The University of Huddersfield's School of Education and Professional
Development has produced an extensive body of research addressing the
experiences and needs of educationally marginalised young people. This
work has developed understanding of the experiences of young people not in
education, employment or training (NEET), learners in alternative
education and those on low-level vocational programmes. Responding to
stakeholder demands for a more nuanced insight into these problems and
their possible solutions, research has been disseminated to practitioners,
policymakers, voluntary organisations, local authorities and the wider
public through conference presentations, keynote addresses and the media,
benefiting user communities at local, regional and national levels.
Alan Grattan's research has had a number of impacts informing policy and
practice around the inter-connected theme of `young people,
radicalisation, and alienation'. His conference contributions and
publications have led directly to his working with government agencies and
NGOs particularly in Northern Ireland. His work has informed and continues
to inform the approach of these agencies in working with young people in
the community who may be at risk of entering into radicalised and violent
Research by Coleman (University of Leeds, 2007-present) on the
disengagement of young people
from political democracy has contributed to public debate about
citizenship education and the need
to build stronger connections between political and popular culture. This
record of research directly
informed the creation and development of `Youth Amplified', a suite of
resources designed to
inspire new ways for education providers to support young people in
developing confident and
effective speaking and listening skills.
Evidence of engagement with the `Youth Amplified' resources amongst
leading education providers
and over 200 schools across the UK can be used to demonstrate impact, as
well as reported
improvements of young people's ability to express themselves in public
National and international research findings were utilised to raise
professional, political and faith-based awareness of the impact of abuse
and exploitation on the educational, social and emotional development of
children and young people considered to be `at risk'. The impact of the
case study lies in its ability to portray, through the use of
participatory research methodologies, the experiences of young people who
have been the victims of abuse, neglect and human trafficking. Evidence
collated indicates that the work has significantly increased national and
local awareness and understanding, and led to specific organisational
changes in policy and practice.
The research addressed the lack of insight from research, policy and
practice in relation to adolescents who are neglected within families.
Findings have informed policy development at a national level, and were
the basis of a guide to good practice, published and circulated widely by
the (then) Department for Children Schools and Families ((DCSF), now the
Department for Education (DfE)), and a guide for young people to increase
their awareness of neglect, published and circulated by the National
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). At a local
level, researchers worked intensively over 18 months with the whole senior
management tier from Children's Services in one local authority to enable
understanding and refocusing so that adolescent neglect becomes a
legitimate part of practice. Managers went on to enable the shift in
practice with their teams, and adolescent neglect has been included in
revised safeguarding screening tools approved by the Local Safeguarding
Children Board (LSCB).
As a result of commissioned research produced by Northumbria University,
a new system for
supporting young people in the move to independence from local authority
care has been
developed. This includes an innovative method of assessment and the
creation of two new joint
posts shared between Newcastle City Council and Home Housing Group. The
that people from care are over-represented among the North East's homeless
population and that
professionals felt that support systems for the most vulnerable young
people could be improved.
Research has led to other service changes by Newcastle City Council that
more effectively meet
the needs of homeless and socially excluded people.
Research carried out at the University of Glasgow directly resulted in an
increased understanding of the complexity of modern youth transitions,
helped to ensure that policy-makers understood the implications of their
focus on the NEET group (Not in Education, Employment or Training), drew
attention to the implications of precarious forms of work and highlighted
the potential for acute social withdrawal among young people who
experience difficult transitions in employment. This work has been widely
covered by the media, has informed the development of a European agenda on
vulnerable youth and was used as part of the response by the International
Trade Union Congress to the G20 summit in Mexico.
University of Reading research has raised awareness of a group that is
often overlooked in policy
and practice: young carers and families affected by HIV. It has revealed
the factors that influence
involvement and outcomes in young care-giving and identified the support
needs for young people
and those that they look after.
The research has led to newly funded support services in East Africa and
the UK, international and
national practice guidelines, and capacity-building among professionals.
The impact has
predominantly been the enhancement of wellbeing, health and social care,
and families' rights and welfare provision.
Publication of the first major piece of research on young adult carers
[YACs] has led to recognition of a `new' group of carers in policy
and practice, and the development of two new psychometric instruments.
Raising awareness with Government, policy makers and service providers,
has resulted in the provision of new services and support and further
education provision for YACs across the UK, and the psychometric
tools are now being used extensively by organisations including
Comic Relief, The Government Innovation Fund, the BBC, and in a dozen
Research by the University of Huddersfield's School of Education and
Professional Development has played a significant role in influencing
changes to `Prevent', a key government educational policy aimed at
preventing terrorism. The work of Professor Paul Thomas has reshaped local
approaches in Kirklees and Rochdale local authorities and, following
national media coverage and oral evidence to a House of Commons Inquiry,
has helped influenced policy change at national level. Thomas'
recommendation to focus more on cohesion was largely accepted by the
Coalition government in its review of Prevent, as a result of which the
Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has placed renewed
emphasis on the value of cross-community cohesion.