Miss Catherine O'Leary

Catherine O’Leary

School of Education
Assistant Professor in Primary Education

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Catherine is a lecturer in Primary Education on the PGDipEd course. She is also a personal tutor to students who are completing their Masters dissertation. She has been a Research Fellow in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham since September 2020.

Catherine taught in a number of primary schools in Birmingham and Durham where she was also a member of the senior leadership team and held roles such as English Lead and Art Lead. Whilst working as a teacher, Catherine completed an MA in Teaching Studies which researched the impact that classical music can have on improving concentration levels for pupils in Upper Key Stage Two.

Catherine read English Literature at the University of Durham and completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the University of Birmingham.



  • National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership, National College for Teaching & Leadership, 2021
  • MA Teaching Studies, University of Birmingham, 2016
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education (PGDip Ed/PGCE Advanced) University of Birmingham, 2014
  • BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Durham, 2013


Catherine’s teaching responsibility is on the PGDip in Primary Education (PGCE Advanced) programme. As well as University based training, she also works with mentors and trainees in partnership schools. Catherine also supervises students on the MA in Teaching Studies programme.

Other activities

Catherine joined the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham in September 2020 as a Research Fellow. Currently, Catherine is working on research into character education theory and pedagogies; she aims to contribute to the development of character education within UK schools.

Catherine created a set of resources for pupils aged 5-7 years old called, ‘Read Grow Go’.  Each lesson in the programme uses a story as a stimulus to teach a different character virtue. The lessons provide teachers with resources, practical activities and questions that promote class discussion and individual reflection on each of the virtues.