Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Honorary Professor Tess Ridge


Honorary Professor of Social Policy

3 East 3.37
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 5838


I have been a Professor of Social Policy at the University of Bath since 2000. My main research interests are childhood poverty and social exclusion; particularly exploring the experience of poverty and disadvantage from the perspectives of children themselves.

I have a keen interest in the role of policy, especially the provision of welfare and economic support in the lives of children and families. I have extensive experience of carrying out qualitative research with low-income children and their parents, and my research includes one of the first UK studies childhood poverty to be carried out from a child’s perspective.

My recent research includes a qualitative longitudinal study (with Professor Jane Millar) which explores the lives and experiences of children and their mothers in low-income working lone-mother households. This study explored the transition from welfare benefits to employment and the sustainability of that employment over time.

My research has had an impact on policy development and legislation at local, national and international levels and my research with children and families has been used to inform the thinking and priorities of child poverty lobby groups and NGOs.

I contributed to the development and progress of the recently passed Child Poverty Act. At present am working with local and national bodies interested in improving the welfare of some of Britain’s poorest children during this period of economic crisis and recession.

Research interests

  • Poverty and social exclusion especially childhood poverty and social exclusion
  • children and family policy
  • social security policy
  • comparative social security especially support for children and families.



Ridge, T. and Wright, S., eds., 2008. Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth: Policies and Prospects. Policy Press. (Understanding Social Policy)

Muschamp, Y., Wikeley, F., Balarin, M. and Ridge, T., 2007. Parenting, Caring and Educating.Vol. 7/1. University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. (Primary Review Research Survey)

Ridge, T., 2002. Childhood poverty and social exclusion: from a child's perspective. Policy Press.

Book Sections

Ridge, T., 2009. Benefiting children? The challenge of childhood poverty. In: Millar, J., ed. Understanding Social Security: Issues for Policy and Practice. 2nd edition. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 151-169.

Ridge, T., 2008. Children. In: Alcock, P., May, M. and Rowlingson, K., eds. The Student's Companion to Social Policy, 3rd ed. Bristol: Policy Press.

Ridge, T. and Wright, S., 2008. State approaches to poverty and social exclusion. In: Ridge, T. and Wright, S., eds. Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth: Policies and Prospects. Bristol: Policy Press. (Understanding Social Policy series)

Ridge, T., 2007. Negotiating Childhood Poverty: Children's Subjective Experiences. In: Qvortrup, J., Wintersberger, H., Alaanen, L. and Olk, T., eds. Childhood, Generational Order and the Welfare State: exploring Children's Social and Economic Welfare. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, p. 161. (Cost Action 19 Children's Welfare)

Ridge, T., 2006. Helping out at home: Children's Contributions to Sustaining Work and Care in Lone-Mother Families. In: Glendinning, C. and Kemp, P., eds. Cash and Care: Policy Challenges in the Welfare State. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 203-218.

Ridge, T., 2005. Feeling under pressure: Low-income girls negotiating school life. In: Lloyd, G., ed. Problem Girls: Understanding and Supporting Troubled and Troublesome Girls and Young Women. London: Routledge, pp. 23-36.

Millar, J. and Ridge, T., 2002. Parents, Children, Families and New Labour: Developing Family Policy? In: Powell, M., ed. Evaluating New Labour's welfare reforms. Bristol: The Policy Press, pp. 85-106.


Ridge, T., 2016. "The 'go-between':low-income children negotiating relationships of money and care with their separated parents". Children & Society

Featherstone, B. and Ridge, T., 2014. Editorial. Families, Relationships and Societies, 3 (2), p. 269.

Millar, J. and Ridge, T. M., 2013. Lone mothers and paid work:The ‘family-work project’. International Review of Sociology, 23 (3), pp. 564-577.

Ridge, T. and Millar, J., 2011. Following families: working lone-mother families and their children. Social Policy and Administration, 45 (1), pp. 85-97.

Ridge, T., 2011. The everyday costs of poverty in childhood: a review of qualitative research exploring the lives and experiences of low-income children in the UK. Children & Society, 25 (1), pp. 73-84.

Bullock, K., Muschamp, Y., Ridge, T. and Wikeley, F., 2010. Educational relationships in out-of-school-time activities: are children in poverty missing out again? Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 5 (2), pp. 103-116.

Ridge, T. and Millar, J., 2009. Madri single che lavorano:Uno studio longitudinale. Sociologie e politiche sociali, 12 (3), pp. 123-138.

Ridge, T., 2009. ‘It didn't always work’:Low-income children's experiences of changes in mothers’ working patterns in the UK. Social Policy and Society, 8 (04), pp. 503-513.

Wikeley, F., Bullock, K., Muschamp, Y. and Ridge, T., 2009. Educational relationships and their impact on poverty. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13 (4), pp. 377-393.

Muschamp, Y., Bullock, K., Ridge, T. and Wikeley, F., 2009. 'Nothing to do': the impact of poverty on pupils' learning identities within out-of-school activities. British Educational Research Journal, 35 (2), pp. 305-321.

Millar, J. and Ridge, T., 2009. Relationships of care: working lone mothers, their children and employment sustainability. Journal of Social Policy, 38 (1), pp. 103-121.

Ridge, T., 2008. Research on children. Families Sociology Review, 18 (1), pp. 17-19.

Ridge, T., 2007. It’s a family affair: low-income children’s perspectives on maternal work. Journal of Social Policy, 36 (3), pp. 399-416.

Ridge, T., 2007. Children and poverty across Europe - the challenge of developing child centred policies. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie der Erziehung und Sozialisation/Journal of Sociology of Education and Socialization, 27 (1), pp. 28-42.

Ridge, T., 2005. Supporting Children? The Impact of Child Support Policies on Children's Wellbeing in the UK and Australia. Journal of Social Policy, 34, 121--142.

Ridge, T., 2003. Labour's Reforms of Social Security Provision for Families: The Implications for Children. Benefits, 11, 87--92.

Ridge, T., 2003. Listening to children:developing a child-centred approach to childhood poverty in the UK. Family Matters, 65 (Winter), pp. 4-9.

Ridge, T. M. and Millar, J. I., 2000. Excluding Children:Autonomy, Friendship and the Experience of the Care System. Social Policy and Administration, 34 (2), 160 - 175.


Millar, J. and Ridge, T., 2017. Work and relationships over time in lone-mother families. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Ridge, T. and Millar, J., 2013. IPR Policy Brief - The family-work project: working lone mother families and their children. University of Bath.

Ridge, T., 2009. Living with poverty: a review of the literature on children’s and families’ experiences of poverty. Department for Work and Pensions. (Department for Work and Pensions Research Report; No 594)

Ridge, T. and Millar, J., 2008. Work and well-being over time: lone mothers and their children. Department for Work and Pensions. (Department for Work and Pensions Research Report; No 536)

Wikeley, F., Bullock, K., Muschamp, Y. and Ridge, T., 2007. Educational relationships outside school: why access is important. Discussion Paper. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Millar, J., Ridge, T. and Bennett, F., 2006. Part-time work and social security: increasing the options. Department for Work and Pensions. (Research Report No 351)

Millar, J. and Ridge, T., 2001. Families, poverty, work and care: A review of the literature on lone parents and low-income couple families with children. Department for Works and Pensions. (Research Report No. 153)

Conference or Workshop Items

Wikeley, F., Muschamp, Y. M., Bullock, K. and Ridge, T., 2007. Educational relationships and the concept of authority. In: European Association for Research into Learning and Instruction (EARLI) Conference, 2007-01-01.

Muschamp, Y., Bullock, K., Ridge, T. and Wikeley, F., 2006. Learning out of School: an exploration of poverty and children’s educational relationships. In: European Conference on Educational Research, 2006-09-01.

This list was generated on Sun Oct 22 03:41:57 2017 IST.

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