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Mrs Catherine Carden

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Staff Tutor (Education) based in England.  I work to support the Open University's BA in Education Studies (Primary) and am involved in each of the three modules of this programme (E103, E209 and E309).  In addition to this role, I am part of the School of Education Childhood Youth and Sport's Athena Swan team which is currently focused on embedding activities relating to our Bronze Award and undertaking key research.

In addition to my work for The Open University, I am an Independent Education Consultant specialising in educational leadership and in particular people centred leadership, culture and wellbeing.

My previous roles have included Director of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education, Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education and a teacher educator at a large HEI where I was based for 14 years and prior to that I held teaching and leadership roles within secondary and further education.

My professional and scholarly interests are in teacher education and development, educational leadership, organisatonal culture, coaching and mentoring, and wellbeing and self-care.

My publications include editing Primary Teaching: Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools Today 1st and 2nd Editions: Primary Teaching | SAGE Publications Ltd 


Research interests

​I have research interestes in the following areas:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Teacher Wellbeing and Workload
  • Women in Leadership
  • People-Centred Leadership

I am currently working on scholarship and research projects exploring Academic Promotions and Gender (Athena Swan) and Changes in Study Intensity in Education Studies (Primary) degree at the OU.

Teaching interests

In Higher Education I have taught a range of topics, subject areas and courses including:

  • PGCE 14-19, 7-14 & Primary 
  • BA Hons Primary Education
  • Educational Leadership & People-Centred Leadership
  • Behaviour for Learning
  • Teacher Professionalism
  • Pedagogy, Learning & Teaching
  • Assessment
  • Teacher Wellbeing & Self-Care

I have also worked as a link tutor, supporting student teacher within their practice settings and developing school-based mentors and written a FutureLearn Expert Tracks course - Special Educational Needs in Practice.

In 2015, I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship at Canterbury Christ Church University for excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

External collaborations

In addition to my Staff Tutor role, I am currently involved in the following external work and voluntary activity:

  • Primary School Governor (previously Chair of Governors for 6 years)
  • Independent Educational Consultant: currently working with a large FE Group (Kent), a group of 6th form colleges (London), and a primary school (Kent)
  • Leadership Mentor for the National Professional Qualification in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)
  • Study Advisor for FutureLearn Microcredentials in Deveoping Education Leadership in Practice and Coaching and Mentoring in Professional Practice
  • Journal Reviewer for Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 
  • External Examiner at Newman University - BA Primary Education (QTS) programme
  • Podcast host for Bowden Education Podcasts

I also contributed to the wellbeing and mentoring expert panel roundtables for the DfE ITE Core Content Framework development.

I am a:

  • Founding Fellow of The Chartered College of Teaching (FCCT)
  • Senior Fellow - Advance HE (SFHEA)


Leading the Way (2020-10-20)
Carden, Catherine
In: Bower, Virginia ed. Debates in Primary Education. Debates in Subject Teaching (pp. 278-294)
ISBN : 9780367548865 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon

Primary Teaching: Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools Today (2nd Ed.) (2022-06)
Carden, Catherine ed.
ISBN : 9781529781076 | Publisher : SAGE | Published : London

Primary Teaching: Learning & Teaching in Primary Schools Today (2018-11)
Carden, Catherine ed.
Primary Teaching Now
ISBN : 978-1526436443 | Publisher : SAGE | Published : London

Are we too quick to kick wellbeing ideas into the 'long grass' (2021-10-28)
Carden, Catherine
Bowden Education

Confidence or Competence: Are we being seduced by over-confidence? (2021-09-21)
Carden, Catherine
Bowden Education

Leadership - Checking IN versus Checking UP (2021-07-19)
Carden, Catherine and Bower, Virginia
Teach Co

Our Forgotten Children (2021-07-01)
Barnes, Jonathan and Carden, Catherine
Canterbury Christ Church University

Children and teachers must be given the opportunity to tell their stories… (2021-04-11)
Carden, Catherine

The Story Behind the Story: Back to school and teacher and pupil mental health (2021-03-04)
Carden, Catherine; Gumbrell, David; Twiselton, Sam and Taylor, Andrew

Effective Leadership (2021-01)
Carden, Catherine
Bowden Education

Reframing the Debate on Teacher Mental Health and Wellbeing (2020-11-05)
Carden, Catherine; Twiselton, Sam; Gumbrell, David and Bethune, Adrian

Work-Life Balance (2020-05)
Carden, Catherine
Bowden Education

Putting People at the Centre of Your Leadership (2020-03-01)
Carden, Catherine
Bowden Education

The Importance and Value of Professional Learning and Development (2019-10-16)
Carden, Catherine and Bower, Virginia
Bowden Education

Is a Work-Life Balance Unattainable for School Leaders? (2019-06-12)
Carden, Catherine
Teach Co

Are you a School Leader or a Manager? (2019-05-17)
Carden, Catherine
Teach Co

How to Support School Leaders in Tough Times (2019-04-15)
Carden, Catherine
Teach Co

Fight for your rights (2019-03-09)
Carden, C. and Warnock, J.
Teach Primary, Teach Co

How we took our school from special measures to good. (2019-02-22)
Carden, Catherine and Warnock, Joanne
Teach Co