Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Student wins BERA dissertation prize

Friday, 21 September 2018

Helen Manley

Oxford Brookes MA Education student Helen Manley won the 2018 BERA Masters Dissertation Award (British Educational Research Association). Helen’s dissertation ‘School-based counselling interventions for the reduction of anxiety in primary school children: a systematic review’, was chosen from many entries as the winner by The Engagement Committee of BERA.

Speaking about Helen’s win Dr Roger Dalrymple (MA Education course lead) said: “We’re extremely proud of Helen’s success which is great testament to her talents and hard work, as well as to the excellent support provided by her supervisors and the MA Education course team. Helen’s study represents exactly the kind of impactful research that we are seeking to nurture and build in the School of Education, to the benefit of schools and learning communities in our region and beyond.”

Helen Manley’s dissertation examines the high levels of anxiety in young people between the ages of 5 and 15. She found that although the numbers of young people with a diagnosable mental health condition has risen, the specialist support available to schools has suffered due to funding cuts. Many schools now recognise the need to provide more ‘in-house’ support for children who have been identified as anxious. Schools are considering school-based counselling (SBC) as a potential solution.

Helen’s study identified an apparent lack of research on school based counselling, specifically targeted at primary school-aged children. She concluded that this results in considerable uncertainty about whether this is an effective course of action. Her dissertation examines the implications of these findings in primary schools, how it can apply to future research and makes recommendations to address identified gaps she highlighted in current knowledge.

The MA Education helps you to develop your critical enquiry and reflection in the field of education, and your professional knowledge and expertise.