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Research Participation Call: Experiences and daily-life challenges of mothers of children with down syndrome

About the Researcher

My name is Maria Shoaib and I’m a postgraduate student at the University of Exeter. I’m currently doing my Masters in Special Educational Needs, and for my thesis, I’m hoping to reach out to mothers of children with down syndrome (aged 11-16 years).

About the Project:

This is a qualitative research study which seeks to understand the experiences and daily-life challenges of mothers of children with Down syndrome (aged between 11-16 years). This is a comparative study where I will be interviewing mothers from Pakistan and England, to see how their experiences vary in different cultural settings.Your contribution to this study is important as it can help us understand what your experience as a mother of a child with Down syndrome has been like, and what important steps can be taken for future implications to make this experience better.

The interviews are going to be held online via zoom and will last about 30-40 minutes. These will be audio-recorded. Participants will be required to sign a consent sheet, fill out a short demographic form, and will be provided an information sheet for further details. This project has been reviewed by the research supervisor and the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Exeter.

If you are interested in the project, please contact me for further information at:



Free Event: Reimagining Autistic education: Lessons learnt from remote learning during lockdown

Graduate School of Education Lecture Series 2021/22

6 July 2022  13:00 – 14:30

Baring Court 114, St Luke’s Campus and ONLINE

Professor Liz Pellicano

University College London

Reimagining Autistic education: Lessons learnt from remote learning during lockdown

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, students around the world were taken out of schools during associated lockdown restrictions and thrust into learning-from-home contexts. Many students faced intense educational challenges during this time, when schools and teachers rapidly sought to move curricula online. The disruption is likely to have had a disproportionate impact on those who might already be vulnerable in some way – including Autistic children and young people. In this talk, Liz Pellicano will draw on data from one of the largest qualitative studies with young Autistic people and families to understand how the experience impacted upon them during the initial (March-June 2020) and the most recent (July – November 2021) lockdowns. She will discuss the implications of these findings for understanding how and when autistic children might thrive in institutional educational settings in more normal times, focusing on the relationships between teachers and students, the nature of the physical learning environment and the need for greater flexibility in planning the school day.

About the Speaker

Professor Liz Pellicano is a leading developmental and educational psychologist committed to transforming autism science so that it more accurately reflects everyday autistic life. She has just commenced a position as Professor in Autism Research at University College London (UCL), and prior to that was Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Previously, she was Professor of Autism Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL Institute of Education. Her current research, funded by a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council, seeks to identify ways to bridge the gap between lab and life and open up research to greater involvement of autistic people themselves, with the aim of generating scientific discoveries that bring real benefits to autistic people and their families.


Please register via Eventbrite to register for either in person attendance or online attendance.



Upcoming GSE Lecture Series Events

The programme of speakers for 2022/23 will be announced in September, full details will be announced on the Graduate School of Education website.

Exeter IT account holders will be able to view the recordings and presentations on ELE following the lectures.


Research Participation Call: Social experiences of children with SEND

Call for Research Participants: The Social Experience of Children with SEND

About me: 

Hi, I am Junika and I study Psychology at the University of Exeter. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I had the privilege of working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds at a local school in Kent. Here, I provided Maths support for small groups of students, some of whom had special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). As well as improving their confidence in maths, I built meaningful relationships with students – this has led me to continue tutoring alongside my current studies. It has also driven me to focus my dissertation project on the social participation of children with SEND. 


Introduction to my study: 

For my study, I am looking to explore the social experience of children with SEND. Psychological research shows that students with SEND experience more difficulties in socialising with their peers. This is important because research also shows that children’s perceptions of their friendships are linked with their development. However, some children with SEND have high-quality friendships, so I would like to explore the protective factors that enable children to experience better friendships. I would also like to identify the risk factors which may be associated with poorer quality friendships. These factors can be used to inform educational policy in England.  


Identifying risk and protective factors in the social participation of children with SEND

What is the project about?
The project seeks to understand the experiences of children with SEND through a methodology called “Narrative inquiry”. This methodology has been consistently employed in research to focus on the lived experiences of individuals from their viewpoint. Educational policy can often neglect the child’s perspective; therefore, it is important for children as it includes the provision of their voice. This research aims to identify risk and protective factors in the social participation of children with SEND in Southwest England. These factors can be used to inform educational policy in England.

Your school has been invited to participate in this study because we would like to learn more about the views and social participation experiences of pupils with SEND.

What are the benefits of participation?

Through pupils’ participation in this study, your school will be able to learn more about their friendships and other issues from the child’s point of view. The school will be able to potentially address any concerns that arise. Concerns will be general to protect pupils’ confidentiality.

What would pupils be asked to do if they took part?

Pupils identified with SEND and in Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3 will be invited to take part in a semi-structured face-to-face interview with the researcher. Questions will relate to their social participation and will include sensitive topics such as bullying and their feelings and opinions about themselves and other pupils. Before this, pupils will be assured that they don’t have to answer any questions if they wish not to, take breaks if required and also stop the interview without having to give reasons. A member of staff will be asked to observe interviews for safeguarding purposes. We will audio record the interviews on a digital device, and the recordings will be kept in secure, protected storage. Pupils will also be asked to draw a “life map” of their friendships, they will be provided with pens, pencils, and paper for this. Lastly, they might also be observed during social interactions with peers during breaktime by the researcher in one or two of her school visits so that extra notes can be taken.

How will pupils’ data be managed?
The data we collect will be treated confidentially, and only the researcher and their supervisor will have access to the raw data (by which we mean the recordings and the transcripts of the interviews). All information collected while carrying out the study will be stored on a database that is password protected and strictly confidential. The digital and textual data resulting from the interviews will be kept in a secure and confidential location. Pupils’ names will not appear in any database or any information which is then published. Instead, a pseudonym will be used as an identifier on all data associated with each child. The results of study may be used to produce publications.

What happens if the pupil does not want to take part or if they change their mind?
Every child’s participation is voluntary; it is his/her/their choice whether to take part or not. If he/she/they decides to take part, he/she/they is free to stop at any time and without giving a reason.
It will be possible to remove each pupil’s data from the research study up to two weeks after the interview takes place. This is up to the discretion of the child and their parent/guardian. It will not be possible to remove pupils’ data once data has been transcribed (two weeks or more after the study), as analysis of the data will have begun.

Next steps and what if I have queries and I want to find out more about the research?
If you are interested in your school to taking part in the study, please reply to the principal researcher or their supervisor using the contact details below.
Additionally, If you have any concerns or complains about the conduct of this research study, please contact the principal researcher, Ms Junika Gurung at jg829@exeter.ac.uk or their supervisor, Dr Eleni Dimitrellou at E.Dimitrellou3@exeter.ac.uk
Thank you for your interest in this study

CPD event for Primary Teachers 23 June 2022

CPD event for Primary Teachers 23 June 2022

Art Education in New Times: Connecting Art Education with REal Life Issues (CARE)

We would like to invite you to join us for an exciting day of CPD, based on the CARE research project.  We will look at how art – especially contemporary art – can be used as a learning vehicle for Education for Sustainable Development.


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. It is about lifelong learning, and is an integral part of quality education. ESD is holistic and transformational education which addresses learning content and outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment. It achieves its purpose by transforming society. (UNESCO, 2019)


  • Attendance: Primary teachers * (30 places available)
  • Location: St Luke’s Campus, University of Exeter, EX1 2LU
  • Date: Thursday 23 June, 10am-4pm
  • Cost: Free! (Refreshments provided, bring or buy your own lunch)
  • Content: Information on Project CARE – scope, aims, training/ resources, research findings, recommendations etc. http://care.frederick.ac.cy/
  • Format: Presentations, discussions, hands-on activities
  • Follow-on: Takeaway info pack to use for teaching & school-based CPD


* Art, Science and Humanities coordinators may be particularly interested


Please register your interest here by 15 June





Free Event: Social Mobility Prospects in the Pandemic Era

GSE Lecture Series – Professor Lee Elliot Major (University of Exeter)

A Graduate School of Education seminar
Date 7 June 2022
Time 13:00 to 14:00
Place Baring Court 114 & Online Via Zoom

Social mobility prospects in the pandemic era

The Covid pandemic has exposed and exacerbated inequalities inside and outside education. On the one hand, it has confirmed the prominent role that wider societal divides play in shaping social mobility patterns; on the other it has revealed the escalating expectations placed on schools and universities to act as social levellers. In this lecture Lee Elliot Major will discuss findings from several research projects to document growing divides in life prospects for current generations, but also to point to promising policies and practices that have the potential to improve prospects for disadvantaged children and young people.

About the Speaker

Lee Elliot Major is Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter. He was previously Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust and a trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation. His work is dedicated to improving the prospects of disadvantaged children and young people. He works closely with school leaders, universities, and employers and Government policy makers.

His award-winning books include: Social Mobility and Its Enemies; What Works? Research and evidence for teachers; and The Good Parent Educator. He commissioned and co-authored the Sutton Trust-EEF teaching and learning toolkit, used by 100,000s of teachers across the world. He is a Trustee of the Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust and sits on the Exeter Place Board. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and serves on the ESRC’s Strategic Advisory Network.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2019 Queen’s Honours. He is the first in his family to go to university.


This lecture will take place in lecture theatre Baring Court 114 on the St Luke’s Campus and delivered simultaneously online via Zoom. 


Please register via Eventbrite to reserve a place.  

Using Lesson Study and Related Activities in Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

Using lesson study and related activities in initial teacher education (ITE)


Lesson study (LS) is a form of teacher research or study that uses curriculum and research knowledge, on one hand, and deriving knowledge from teacher enquiry, on the other. LS has been represented as involving a study-plan-teach-review cycle which acts as a formative process. It is a collaborative and reflective professional development approach which has its origins in Japan in the late nineteenth century, that has been adopted and adapted internationally especially over the last twenty years. LS combines practice and theory, with the aim of promoting a deep look into students’ learning, on one hand, and teaching and curricular programmes, on the other. For this reason it has relevance to practising and prospective teachers


Our interest in gaining a better understanding of the use of lesson study in ITE was triggered by an attempt to understand how LS practice might be integrated into ITE programmes in the UK. To start off we undertook an international review of literature about how LS is used in initial teacher education. Our article  about this review will be published in the journal Teacher Development, you can find the pre-print version here .


In this paper we do a mapping review of international research published in peer reviewed journals.  This has enabled us to identify variations in ITE LS practices  using a 7-dimensional framework to illustrate the range of practices and issues. We conclude that LS is an example of teacher enquiry-based practice; identified as one of the means of building the capacity for a self-improving education system. LS and related practices also play a crucial role in preparing teachers to adopt a research orientation to their own practice.  In the paper we also discuss the organisational and personal challenges for beginning teachers when introducing LS into ITE.


As members of the Lesson Study Network in the Graduate School of Education we are looking to work with teachers in 3 secondary schools over 2021-22 which are involved in the Exeter ITE partnership, and which use some form of enquiry-based approach to the education and training of teachers. By enquiry-based approaches, we mean that trainees engage in some form of collaborative enquiry into their learning to plan, teach and review their class teaching. This might be a form of action research, lesson study, a version of mentoring/coaching or some related practice.


If you are interested in this project or want to discuss any matter raised in this blog, please get in contact  .


Professor Viv Baumfield, Will Katene, Dr George Koutsouris, Professor Brahm Norwich

Teaching English when Schools were (mostly) Closed

We are delighted that the report from the British Educational Research Association funded project, Teaching English when Schools are Closed, is now available, identifying some of the challenges and successes experienced by English departments during lockdown 1. This project was a joint endeavour from our Centre for Research in Writing (represented by Annabel Watson and Sara Venner) and the Centre for Research in Social Mobility (represented by Anna Mountford-Zimdars)

The blog below which describes the project was first published on the British Educational Research Association Blog website in June 2021, at https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/how-do-we-teach-english-when-schools-are-closed

In this BERA-funded project we investigated how teachers adapted to the ‘new normal’ of online delivery from March 2020 until the reopening of schools on 8 March 2021. Surveys undertaken in the summer of 2020 found schools taking a wide variety of approaches to online provision, with these varying not only according to school culture, but also according to dimensions of broader school advantage and disadvantage (Cullinane & Montacute, 2020; Moss et al., 2020). We wanted to complement these broad surveys by taking a deeper look at how a small number of secondary schools delivered a particular subject, exploring the opportunities and risks afforded by the sudden change to how English was taught.

Through teacher interviews, we worked with three English departments (two state schools, one fee-paying independent school) to build case studies of their provision in the summer term of 2020. All decision-making was driven firstly by considerations of pupil, teacher and parent wellbeing, and then aimed at organising provision in a way that was structured and manageable. In the independent school, the economic pressure to provide ‘value for money’ to fee-paying parents was also important.

English is a subject that thrives on dialogue and typically has a ‘student-centred ideology’ (O’Sullivan & Goodwyn, 2020, p. 225). However, internationally, research suggests that teachers tended to use technology ‘in a predominantly teacher-led way’ when provision was moved suddenly online (Scully, Lehane, & Scully, 2020, p. 21). This was reflected in our findings. In the absence of clear guidance and with no preparation time, teachers in the state schools replicated familiar pedagogical activities that could translate straightforwardly into asynchronous online materials and tasks: teacher explanation, modelling, and independent reading and writing activities. One consequence of this, participants reported, was that students returned less confident in textual analysis when schools fully reopened – an indication perhaps of the importance of classroom dialogue for developing responses to texts (see Gordon, 2019; Newman & Watson, 2020).

‘In the absence of clear guidance and with no preparation time, teachers in the state schools replicated familiar pedagogical activities that could translate straightforwardly into asynchronous online materials and tasks: teacher explanation, modelling, and independent reading and writing activities.’

The independent school moved immediately to delivering live online lessons that followed their normal timetable. While these initially replicated the structure and content of their face-to-face curriculum, teachers gradually moved towards a project-based approach with greater opportunities for flexibility and independence. Teachers reported that this process had made them consider what they are ‘trying to achieve’ in their teaching, what transferred into their online lessons and what was lost: ‘should we emphasise more about the class, the group work, the sharing, the inter-human skills, the listening to others?’; ‘[this] very logical linear way that you do online, might free up, I hope, more space to think, well, what was the bit that was missing?’

Our study indicates that teacher’s online pedagogy during lockdown is closely linked to their knowledge of what technology can bring to learning. As schools return to ‘normal’ teaching, there is an opportunity to use the impetus generated by the rapid development of teacher knowledge to expand repertoires of online pedagogy, whether this be as an alternative to face-to-face teaching, or a supplement to it. Teachers need support to know how to use online tools in non-didactic ways, including opportunities for student collaboration and dialogue, student-centred approaches to synchronous and asynchronous online learning, and ways to target higher-order knowledge and skills.

The project raised wider questions too, particularly about the nature and purpose of the subject of English: all of our participants were targeting traditional forms of literacy in their teaching, following a national curriculum that is at odds with the broader, multimodal literacies operating in digital environments (Gillen, 2014).

The resilience and adaptability that teachers have demonstrated during this time has been remarkable. Our research presents just a snapshot of a time near the start of the pandemic, and we know that pedagogical practices in our participating schools have already moved on. We see an opportunity now to capitalise on what one participant characterised as a renewed ‘thirst for pedagogical knowledge’ among teachers, an opportunity to explore and develop effective approaches to online teaching which consider the specific needs of subject disciplines. Teaching online and remotely is likely to be a feature of education in the future. The task is now to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and skills to support and nurture learners, and to provide a high-quality, intellectually stimulating education for all.


Cullinane, C., & Montacute, R. (2020). Research brief: April 2020: COVID-19 and social mobility impact brief# 1: School shutdown. Sutton Trust. https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/35356/1/COVID-19-Impact-Brief-School-Shutdown.pdf

Gillen, J. (2014). Digital literacies. Routledge.

Gordon, J. (2019). Pedagogic literary narration in theory and action. L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 19, 1–31. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2019.19.01.11

Moss, G., Allen, R., Bradbury, A., Duncan, S., Harmey, S., & Levy, R. (2020). Primary teachers’ experience of the COVID-19 lockdown: Eight key messages for policymakers going forward. Institute for Education International Literacy Centre. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103669/1/Moss_DCDT%20Report%201%20Final.pdf

Newman, R., & Watson, A. (2020). Shaping spaces: Teachers’ orchestration of metatalk about written text. Linguistics and Education, 60, 100860. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2020.100860

O’Sullivan, K. A., & Goodwyn, A. (2020). Contested territories: English teachers in Australia and England remaining resilient and creative in constraining times. English in Education, 54(3), 224–238. https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2020.1793667

Scully, D., Lehane, P., & Scully, C. (2021). ‘It is no longer scary’: Digital learning before and during the Covid-19 pandemic in Irish secondary schools. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2020.1854844

Major new research project aims to address social mobility issues blighting young lives in the South West

From the Centre from Research in Social Mobility

A major new research project will seek to highlight and address the social mobility issues blighting young lives in the South West.

A group of experts will suggest regional and local solutions to tackle issues such as the region’s huge GCSE and primary level attainment gaps. On many social mobility measures the South West performs worse than other regions.

In recent years Government attention has been focused on economic and social mobility issues in the North. It is hoped the initiative – led by academics and educational experts from the region – will mean attention now shifts to the specific needs of the South West.

The project will identify the particular challenges facing the region and examine if innovative practices elsewhere in the country could be effective, particularly those caused by pockets of significant rural and urban disadvantage. Work will focus on the barriers faced at different life stages for younger generations, especially those aged under 25

Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, who is leading the project, said: “For those growing up poor, where you grow up in the country matters hugely for your life outcomes. 60 per cent of disadvantaged pupils in the South West didn’t obtain a pass in GCSE Maths and English in 2019 – a crucial qualification for accessing most jobs. This compares with 41 per cent in Inner London.

“The extent of social mobility problems in the South West has been hugely overlooked. People think of the South West as affluent and picture postcard perfect. But actually, although the region has lower than average rates of deprivation, it provides extremely poor outcomes for disadvantaged young people growing up locally.”

The project is based at the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, which hosts the University’s Centre for Social Mobility. Initial funding is being generously provided by the Cobalt Trust. The project team comprises Professor Elliot Major, Professor Will Harvey, from the Exeter Business School, and Anne-Marie Sim, Postdoctoral Research Associate. ​They will be supported by an advisory board comprising Sir Steve Smith (Chair), former Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, Stephen Dawson, Chair of the Cobalt Trust, founder and former Chair of Impetus, Mary Curnock Cook, former Chief Executive of UCAS, and Dame Suzi Leather, former Chair of the Charity Commission.

Sir Steve Smith said: “Understanding regional and local dynamics is crucial to understanding why a region is failing to provide good life outcomes for its disadvantaged young people. And only regional and local strategies and initiatives can effectively address the specific challenges a region or area might be facing.”

The work will start with research to map social mobility in the South West. The second part of the project will involve assessing potential paths forward to improve social mobility as the region emerges from deeper inequalities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Existing statistics show:

  • In the South West, 40 per cent of disadvantaged pupils passed English and maths at GCSE in 2019 – the lowest percentage of all English regions. This compared with 59 per cent in Inner London.
  • The South West has some of the largest attainment gaps in the country at the end of primary school. Nationally, disadvantaged pupils are on average 9.3 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers,but in Somerset they are 12.5 months behind.
  • The South West has 4 out of the 10 local authorities with the largest attainment gaps in the country at 16-19: North Somerset, Torbay, Swindon and South Gloucestershire. In these areas, gaps are equivalent to between 4.1 and 4.8 A level grades.
  • Only 18 per cent of disadvantaged children in the South West enter higher education by age 19 – the lowest of all English regions. The higher education participation rate for disadvantaged children in London is now higher than that for non-disadvantaged children in the region.
  • Disadvantaged young people in the region face a double bind of poor mobility prospects and a poor earnings outlook. The South West ranks third worst of 19 regions for upward occupational mobility, whilst having five of the top-25 below-Living-Wage local authorities (with between 33 per cent and 41 per cent of jobs below Living Wage).
  • West Somerset has the lowest social mobility ranking of all local authority districts in England.

The research will look at how the South West compares to other parts of the country for educational achievement and social mobility, the distinctive challenges in the region, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It will examine if potential regional and local initiatives – for example children’s zones, tutoring, and increased education-workplace links – could improve social mobility.

The team will focus on Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, although statistics will cover the wider South West region. They will examine in particular three areas – West Somerset, Plymouth, and Redruth and Camborne.

The team hope that the research will attract the funding and piloting of initiatives to improve social mobility in the South West. They also aim to carry out further phases of work to develop and assess regional and local strategies and initiatives.


For more news from the Centre, see http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/socialmobility/

Education for in/equality? Challenging the socio-economic gap in educational attainment

The GSE was delighted to host Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, who gave our St Luke’s Day Lecture on October 15th. Professor Francis discussed the issue of the socio-economic gap in educational attainment, particularly in the light of Covid-19. Below, we present a short precis of the presentation, and some useful links to follow:

  • https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/
  • https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/


As well as reviewing current trends in attainment in order to highlight the profound impact of socioeconomic background on educational attainment (and therefore life opportunities) Professor Francis particularly discussed the worrying impact of Covid-19 and school closures. Citing IFS research that suggests that children from better off families spent 30% more time on home learning while schools were closed, she presented the stark prediction that the socio-economic attainment gap will grow by between 11% and 75% as a result of school closures in 2020, more than reversing the progress on narrowing the gap seen over the last decade. The EEF predicts that the gap will widen most in mathematics and for younger children.


What causes the gap?

Social factors – financial capital, social and cultural capital

  • Financial capital – includes access to different options for schooling (e.g. moving to a better catchment area), out-of-school enrichment, tuition
  • Social capital- including parental networks, connections, higher quality work experience and access to internships, knowing how to negotiate ‘the education game’
  • Cultural capital – parents’ positive educational experiences which engender ease and confidence for both parents and children when engaging with schooling, parent and child self-assurance, parents’ ability to have constructive conversations with teachers and to advocate for their child.

Unequal starting points: including school readiness, vocabulary, attention and hyperactivity, early reading

Unequal access to quality provision – children from disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented in high attaining schools and over-represented in RI/inadequate schools. The attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students exists across all Ofsted school categories, but disadvantaged pupils in outstanding schools perform as well as non-disadvantaged pupils in schools rated as requiring improvement or inadequate. The impact of teaching quality is particularly strong in influencing educational outcomes, but is doubly strong for disadvantaged students. However, these students are less likely to access subject specialists (only 37% of maths 11% of physics teachers have relevant degrees in some schools in areas of deprivation).

Expectations both in terms of teacher expectations and parental/student aspiration – and the impact of this is particularly pernicious when students are misassigned to low streams or sets: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/teaching-learning-toolkit/setting-or-streaming/

Unequal access to a high quality, bespoke, curriculum

Less likely to access quality support and experience outside of school

What supports disadvantaged students?

Compensatory Approaches to address unequal starting points – not a sticking plaster, but to address profound inequalities, focus on early literacy and numeracy interventions.

Access to high quality provision and high quality teaching, high quality ITE, CPD, Teacher support and retention, policies to incentivise and develop high quality teachers, incentivising teachers to work in areas of deprivation and to stay there, supporting teachers to stay and thrive in schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils.

Approaches that address different capitals – to address additional enrichment, curriculum and careers guidance, high quality work experience, educational advice, links, experiences, guidance, not provided outside school.

Challenging stereotypes and low expectations applied to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The importance of research and the aims of the EEF:

  • to provide the best available knowledge about what works to narrow the gap, for teachers and school leaders
  • to inform difficult decisions about how to invest time and resources
  • to protect schools from fads and fakes which create workload but don’t make a difference
  • to support teachers to implement and evaluate new strategies.

For more information about the work of the Education Endowment Foundation, please visit: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/

English and Science teachers – invitation to join a research project

£50 book token for participating!

Focus Groups information for participants


I’d like to invite you to participate in a focus group discussing gene drive, an emerging genetic technology. All participants will receive a £50 book voucher as a thank you for participating. If you decide to take part, we’ll invite you to join an online focus group discussion with up to 7 other teachers for up to 90 minutes. You will also need to watch a short film (18 minutes) and read two short newspaper articles in advance. Participants will decide together when it might be best to schedule the focus group but this is likely to be in November.

Our study looks at the views of English and Science teachers on how to best discuss this novel and controversial technology. Your participation is part of a global study to help us understand how to communicate about new technologies across cultures. I’ve attached more information to this email and am happy to answer any questions you might have.

If you would like to participate, please email by 19th November.

If you have colleagues who are English or Science teachers at secondary schools, please feel free to forward this email to them.


Many thanks,




Dr Aleksandra Stelmach

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Exeter Business School


w: https://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/about/people/profile/index.php?web_id=Aleksandra_Stelmach

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