development, UCL Institute of Education
  • NPQH, National College of School Leadership
  • PGCE, Liverpool Hope University
  • MA in Theology, University of Oxford


Hargreaves, E., Lally, B., Akar, B., Al-Waeli, J., & Costello, J. (forthcoming). Schooling for refugee children: A social justice perspective informed by children from Syria. London: UCL Press.

Syrian children's advice to teachers (video from research project, 2019);

Hayes, A., McGhee, D., Garland, N. and Lally, B. (2019) Could refugee education in Lebanon provide a model for all?