Institute for Policy Studies in Education

Research clusters

Our work is clustered around three over-arching key themes:

  • higher education equity
  • teachers, equity and professionalism
  • identity, diversity and education

We also have a specific focus on the following themes:

  • gender in education
  • ethnicity and education
  • social justice and social policy in education
  • early years education

 


Higher Education equity

The Institute for Policy Studies in Education (IPSE) has a strong reputation for its theoretical and empirical work on Higher Education (HE). We take a critical perspective on the role of HE in promoting or inhibiting social justice. Our research and analysis of HE covers issues of participation and equality, relationships with society, community and families, HE pedagogy and curriculum, student support and the impact of HE on future lives. 


Our areas of interest and expertise include:

  • academic cultures and the HE curriculum
  • HE policy
  • gender, social class and ‘race’ in HE
  • access, participation and retention
  • student and lecturer identities
  • graduate ‘employability’
  • universities and communities 

Research projects

  • Widening participation: synthesis of international evidence
  • University lecturers' constructions of undergraduate writing: a gender analysis
  • Graduate access to the labour market 
  • Investigation of school and college-level strategies to raise the aspirations of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to pursue Higher Education (with BMRB-TNS)

Key publications include:


Archer, Hutchings and Ross with Leathwood, Phillips and Gilchrist (2003) Higher Education and Social Class: Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion, Routledge 

Quinn (2003) Powerful Subjects: are women really taking over the university? Trentham Books 

Thomas and Quinn (2006) First Generation Entrants into HE: An International Study, Open University Press 

Leathwood, C & Read, B. (2008) Gender and the Changing Face of Higher Education: A Feminised Future?, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/ Open University Press


Teachers, equity and professionalism

This forms a significant part of IPSE's (the Institute for Policy Studies in Education) work and we are well known for our impact on theory, policy and practice in this field. We analyse the relationships between the professional practice of teachers across all sectors and the social impacts of educational institutions. Our research includes large-scale surveys and in-depth qualitative studies.

Our areas of interest and expertise include:

  • teacher supply, employment and retention
  • teacher education and equality
  • constructions of professionalism
  • teacher identities and diversity
  • workforce restructuring and equality
  • gender, ‘race’ and social class and the teaching profession.


Research projects

  • The behavioural impact of changes in the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS)
  • Workforce remodelling strategies and their impact on school standards
  • Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers in the UK
  • GTC Survey of Teachers 2006
  • Commission for black staff in FE women teachers, careers and promotion (HEESF)
  • TEAM (Teacher Education Addressing Multiculturalism) in Europe
 

Key Publications include:

Robson (2006) Teacher Professionalism in Further and Higher Education, Routledge


Identities, diversity and education

IPSE (the Institute for Policy Studies in Education) has developed a rich strand of new theoretical understandings about young people’s social identities and educational experiences through our research on the diverse identities, aspirations and relationships of young learners, their parents and communities. 

Our expertise and interests include:

  • student identities and experiences in schooling
  • learning and gender, ‘race’ and social class
  • transitions, pathways and ‘choice’
  • diversity, equality and citizenship
  • aspirations and achievements of diverse groups
  • media representations of learning and learners
  • urban and rural youth 

Research projects

  • Language diversity and attainment in English secondary schools
  • Evaluation of the Black Childrens' Achievement Pilot (BCAP)
  • The influence of new media technologies used in learning on young people's career aspirations 
  • Mathematical images and identities
  • Identities, educational choices and the white urban middle-classes
  • Addressing diversity through the curriculum
  • The impact of the depiction of work in TV drama on young people’s career aspirations and choices 
  • Investigation of school and college level strategies to raise the aspirations of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to pursue Higher Education (with BMRB-TNS)

Key Publications include:

Mendick (2006) Mathematics and Masculinity, Open University Press


Gender and education

The relationship between education and issues of gender is a major interest and focus of the Institute’s activities. Gender research and analysis covers aspects of in/equality, attainment, staffing, career development, gender roles, and relationships with society and families. IPSE has a substantial and growing record of research and analysis in all of these areas, and our findings contribute to policy development across a range of educational institutions. The Institute has widely-acknowledged expertise across a broad range of topics associated with gender and education policy, based our commitment to ensuring social justice and inclusion for all. 

Research interests and expertise

  • gender and achievement
  • masculinity/boys
  • femininity/girls
  • gender across educational sectors (early years, primary, secondary, FE, HE)
  • gender, family and schooling/education
  • feminist theory
  • gender, race/ethnicity and class
  • feminist methods
  • gender, equal opportunities and educational policy
  • gender and science issues 

Research projects

  • Mathematical images and identities: education, entertainment, social justice
  • Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) and the SWAN charter for women in science
  • Investigating gender as a factor in primary pupil-teacher relations and perceptions
  • Women teachers' careers and promotion
  • Girls' attitudes and success in science education
  • Gender equality in work experience placements for young people
  • Pupils learning preferences in girls' schools
  • Gender equality intervention in the primary school: a systematic review
  • Lecturers' constructions of undergraduate writing: a gender analysis
  • Teaching Bangladeshi girls: progressing to science, engineering and technology (SET)
  • The impact of the depiction of work in TV drama on young people's career aspirations and choices
  • Mathematical images and gender identities

Ethnicity and education

Research and analysis of race and ethnicity – and the impact and implications it has for educational policy, provision and outcomes – are major activities of IPSE’s work. Our widely-acknowledged experience and expertise in this area is firmly based in the substantial history of the University’s provision in the area. IPSE has developed an substantial expertise across a broad range of topics associated with race/ethnicity and education policy, based on our commitment to ensuring social justice and inclusion for all, and a determination to support antiracism and counter xenophobia.

 

Our areas of interest and expertise include:

  • race/ethnicity across all sectors of education (early years, primary, secondary, further and higher education)
  • race/ethnicity, gender and class
  • racism, equal opportunities and educational policy
  • ensuring issues of ethnicity and race are addressed in the education of future teachers
  • the recruitment of teachers from minority ethnic groups
  • diversity and achievement
  • black staff in Further and Higher Education
  • British Muslim pupils
  • Caribbean pupils and schooling
  • Citizenship and diversity
  • Turkish pupils' achievement in London

Research projects

  • Language diversity and attainment in English secondary schools
  • Evaluation of the Black Childrens' Achievement Pilot (BCAP)
  • Multiverse: the Diversity Professional Resource Support Network for Teacher Training
  • Mathematical images and identities: education, entertainment, social justice
  • Teacher education addressing multiculturalism in Europe (TEAM in Europe)
  • The experiences of black school governors in London
  • British-Chinese pupils' constructions of education, gender and post-16 pathways
  • Aiming high: a briefing paper for the GTCE
  • Black and minority ethnic teachers in England
  • Black teachers in London
  • Survey of black staff in Further Education in England
  • 'Online:Ontrack' project: Evaluation: IT materials for excluded pupils
  • Employment barriers for refugees and asylum seekers in London
  • Teaching Bangladeshi girls: progressing to science, engineering and technology (SET)
  • The impact of the depiction of work in TV drama on young people's career aspirations and choices

Social justice and social policy in education

The Institute for Policy Studies in Education (IPSE)'s main concern is with policies that frame the structure, delivery, practice and performance of education and the development of social justice at all education levels, in the UK and where appropriate in European and international settings. We have a strong commitment to research that supports the development of social justice in education, in terms of the teaching workforce, and pupils and students recruitment and attainment.

Our areas of interest and expertise include:

  • Impact of policies on pupils' retention and achievement
  • Government policies in relation to the teaching workforce, supply and retention of teachers
  • National and European citizenship educational policies
  • Policies for teaching and learning strategies in further and higher education
  • Government education policies and parental and community involvement in schools and in children's learning
  • Equal opportunity policies in schools
  • Links between education, employment and training policies
  • Impact of education and social inclusion policies on different groups, including those excluded because of disability, social class, ethnicity and refugee status
  • Supplementary schools and teachers 

Research projects

IPSE undertakes many funded projects and other activities within the field of social justice and social policy in education.

  • Teachers in supplementary schools
  • Technology and school improvement: reducing social inequity with technology
  • Mathematical images and identities: education, entertainment, social justice
  • Teacher Education Addressing Multiculturalism in Europe (TEAM in Europe)
  • The experiences of black school governors in London
  • Camden Children's Fund evaluation
  • Sure Start Golborne and North West Kensington: evaluation of home visiting teams
  • 'Online:Ontrack' project: evaluation: IT materials for excluded pupils
  • Inner-city pupils' identities, aspirations and post-16 routes
  • Progression at year ten: impact of attitudinal, social and cultural factors
  • Employment barriers for refugees and asylum seekers in London
  • Gender equality in work experience placements for young people
  • Education Action Zone: evaluation of the New River Partnership
  • Sure Start Euston: evaluation of home visiting teams
  • Aspirations of inner city school leavers: identities and inequalities
  • Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers in the UK
  • Potential mature student recruitment to higher education
  • Social class and access to higher education
  • The influence of new media technologies  used in learning on young people's career aspirations
  • Investigation of school and college-level strategies to raise the aspirations of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to pursue Higher Education (with BMRB-TNS)

Early Years education

Early Years educational provision is under-researched and rapidly changing: we seek to provide evidence for policy development in a broad range of areas associated with early childhood education and care. The importance of Early Years education and provision is increasingly recognised as critical: as a critical part of the individual child’s broad educational and social development and growth, and as a significant part of social provision and family policy. Major governmental policies in the early years area include the SureStart scheme, the development of Children’s Centres and increasing curricular involvement in this phase of education. IPSE is committed to researching and analysing policy initiatives and outcomes in terms of equity, social justice and inclusion.

Our areas of interest and expertise include:

 

  • policy and provision
  • professional identities among Early Years educators
  • issues of gender and class
  • curriculum issues in Early Years education
  • creativity and play in child development
  • war, weapons and superhero play
  • the effects of new managerialist policies on the gendered, classed and professional identities of early years practitioners.

 

Key roles/activities

  • IPSE members and associates actively perform some key roles in the field of early childhood education and care including a wide range of consultancy activity.
  • IPSE organises and hosts the key national seminar series. 

Research projects

  • South Kensington evaluation of the Home Visiting Service
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Parenting Programme: consultation project
  • Sure Start Golborne and North West Kensington: Parenting Programme
  • Sure Start Golborne and North West Kensington: evaluation of home visiting teams
  • Women teachers' careers and promotion
  • Sure Start Euston: evaluation of home visiting teams
  • Business support programmes for the Early Years sector: an impact assessment