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School of Education

Dr Lauren Stentiford

Dr Lauren Stentiford

Senior Lecturer in Education


 +44 (0) 1392 724840

 North Cloisters NC137


North Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I am a Senior Lecturer in Education, having joined the School of Education in 2018. My research explores aspects of inequalities in compulsory and higher education, and I have a particular interest in gender, social class, disability and the intersection of these identity facets. My approach might be located within a sociological perspective. I gained my PhD at Exeter in 2017, for which I conducted a qualitative case study set in an elite British university that explored young women’s negotiations of academic achievement whilst studying either a male-dominated STEM or female-dominated arts/humanities discipline.

After gaining my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a number of projects being conducted within the School of Education. These included an ESRC-SWDTP funded methodological project on thematic qualitative data analysis, a Nuffield Foundation funded systematic review of the organisational arrangements of reading interventions for struggling readers, and an ESRC Impact Accelerator project that explored mental health leadership and policy in selected case study schools across England.  

I am interested in qualitative research methods, including focus groups and diary methods. I am fully trained in systematic literature review methodology and have a specialism in qualitative systematic reviews. I am currently working as PI and Co-I on several internally and externally funded research projects that explore aspects of inclusion and exclusion in education.  


2017: PhD Education, University of Exeter (+3 ESRC funded)
2013: MSc Educational Research, University of Exeter
2010: BA Sociology, University of Exeter

2020: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2017: Stage 1 & 2 LTHE, University of Exeter

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Research projects

My research activities include the following projects:

2021-2022: Gender, mental health and students' secondary school experiences – TREE/Wellcome Trust, (PI)
This project seeks to explore students' negotiations of gender and mental health in selected secondary schools in England, with a particular focus on understanding the challenges that students can encounter in a 'pressurised' education system. This project adopts a rapid ethnographic approach.  

2019-2022: Supporting Practices for Inclusive Schooling & Education for Youth (SPISEY) – ERASMUS+, (Co-I) 
The main purpose of the SPISEY project is to contribute to the implementation of the European strategy about early school leaving, the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and the Pillar of Social Rights, especially focusing on school opportunities to a) offer high quality and inclusive education for all from early age, b) improve the transition process between lower and upper secondary / qualifying youth education, especially for those young students with learning difficulties and / or risk of social exclusion and c) improve employment prospects for young citizens with learning difficulties.

2020-2021: 'A literature review to understand the structures and processes that influence educational research activities in the UK' – British Educational Research Association (Co-I)
This project builds on and extends previous mapping activities that have been commissioned by BERA, the most recent of which was Alis Oancea and David Mills’ review to monitor the health and state of education research in the UK in 2015 as part of the BERA Observatory initiative. The current research takes the form of a systematic literature review to draw together published research evidence relevant to understanding the structures and processes (both formal and informal) that influence education research activities in UK HEIs.  

2021: ‘The inclusive curriculum: Addressing inequalities and disadvantage in HE’ – Social Mobility Centre/Education Incubator (PI)
This project aims to critically explore the concept of the ‘inclusive curriculum’ and consider its utility as an approach to address and reduce social inequalities in HE. This includes a systematic literature review and a series of staff and student workshops to encourage critical and reflexive thinking around matters of inclusion/exclusion in HE.

2019-22: 'The gendered schooling experiences of young women identified with SEN' – British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (PI)
This project forms two strands: 1) a systematic literature review to synthesise research pertaining to the gendered schooling experiences of students identified with SEN, and; 2) a small-scale rapid, multi-method ethnographic study undertaken with young women to explore their negotiations of normative gendered expectations and SEN in the mainstream secondary school.

2013-2017: ESRC+3 PhD Studentship - 'Femininity, academic discipline and achievement: Women undergraduates’ accounts whilst studying either a STEM or arts/humanities discipline at a high-performing British university'


I have presented at a number of international conferences including Gender and Education, British Sociological Association, British Educational Research Association, and European Conference on Educational Research.

Invited talks

I have been invited to deliver lectures and seminars on my research at universities across the world, including the UK, Spain and Australia. This includes a recent talk at University of Oxford in 2021 discussing critical approaches to inclusive pedagogies in HE, and a seminar on inclusion in HE at Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain.   


Shortlisted for BERJ Editor’s Choice Paper 2023
Norwich, B., Moore, D., Stentiford, L., Hall, D. (2022). A critical consideration of ‘mental health and wellbeing’ in education: Thinking about school aims in terms of wellbeing. British Educational Research Journal

Best Paper 2019 - Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Awards 2020 
Finning, K., Ukoumunne, O.C., Ford, T., Danielson‐Waters, E., Shaw, L., Romero De Jager, I., Stentiford, L., Moore, D.A. (2019). Review: The association between anxiety and poor attendance at school – a systematic review. Child Adolescent Mental Health

Media engagment

My research has featured in national and international media including BBC Radio Devon, FE News, About Manchester, Heart FM Radio, Asian News and Hindustan Times. 

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Journal articles

Stentiford L, Koutsouris G, Nash T, Allan A (2024). Mental health and gender discourses in school: ‘Emotional’ girls and boys ‘at risk’. Educational Review Abstract.
Koutsouris G, Bremner N, Stentiford L (2023). Do we have to rethink inclusive pedagogies for secondary schools? a critical systematic review of the international literature. British Educational Research Journal
Stentiford L, Koutsouris G, Allan A (2023). ‘They think it’s trendy to have a disability/mental-illness’: Disability, capital and desire in elite education. British Journal of Sociology of Education Abstract.
Norwich B, Moore D, Stentiford L, Hall D (2022). A critical consideration of ‘mental health and wellbeing’ in education: thinking about school aims in terms of wellbeing. British Educational Research Journal Abstract.
Koutsouris G, Stentiford L, Norwich B (2022). A critical exploration of inclusion policies of elite UK universities. British Educational Research Journal
Stentiford L, Koutsouris G (2022). Critically considering the ‘inclusive curriculum’ in higher education. British Journal of Sociology of Education Abstract.
Koutsouris G, Stentiford L, Benham-Clarke S, Hall D (2021). Agonism in education: a systematic scoping review and discussion of its educational potential. Educational Review
Stentiford L, Koutsouris G, Allan A (2021). Girls, mental health and academic achievement: a qualitative systematic review. Educational Review
Stentiford L, Koutsouris G, Boyle C, Jindal-Snape D, Salazar Rivera J, Benham-Clarke S (2021). The structures and processes governing education research in the UK from 1990-2020: a systematic scoping review. Review of Education, 9(3).
Stentiford L, Koutsouris G (2021). What are Inclusive Pedagogies in Higher Education?: a Systematic Scoping Review. Studies in Higher Education, 46, 2245-2261.
Koutsouris G, Anglin-Jaffe H, Stentiford L (2020). How well do we understand social inclusion in education?. British Journal of Educational Studies Abstract.
Finning K, Ukoumunne OC, Ford T, Danielson-Waters E, Shaw L, Romero De jager I, Stentiford L, Moore D (2019). Review: the association between anxiety and poor attendance at school – a systematic review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 24(3), 205-2016. Abstract.
Stentiford LJ (2019). ‘You can tell which ones are the laddy lads’: young women’s accounts of the engineering classroom at a high-performing English university. Journal of Gender Studies, 28(2), 218-230. Abstract.
Stentiford LJ, Koutsouris G, Norwich B (2018). A systematic literature review of the organisational arrangements of primary school-based reading interventions for struggling readers. Journal of Research in Reading, 41(S1), 197-225.
Finning K, Ukoumunne O, Ford T, Danielsson-Waters E, Shaw L, Romero De Jager I, Stentiford L, Moore D (2018). The association between child and adolescent depression and poor attendance at school: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 928-938. Abstract.
Stentiford L (2016). Personal life, young women and higher education: a relational approach to student and graduate experiences. Gender and Education, 28(7), 956-958.


Boyle C, Stentiford L, Koutsouris G, Jindal-Snape D, Benham-Clarke S, Salazar Rivera J (2021). A systematic scoping review of the literature on the structures and processes that influence research activities in the UK. British Educational Research Association (BERA),

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I teach and supervise on modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level which span most of the programmes offered in the School of Education, including the MA International Education, MSc Educational Research and MA Education (Online). I lead the Perspectives on International Education (EFPM912) module, and the Preparing for Educational Research and Dissertation (EFPM308) module that offers research methods training for students studying across all MA Education pathways. I also lead the Reflecting on Educational Practices (EFPM918) module. 



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