Dr Catherine Lee

Deputy Dean

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Research Supervision:Yes

Catherine is Deputy Dean for Education in the faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care. She has responsibility for the student experience and learning and teaching across the faculty. Catherine's areas of Expertise are Education and teaching, and LGBT diversity and inclusion.


Twitter: @DrCatherineLee
Website: CourageousLeaders.org.uk

Proud to be placed number 96 on the Pride Power List 2019


Catherine was a teacher for over twenty years. Her roles included teacher of Physical Education and English, Special Educational Needs Coordinator and Assistant Head Teacher.
Catherine completed a PhD in 2013 at the Institute of Education in London (UCL). She has published a monograph and a number of peer-reviewed publications about the experiences of LGBT teachers and LGBT aspiring leaders. Her research has featured in the national and international press and she has advised the DfE on LGBT equality and diversity. Catherine’s research has also featured on BBC Panorama.
Catherine is a mentor on the LGBT Courageous Leaders programme. Courageous Leaders is the UK’s only LGBT teacher leadership programme and supports teachers to achieve positions of school leadership.


Research interests

  • Leadership
  • LGBT inclusion
  • Heteronormativity and homophobia in schools
  • Teacher identity and well-being
  • Autoethnography
  • Supporting the student experience

Areas of research supervision

Catherine is an experienced supervisor on the EdD and PhD programmes and would be pleased to supervise or examine students with interests in:
  • Leadership
  • LGBT Inclusion
  • Autoethnography
  • SEN-D
  • Teacher well-being
  • Safeguarding
  • Inclusion in schools


  • PhD, Institute of Education, London (UCL)
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University
  • MPhil, Institute of Education, London (UCL)
  • MA Education, Anglia Ruskin University
  • BEd Hons, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Selected recent publications

  • Lee, Catherine (2010) Interrogating heteronormativity in primary schools: The No Outsiders project. Sex Education, 10(1), pp109-111.
  • Lee, Catherine (2017) Heteronormativity in a Rural School Community: An Autoethnography. Sense. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Boston (USA), and Taipei (Taiwan),. ISBN 978-9463-00934-8 
  • Lee, Catherine (2018) Capturing the Personal through the Lens of the Professional. Methodological Innovations. ISSN 2059-7991
  • Lee, Catherine (2018) Culture, Consent and Confidentiality in Workplace Autoethnography. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 7(3). pp. 302-319. ISSN 2046-6749
  • Lee, Catherine (2019) Fifteen Years on: The Legacy of Section 28 for LGBT+ teachers in English Schools. Sex Education. ISSN 1472-0825. doi:10.1080/14681811.2019.1585800
  • Lee, Catherine (2019) How do Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teachers Experience UK Rural School Communities? Social Sciences, 8(9), pp249-258. doi:10.3390/socsci8090249
  • Lee, Catherine (2019) Courageous Leaders: Promoting and supporting diversity in school leadership development. Management in Education, 34(1), pp5-15.
  • Lee, Catherine (2020) How does Openness about Personal, Sexual and Gender Identities Influence Teacher Leaders' Self-Perceptions of Authenticity? Educational Management Administration and Leadership. IF 1.84.

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Duvivier, R; Lee, C ; Walkling, J., 2015. An Emerging Paradigm: Professional Preparation in Student Affairs in Higher Education in the United Kingdom. Paper Presented at the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) National Convention, 7 March 2015, Tampa, Florida.
  • Lee, C., 2017. Heteronormativity in a Rural School Community. Paper presented at the DfE Courageous Leaders Conference, 4 May 2017, Essex, UK.
  • Lee, C. 2016 Introducing Student Affairs in Higher Education in the United Kingdom. Paper Presented at Wright State University SAHE Conference March 2016
  • Lee, C. 2017 Heteronormativity in a Rural School Community. Paper Presented at the Courageous Leaders Conference in London on 4th May 2017.
  • Lee, C. Robinson, J and Shaw A. 2018 LGBTQI Toolkit for LGBTQI Inclusive schools. Paper presented at launch of LGBT Ed 2nd June 2018
  • Lee, C. (2018) Heteronormativity in a Rural School Community. Paper Presented at University of Suffolk Storytelling Conference
  • Lee, C. and Robinson, J (2018) How do LGBT Teachers Experience UK Rural Schools? Paper Presented at British Education Research Association Conference 25th September 2018

Media experience

Catherine’s has been interviewed on BBC Essex local Radio and ITV Anglia News.
She has also featured in the national and international LGBT press including Pink News, Diva Magazine and Georgia Voice.
Catherine has contributed to BBC Panorama.