15 Projects, page 1 of 3
This project will provide tools and evidence to inform the Department for Education (DfE) policies and investment, by exploring the climate change risks and opportunities for new build and existing schools in the context of Net Zero Carbon Britain by 2050. This project also addresses the three key risks and opportunities identified in the Climate Change Risk Assessment 3 Report (CCRA3) for Health, Communities and the Built Environment (winter energy demand, summer energy demand and overheating). The overall DfE's Climate Change Risk strategy will build on this work and the risk assessment quantification and mapping methods already developed by the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) Team in DfE, the Environment Agency and the Government Actuaries Department to assess flooding, fire and crime risk in schools. The outcomes of this project will be disseminated via the DfE portal for Good Estate Management of Schools (GEMS) as well as the RPA websites. This project will be an essential part of the DfE climate resilience efforts under the Government National Adaptation Plan.
What is this project about? We are setting up a new data resource called CLEVER (Cohort for research into Living EnVironments and hEalth in childRen: CLEVER) to allow researchers to study the link between environments in and around schools and homes, and children's health and education. Why are we doing this project? Children are much more vulnerable to health-damaging features of the environment in and around their homes and schools than adults. Many children in England also lack access to services and infrastructure where they live and go to school. Being exposed to such things as outdoor air pollution, overcrowding, mould in the home, fast food advertising near schools, or having no access to greenspace during childhood is associated with the development of long-term conditions such as asthma, poor mental health, obesity and worse educational attainment. The Government is introducing a number of measures to improve environments and make housing safer. We need better data to understand how the local environment influences the health and education of children, and decide whether environmental policies introduced by the Government are improving children's wellbeing and school results. How are we going to do it? We will establish CLEVER, a national database containing data from schools, hospitals and community pharmacies on health and education histories for all children born in England from 2006 onwards, around 11 million children. Data for children will be linked to information about their mothers' health during pregnancy. We will combine the health and education data in CLEVER with data on local environments in and around children's homes and schools. This will allow researchers to carry out studies of how factors such as living near busy roads, growing up in an overcrowded house, or having access to parks and local services influence children's health and schooling from birth to teen age. To show how CLEVER data can be used, we will carry out a study to look at whether living or going to school near greenspace (such as public parks or gardens) helps teenagers' mental health, and whether living in areas with good childcare provision is related to how well children do at school. All data will be kept on secure servers and linked using methods that protect the identities of mothers and children. Ultimately, research based on CLEVER data will inform government departments and local councils, as well as the public at large, about how well their housing, environmental and planning policies are working to improve children's lives.
The study will identify outcomes for children of care proceedings by linking administrative data on children's services with data collected in a study of these proceedings. Linking research data about their court cases with administrative records about children's subsequent care can provide an account of outcomes for children, which will assist professionals working in the family justice system to make better decisions about children in these proceedings. Supplemented with information drawn from children's local authority social work files and interviews with professionals responsible for services, the study will demonstrate the power and limitations of administrative data in understanding outcomes of care proceedings. This innovative use of administrative data will be useful to academics and non academics, developing knowledge of the effects of contemporary policy and practice in child protection, and enabling a systemic and interactive approach to understanding care proceedings. The DfE and Cafcass are project partners supporting research access to the administrative datasets. In England and Wales, local authorities bring care proceedings in the family court to secure the protection of children where suitable arrangements cannot be made with parental agreement. The court's role is to make decisions and orders in the child's best interests, to secure justice for parents and children, and to hold the local authority to account. To achieve this it scrutinises the local authority's care plan and considers other proposals for the child's care from parents/ relatives and the child's representative (cafcass guardian). Decisions in these cases are necessarily based on a prognosis about the child's future care but courts obtain no information about what happens to children subsequently. This is true for most of those working in the family justice system (judges, lawyers, children's guardians, expert witnesses and social workers. Following these proceedings, local authorities have the responsibility for implementing the care plan/order by looking after children subject to care orders, finding families for those subject to adoption plans and supervising or supporting supporting those cared for in their families. Administrative records are kept on each child in the care system or supported by the local authority, and these provide accounts of social care performance by local authority and over time. This study will use these data to provide an account of the care/service histories for a sample of approximately 290 children subject to care proceedings in 2009-11, collected in an earlier ESRC study of practice in 6 local authorities. Data from these proceedings provides a rich account of children's pre-care lives and the court process through which plans were scrutinised and orders made. Linking these datasets will provide a nuanced account of the impact on children's lives of the legal and social work process that are applied to them. In 2013, a new process for care proceedings (now PLO 2014) was introduced to secure case completion in 26 weeks, approximately half the time taken previously. Court powers to order assessments were controlled, making courts more reliant on information from the local authority. The study will draw a new sample of care proceedings brought by the same 6 local authorities in 2014 to compare processes, decision-making and outcomes for children after 1 year with those in the earlier data. This will establish the extent to which shorter proceedings are resulting in more timely decisions for children, different plans and orders in proceedings, and different outcomes for children one year after the final court order. Outputs will include a report, summaries for family justice professionals, articles in academic law, social work and research methods journals, and for practitioners. There will be impacts on practice in child care and protection in the family court and local authorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented challenge for pupils, parents, schools, and policy makers, with many children returning to school in September for the first time after six months at home. Our new project will collect and analyse high quality data on young people (ages 12-19) in England using an existing representative sample to assess the impact of the cancellation of exams, home learning experiences, and returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic on pupils' learning, motivation, wellbeing, and aspirations. This will be a follow-up of an established stratified random sample, the Science Education Tracker (SET). Data collection will be delivered online by Kantar, who carried out the original fieldwork, with explicit permission from 5,991 respondents for re-contact. These data, which we will link to the National Pupil Database, will provide a unique opportunity to answer the following pressing research questions separately by SES, gender, and ethnic group: 1) Has the cancellation of examinations had differential impacts on wellbeing and motivations? 2) Has this changed pupils' aspirations for further study and future careers? 3) Has home-schooling affected pupils' transitions into further and higher education? 4) What role do young people's experiences of home learning under lockdown and returning to education play in this? Led by Professor Lindsey Macmillan, with Professor Patrick Sturgis, Dr Gill Wyness, and Dr Jake Anders, the team combines world-leading expertise in design and analysis of large-scale survey data with disciplinary expertise in educational inequalities. We will partner with the Department for Education and Wellcome to ensure the co-production of policy-relevant evidence. This will fill an important gap in our understanding of the experiences of young people and the impact on their motivations, wellbeing and aspirations during this unprecedented period.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected socioeconomic inequalities in life chances, in terms of short-term effects on educational attainment and well-being, and long-term educational and career outcomes? This study will provide immediate findings to this and related research questions about the impact of the pandemic on educational inequality by SES, gender and ethnicity by designing, analysing, reporting on, and archiving a second annual wave of a high-quality new cohort study of pupils in year 11 in academic year 2020-21 across England. This brand new resource will collect data from pupils, parents and schools, augmented with administrative data from DfE's NPD and other sources. Moreover, it will provide the start of a long-term resource for the research community to explore medium/long-term effects as participants move into further and higher education, and the labour market. Led by Dr Jake Anders, with Professor Lindsey Macmillan and Dr Gill Wyness (UCL CEPEO), Professors Lisa Calderwood and Alissa Goodman (UCL CLS) and Carl Cullinane (Sutton Trust), with Kantar as lead fieldwork agency, the team combines world-leading expertise in educational inequalities, social mobility, analysis of longitudinal data, and the design and management of cohort studies. Our project is supported by key stakeholders, including DfE, ADR UK, EEF, TASO, OfS, and HEAT to ensure co-production of policy-relevant evidence. This study will fill an important gap in understanding the medium and long term effects of COVID-19 on young people completing their education and moving into the labour market at this unprecedented time.