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Welcome to the University of Southampton research blog for the Doctorate in Educational Psychology.
Our trainees submit assignments demonstrating their ability to generate new knowledge and synthesise existing research. Essays and critiques published here have all been graded as being at distinction level in at least one area.

“I am impressed with the development of a research blog which promotes the academic work of trainees, including published peer reviewed articles.”
Dr Elizabeth Hannah, External Examiner 2020-2022, University of Dundee

Recent Posts

‘Schools aren’t talking about it even though they should be’ – Using Personal Construct Psychology to explore what girls feel would make schools safe.

Assignment type: Small Scale Research Project
Author: Lauren Craik, Sukhjagat Brar, Imogen Crockett, Hannah Kemp, Martha Mayfield, Cora Sargeant, Dawn Slattery and Sarah Wright.
Submitted: September 2022 

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a widespread issue, and it has long been recognized that action is needed to address this. Recent reports (e.g., Ofsted, 2021) have highlighted the significance of VAWG and ensuring girls’ safety within schools. While current research has examined the extent of VAWG in schools, there has been limited exploration of girls’ perspectives on the measures that would enhance their sense of safety in school. This study explored female-identifying pupils’ perspectives of what a safe and unsafe school looks like and what can be done to make schools safe. Eight Year 10 female-identifying pupils from two UK secondary schools took part in a Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) interview based on Moran’s (2001) Ideal School. Four themes were created using reflexive thematic analysis: (1) ‘Schools aren’t talking about it (violence) even though they should be’, (2) They’re ‘watching me’, (3) Relationships are key and, (4) Schools have a responsibility to intervene. The study highlights the normalisation of violence against women and girls in schools and emphasises the importance of positive relationships with peers and staff, improved relationship education, and staff training in fostering a safer environment. This underscores the role everyone plays in addressing VAWG.

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To cite this work, please use the following:

Craik, L., Brar, S., Crockett, I., Kemp, H., Mayfield, M., Sargeant, C., Slattery, D. & Wright, S.  (2024, 16 April). ‘Schools aren’t talking about it even though they should be’ – Using Personal Construct Psychology to explore what girls feel would make schools safe.. University of Southampton Educational Psychology research blog. https://blog.soton.ac.uk/edpsych/2024/04/16/schools-arent-talking-about-it-even-though-they-should-be-using-personal-construct-psychology-to-explore-what-girls-feel-would-make-schools-safe/

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