The Tizard Centre

About the Centre

The Tizard Centre is the leading UK academic group working in learning disability and community care, is widely known world-wide and has an international reputation. Members of the Centre are selected both for their academic record and for their practical experience in services. The Centre provides short courses as well as degree and diploma programmes at the University of Kent, Canterbury and also undertakes an extensive programme of consultancy and research - both nationally and internationally. The primary aims of the Centre are:

  • to advance knowledge about the relationship between the organisation of community care services and their outcomes

  • to help service agencies (both purchasers and providers) develop their own competence to provide and sustain high quality, comprehensive community care services

  • The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent at Canterbury.



Jack Tizard 1919-1979
Jim Mansell 1952-2012


Jack Tizard



Jim Mansell, Tizard Centre


The Tizard Centre is named after Professor Jack Tizard (1919-1979) in recognition of his contribution to the development of community care. A New Zealander, Jack Tizard spent most of his professional life in England where, as a psychologist, he worked at the boundaries of psychology, medicine, education and the social sciences. His work on alternatives to institutional care in the nineteen-fifties and sixties underpinned the subsequent development of ‘ordinary life’ models for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. His approach was characterised by a commitment to using high research standards to address important social problems, ensuring through his extensive advisory activities that the results of research were available to practitioners and policy-makers.

In 1983 Jim Mansell was appointed as a lecturer with funding from the then South East Thames Regional Health Authority to coordinate staff training initiatives in support of the development of community services for people with learning disabilities. As resettlement from hospital to community accelerated, the work expanded to include the Special Development Team, a ground-breaking initiative to develop community services for people with seriously challenging behaviour, and new courses at the University to help train the new staff who would lead services in the community. The remit of the Centre broadened to include mental health and older people. Initially based in Psychology as the Centre for the Applied Psychology of Social Care, increasing independence and multidisciplinarity was reflected in the name change to the Tizard Centre in 1993. The Centre now focuses primarily on learning disability and community care and is part of the top-rated School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

Jim continued to be a respected and influential figure in the field of learning disabilities and care environments as well as Director of the Tizard Centre and he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to people with intellectual disabilities. He retired from the University in December 2010, sadly passing away in March 2012.

The Centre's work reflects their contribution in its commitment to social justice, in the way it focuses on the relationship between policy, management and practice and in bridging psychology, social policy and other related disciplines to help improve services.

Publications of interest:

Tizard, J. (1964). Community Services for the Mentally Handicapped. London: Oxford University Press.
King, R. D., Raynes, N. V., & Tizard, J. (1971). Patterns of residential care: Sociological studies in institutions for handicapped children. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Clarke A D B and Tizard B (1983) Child development and social policy: the life and work of Jack Tizard. Leicester: British Psychological Society

Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7LR

Telephone: +44(0)1227 827373 or contact us

Last Updated: 30/10/2017