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Personal profile



  • Masters in Education Studies (with specialisms) level 11  
  • PGDE Programme (SCQF levels 10-11)
  • Teacher Education, BA(hons) programme ( levels 7-10)


My PhD research (completed May 2021) explores a version of professional learning communities (PLCs) in the context of Scottish education. The rise in popularity of PLCs as a means of collaborative, situated professional learning for teachers, in recent years, has led to the growth of several variations on this phenomenon, and a particular version of them, the Learning Round, is the focus of this study.  They are considered in relation to the importance of their role in the wider context of teacher professional learning in Scotland. The study seeks to shine a light inside the PLC to investigate the so far under-researched internal processes, interactions and emergent practices. The study is framed by a Critical Realist (CR) approach, as a qualitative case study, using semi-structured interviews in two school settings where LR and other forms of PLC have taken place. CR provides a depth ontology that has been adopted as it allows for the examination of mechanisms that explain how structural, cultural and agential factors have influenced the internal workings of the PLCs in question. Findings suggest the PLC is presented as a structure to enable the collaborative improvement of practice but, in the absence of mutual accountability, the achievement of individual improvement is prioritized for most participants. For participants, support to enable congenial relationships to develop more collegially is essential, in order to achieve critical engagement and mobilise the PLC as a site for the creation of shared work supported by mutual accountability, as opposed to the sharing of practice for individual improvement. For school leaders, some tensions are identified in balancing horizontal and vertical leadership and in calculating how far to step in or step back from the PLC. In stepping out entirely they forgo the opportunity to bring system-level perspective and make an epistemic contribution to the PLC. Finally, implications for practice, policy and research are explored, considering how PLCs might be re-articulated in the light of these findings. 

Target collaborative organisations

Collaborative research project with Dr Guiliana Ferri (Brunel University) and Paul Campbell (ESF, HongKong) on NQT experiences in Covid19 pandemic. 

In discussion with Dr Carlos Gonzalez, Grand Canyon University, Arizona: collaboration on research and publication 

Centre for Social Ontology (UCL) - on-going participation in CR interest group

Member of the international committee of IPDA (International Professional Development Association)

Chair, IPDA Scotland


Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange


UWS representatiove on the Scottish Council of Deans of Education Digital Literacies network

Division of Education representative for the School of Education and Social Science Ethics committee

Education and Social Science representative on the UWS Digital Experience Group

Online professional development for teachers

Online teaching and learning

 Collaborative approaches to teaching and learning

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Member, British Educational Leadership and Management Association (BELMAS)

10 Oct 2020 → …

Chair, IPDA, Scotland

Feb 2019 → …

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Jun 2016 → …

Member of SERA

2016 → …


  • L Education (General)
  • professional learning
  • PLCs
  • collaborative practices
  • agency
  • Education Policy


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