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Dr Helen Woodley

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Helen joined Northumbria in 2018 after working as a teacher. She is a former SENCo who spent the majority of her career working in Alternative Provision and Specialist settings. Her doctoral thesis was based on her experiences working with a KS1 and KS2 class of pupils who were either at risk of, or who had experienced,  permanent exclusion from mainstream schooling. 

Helen is currently a Programme Lead for the Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) training within CYP-IAPT, as well as working across ITE courses at Northumbria. 


Helen Woodley

Helen's research interests include:

- School cultures and their impact on staff wellbeing

- Alternative Provision/Pupil Referral Units including how we can hear the authentic voices of both staff and pupils

- CYP mental health including the role of EMHPs

Helen is also interested in the use of autoethnographic and biographical methodologies, Kierkegaardian philosophy, and how mental health is understood within the context of religious belief and faith. 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • ‘How do you want to do this?’: table-top role-playing games and academic identity, Woodley, H. 31 Jan 2024, In: PRACTICE: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
  • Complex and Hidden Lives, Woodley, H. 17 Jun 2022, Understanding Safeguarding for Children and their Educational Experiences, Bingley, Emerald
  • The Implementation of Whole-School Approaches to Transform Mental Health in UK Schools: A Realist Evaluation Protocol, Spencer, L., Flynn, D., Johnson, A., Maniatopoulos, G., Newham, J., Perkins, N., Wood, M., Woodley, H., Henderson, E. 2022, In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods
  • The use of Kierkegaard as a Stimulus for Autoethnographical Journal Writing, Woodley, H. 1 Oct 2022, In: Journal of Autoethnography
  • Understanding Safeguarding for Children and their Educational Experiences: A Guide for Students, ECTs and School Support Staff, Woodley, H., McGovern, W., Gillespie, A. 17 Jun 2022
  • Why Schools Why Now and Why Safeguarding, McGovern, W., Gillespie, A., Woodley, H. 17 Jun 2022, Understanding Safeguarding for Children and Their Educational Experiences, Croydon
  • Supporting minority groups in schools - reflections on training education mental health practitioners, Woodley, H. 6 Oct 2021, In: Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
  • Visible and Invisible Cultures: What Teachers Can Learn about Schools When Applying for Posts, Woodley, H. 19 Feb 2021, Early Careers in Education, Bingley, Emerald
  • Paradigmatic Shifts in Doctoral Research: Reflections Using Uncomfortable Reflexivity and Pragmatism, Woodley, H., Mazzoli Smith, L. 2020, In: The International Journal of Qualitative Methods
  • Using Journaling and Autoethnography to Create Counter-Narratives of School Exclusion in Britain, Woodley, H. 3 Jul 2020, Discourses We Live By, Cambridge, Open Book Publishers

  • Education PGCE September 01 2003
  • BA (Hons) June 01 2002
  • Doctor of Education Ed.D
  • National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership NPQSL 2015
  • National Award for SEN Coordination NASENCO 2014

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