Donna Jones
Donna is Head of Subject (Community, Refugee, Social Work and Youth) at London Met and has worked for over 25 years in social work education, with a particular focus on practice education and the practice learning curriculum. She gained the Diploma in Social Work and Social Work Degree before going on to gain her Postgraduate Practice Teachers Award, enabling her to supervise and assess social work students undertaking their placements. Donna is Academic Lead and Challenge Champion for London Met Lab: Empowering London for the area of Discrimination and is the founder of The Rainbow Room, a LGBTQIA+ safe and inclusive space at the heart of the university for students, staff and local LGBTQIA+ communities

Donna Jones

Donna was Practice Learning and Development Manager and senior lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London where she gained her Applied and Participatory Theatre Practices MA and introduced arts-based pedagogies into the curriculum. She also developed a Social Work Film Club initiative as a vehicle to explore social work values and ethics, and which continues to enrich the curriculum at London Met.

Having joined London Met as a principal lecturer, Donna is now Head of Subject and her priority remains to focus on excellent student experience, consolidating the on-going work of the social work team through the prioritisation of relationship-based approaches, developing her arts-based pedagogies and research interests, embedding creativity and critical curiosity throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Deeply committed to the idea that immersive theatrical and live performances bring value and enhance a student's learning, Donna recently brought the professional theatre production of SOLD (the story of Mary Prince who was born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda and who went on to be a champion of freedom told through the storytelling traditions of the West African griot) by Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective to The School of Social Sciences and Professions. She also brought to London Met the production of MAD(E) by Mandala Theatre Company, which explored male trauma and mental health.
Donna successfully won the bid to deliver Step Up to Social Work a fast track government funded social work course which together with delivering the Approved Mental Health Practitioner Course has developed and strengthened the Subject Area considerably.
Donna is currently the Chair of the North East London Teaching Partnership Steering Group comprising of 6 social work local authorities which focusses on innovative and high quality teaching, learning, research and development of social work students and practitioners.

Donna has previously taught Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice, Professional Social Work Values and Ethics, facilitation of child observation, law and critical reflection seminars as well as developing and delivering bespoke training workshops for key partner employer agencies.

She teaches on Social Work (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) which provides a valuable, widening participation route for learners into social work training. Donna also co-developed and co-teaches on an optional module, Creative, Critical, Reflective approaches to Practice which explores different arts based approaches to encourage critical, reflective mediated conversations within a range of contexts.
Donna's interests include a strong commitment to ensuring that courses across the Subject Area are underpinned throughout by the University's Education for Social Justice Framework and the decolonising agenda of the University.
Her research interests are community and arts based, focussing on amplifying the voices and stories of people from often unheard and marginalised communities in order to make an impact within those communities and advance the agenda of social change and social justice.

Donna's research focus is participatory action-based projects working alongside people in the community:

  • LamQ+ project 'understanding Lambeth's LGBTQI+ communities in times of Coronavirus A mixed methods study'. Funded by London Met Transformation Fund and developed in partnership with Lambeth Council and several local charities including Black Thrive, Black Out, Lambeth Links an Opening Doors London. Donna was the lead research academic for the Photovoice part of the project, working specifically with queer people from Black, Asian and other minoritised communities.
  • Videovoice - Let's talk Islington. A trailblazing decolonial research methodology foregrounding undertaking research alongside people rather than making people the 'objects of research. Videovoice aims to explore experiences of discrimination whilst living in the borough with queer Islington residents theough the medium of documentary film making.
  • Storytelling with Elders project - Let's talk Islington. This project recognises the value of 'story' and the ability of storytelling to build empathy and engagement. The project will work with a group of identified elders living in the borough of Islington to further understand their experiences of poverty and discrimination by gathering their stories.
  • National Youth Theatre's 'Made by Members' programme. Engaged in collaborative work to evaluate the effectiveness of the Made by Members programme of reducing loneliness.
Donna Jones
Principal Lecturer, Head of Social Work
Interim Head of Subject Area (Community Development and Leadership, Social Work, Youth and Refugee programmes)
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