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Miss Sarah Adams

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Profile summary

Professional biography

Sarah Adams is a Lecturer in Education Studies in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education, and Language Studies.

Sarah’s career in education began as a qualified primary school teacher. During her time in schools, Sarah held positions of class teacher, Early Years Foundation Stage Lead, Special Education Needs Coordinator, Specialist Leader of Education and Assistant Headteacher. Sarah worked in a mainstream school and a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Sarah then developed her career as a teacher educator. Firstly, in a teaching school whereby she taught on a School Direct programme and as an accredited facilitator for enhancing and improving teachers’ practice through the delivery of two courses. In 2014, Sarah moved onto Higher Education as a Lecturer of Education on a Primary PGCE course. She taught and led on the English, Professional Studies and Academic Strands and later became Head of Primary PGCE. Sarah also created and delivered a 30 credit masters module in Mental Health in Schools and supervised masters students dissertations.

Sarah joined the Open University December 2022, whereby she continues to contribute her specialisms in mental health and wellbeing in schools and inclusion. Her philosophy of education is influenced by humanism and ecological systems alongisde the principles advodated in nurture group and theraplay practice which include nurture, engagement, structure and challenge.

Research interests

  • Mental health and well-being
    • Children
    • Students
    • Teachers
  • Ethics in conducting research in sensitive topics 

Teaching interests


  • Co-Chair Level 1 Education Studies: Teaching and Learning in the Primary Classroom (60 credit module)
  • Author on Level 1 Education Studies 60 credit module: Teaching and Learning in the Primary Classroom 2nd Edition (60 credit module release date October 2024)
    • The primary school – a community that enables learning
    • Perspectives on Learning
    • Health and wellbeing
  • Author on Level 3: Contemporary research with children and young people (60 credit module release date October 2024)
    • Opportunities and risks in conducting research with CYP: considering participation and protection  
    • Authoring a research proposal
  • Education Studies Student Voice and Wellbeing Staff Representative

Impact and engagement

  • National Institute of Clinical Excellence Educational Professional Co-opted Committee Member (November 2019- September 2022) to support the production of new guidelines for Self-harm: assessment, management and preventing recurrence. This is the first time education has featured in the guidlines. 



External collaborations

  • External examiner for Kingston University (2017-2020) Primary PGCE and Wolverhampton University (2020 to present) Primary PGCE, BA Hons Education Studies with QTS and Graduate Employment Base for Early Years Teacher Status.
  • Academic Consultant on the BBC Series 'A Special School' for Series 3


Teachers’ perspectives on relationships and sex education lessons in England (2023)
Cumper, Peter; Adams, Sarah; Onyejekwe, Kerry and O’Reilly, Michelle
Sex Education, 24(2) (pp. 238-254)

Exploring the practice of 10-11-year-olds as co-researchers: using a hybrid approach in educational research to promote children as interviewers (2023)
O'Reilly, Michelle; Adams, Sarah; Batchelor, Rachel and Levine, Diane
International Journal of Social Research Methodology ((Early Access))