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Laura Oxley


Research Associate and Senior Teaching Associate

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223


  • PhD Education (University of York)
  • MEd Psychology and Education (University of Cambridge)
  • BSc (Hons) Open: Social Sciences (The Open University)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)
  • Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

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Laura is a Research Associate and Senior Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is the Teaching Associate representative for the Research Committee at the Faculty of Education. Laura completed her PhD at the University of York with the Psychology in Education Research Centre. Her PhD research explored senior school leaders’ views on alternative approaches to behaviour management, other than those which rely on systems of rewards and punishments, and the barriers to these approaches being more widely implemented in schools in England.

Prior to her PhD, Laura undertook an MED in Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge. Her Masters research focussed on the development of place identity in primary school children.

Laura’s research interests include alternative behaviour management strategies in schools, particularly those which are preventative and enable pupil participation. She is also interested in researching mental health and well-being in schools. She prefers working with qualitative methods and has used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), thematic analysis, and visual methods in her previous research.

Laura worked for over 15 years in the state education sector, primarily supporting schools and families when children were at risk of exclusion from school or were accessing alternative provision.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Behaviour management in schools
  • Restorative approaches
  • Preventative strategies to reduce challenging behaviour
  • Teacher mental health and well-being

Current Research Project(s)

  • Long term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early mental health intervention: Follow up to the Healthy Start, Happy Start study – Reducing enduring behavioural problems in young children: following up with the same sample of children at aged 6-9 years after their previous participation in a randomised controlled trial of a Video Feedback intervention – ViPP-SD. Principal Investigators: Professor Paul Ramchandani and Dr Christine O’Farrelly.
  • Being a teacher in England during the Covid-19 pandemic project – Understanding the impact of the pandemic on teachers and the teaching profession, including wellbeing and professional identity. In collaboration with Principal Investigator Dr Lisa E Kim and Co-investigator Professor Kathryn Asbury at the University of York.
  • Pedagogies of Punishment project – Exploring how and why should schools punish students (if at all). In collaboration with Principal Investigators Dr John Tillson (Liverpool Hope University) and Dr Winston C. Thompson (The Ohio State University).

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  • Postgraduate
    • MPhil/MEd (Psychology and Education): Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology, Ethics, Supervisor of master theses

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Principal and Recent Publications

Oxley, L. and Holden, G. W. (2021). 'Three positive approaches to school discipline: Are they compatible with social justice principles?', Educational and Child Psychology, 38(2), 71-81.

Kim, L. E., Oxley, L. and Asbury, K. (2021). "My brain feels like a browser with 100 tabs open": A longitudinal study of teachers' mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, British Journal of Educational Psychology,

Kim, L. E., Oxley, L. and Asbury, K. (2021). What makes a great teacher during a pandemic? Journal of Education for Teaching. Advance online publication.

Tillson, J. and Oxley, L. (2020). 'Children's moral rights and UK school exclusions'. Theory and Research in Education, 18(1), 40-58.

Aktar, T. and Oxley, L. (2019). Promoting student engagement by strengthening the link between research and teaching in Higher Education: an early career researcher perspective. Higher Education Pedagogies. 161-179.

Oxley, L. (2018). Experiences of behaviour management in school: A case study of one senior school leader at a secondary school. The Psychology of Education Review, 42(2), 44-46.

Oxley, L. (2016). Alternative Approaches to Behaviour Management in Schools: An Exploration of Senior School Leaders' Experiences, Beliefs and Perceptions of Interventionist Behaviour Management Systems. Cambridge Open Review Educational Research Journal, 3, 111-115.

Oxley, L. (2016). An examination of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Educational and Child Psychology, 33(3), 55-62.