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Stephen Bayley


ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223


  • PhD, University of Cambridge
  • MA International Education and Development, University of Sussex
  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, University of Oxford

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Stephen’s work focuses on children’s development, education and learning in the Global South. He has extensive experience of conducting research, managing projects and advising education programmes funded by organisations such as DFID/FCDO, UNICEF and the LEGO Foundation, and in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

His innovative, inter-disciplinary and mixed-methods doctoral research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and focused on education for adaptability in Rwanda. His postdoctoral fellowship is now building on that work and looks in particular at research on children’s executive functions in the Global South.

Stephen initially trained, qualified and practised as a lawyer specialised in public-private partnerships and infrastructure projects.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Child development including socio-emotional learning in the Global South
  • Education systems (including non-state provision) and quality
  • Children’s cognitive flexibility and executive functions

Current Research Project(s)

  • Skills for Adaptability in the Global South: Researching Children’s Executive Functions in Low-Income Contexts

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Principal and Recent Publications

Bayley, S., Wole, D., Yorke, L., Ramchandani, P. and Rose, P. (2021). Researching Socio-Emotional Learning, Mental Health and Wellbeing: Methodological Issues in Low-Income Contexts. RISE Working Paper Series. 21/068.

Yorke, L., Rose, P., Bayley, S., Wole, D. and Ramchandani, P. (2021). The Importance of Students’ Socio-Emotional Learning, Mental Health and Wellbeing in the time of COVID-19. 2021/025.

Bayley, S. (2020). Education for a Changing World: A Mixed-Methods Study of Cognitive Flexibility in Rwandan Primary Schools [Doctoral thesis].

Bayley, S. (2020). Education as a force for change. British Council – Creative Play in the Digital Age.

Bayley, S. (2019, October 31). Skills for the 21st Century and a Changing World [Blog post].

Bayley, S. (2019, July 1). Links with learning? Uncovering parental attitudes towards play in diverse contexts [Blog post].

Bayley, S. (2018, October 23). The Case for Including Development Data in Citizen-Led Assessments [Blog post].

Bayley, S. (2015, September). Education for Enterprise and Empowerment: The Importance of Cognitive Skills for Sustainable Livelihoods and Better Futures. Paper presented at UK Education and Development Forum (UKFIET) Conference, Oxford.

Ilusanya, G. & Bayley, S. (2015, September). Enabling Environments for Education: Resourcing Requirements for Inclusive Non-State Schooling in Nigeria. Paper presented at UKIFET Conference, Oxford.

Stephen Bayley

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