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.
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.
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
This case study refers to the research/publications of Tonge on youth
civic engagement since 2007, which dovetailed with his government
appointment as Chair of the Youth Citizenship Commission (YCC) in 2008-9.
The research agenda examined what citizenship means to young people;
considered how to increase young people's participation in politics;
assessed how citizenship can be promoted through community and political
engagement and led a consultation with young people on whether the voting
age should be lowered to 16. Of 17 policy recommendations arising from the
research, 16 were approved by the government, improving opportunities for
young people to volunteer, become politically engaged and receive better
This case study demonstrates the impact generated through research
studies at Plymouth University into `sexting', the self-generation and
distribution of explicit images, by children and young people. The
findings have informed briefing material for Ofsted inspectors, been used
to develop material for schools, and led to schools developing new
curriculum based support and peer mentoring. The research has also
extended the understanding of the emerging issues and helped inform
national debate and public discourse.
At a time when youth gangs were high on the UK and Scottish governments'
agendas and a focus of media concern, this research was instrumental in
changing understandings of the origins of youth gangs, and why they engage
in violent conflict. A key insight was that significant gang behaviour had
its origins in extreme forms of place attachment. The impact encompassed
changes in policy direction and programmes aimed at tackling youth
violence, including policies in Scotland such as `No Knives Better Lives'.
Through very substantial publicity, including coverage on 2 primetime TV
documentaries, the research informed public understandings, and challenged
conventional wisdom on the nature, organisation and behaviour of youth
Research at Queen Margaret University (QMU) by Professor Ian Rivers
identified issues facing LGBT young people and same-sex raised children in
UK education. Rivers was the only academic member of a group formed by the
Scottish Government to recommend ways of tackling negative and
discriminatory attitudes towards LGBT people in Scotland. The Scottish
Government implemented many of the group's recommendations. Rivers'
research had an impact on (1) public policy and services in education, (2)
schools and teachers as educational practitioners, (3) health and welfare
of LGBT young people and same-sex raised children, and (4) society,
culture, and creativity, and public policy and services, beyond Scotland.
Established in 2002 in London Metropolitan University's Faculty of
Computing, Gamelab UK is
a research and innovation centre in interactive educational media. By
`pushing the envelope' in
production and development Gamelab has become the pre-eminent centre for
development of TV, and interactive media and games, for audiences and
special education needs. Gamelab's impact includes over seven hours of
television output for
the BBC, eight BAFTA nominations since 2008 and a range of published, and
innovative, games and interactive software for children, teenagers and
young adults with
sensory impairments, learning difficulties and other disabilities.
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.
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).