The Centre for Equity in Education
Despite improvements that have been made in education over the last few years, certain challenges remain that have been resistant to the strategies used so far. These challenges mainly centre around groups of learners whose achievements are low despite the vigorous institutional improvement measures and targeted interventions; and institutional contexts that are marked by social and economic disadvantage in urban contexts, where disadvantaged learners tend to be concentrated.
The Centre for Equity in Education sets out to address these challenges.
The Centre involves practitioners, policy makers and researchers in collaborative development and research projects that seek to have a direct impact in the filed. Specifically it aims to develop:
- Better understanding of the nature of the challenges facing the education service particularly in respect to vulnerable groups
- Analyses of best knowledge and practice in the field in relation to these challenges
- Effective intervention models and strategies that have high leverage in terms of pupil outcomes
- Forms of dissemination that will be accessible, meaningful and relevant to policy makers and practitioners.
In carrying out its programme of development and research, the Centre makes use of the following interconnected perspectives:
- Students - i.e. focusing on the circumstances surrounding those groups of learners that are known to be vulnerable within existing arrangements
- Contexts - i.e. focusing on the nature of communities and how they bear on the progress of students in schools and other educational contexts
- Institutional - focusing on the impact of schools, classrooms and other contexts for learning
- Development - i.e. focusing on how practice can be moved forward, and the implications for policy reform and leadership practice.
The Centre 'Think Tank'
In order to ensure the relevance of its activities, there is a 'Think tank' of senior Local Authority officers, headteachers, policy makers and academics, all of whom have track records of innovation in relation to the Centre's agenda.
The Think Tank meets regularly to analyse the challenges facing the filed and, in so doing, to help in determining priorities for the Centre's work. The members of the Think Tank also receive and comment on outputs prior to their wider dissemination.
Making a contribution
The Centre offers the prospect of generating and synthesising knowledge in relation to hitherto intractable problems in the education system. It is anticipated that the DCSF and other government departments, LAs, networks of schools and agencies concerned with education will find it useful to work closely with the Centre in order that:
- Policies and strategies can be more evidence-informed
- Innovations can be evaluated and synthesised
- Piloting activities can be facilitated
The Centre also sets out to be a catalyst for informed debate within the filed and, in so doing, provides a pilot for a new form of research organisation that will go some way towards overcoming the long-standing problems in the national education research system.
The work of the Centre is directed by Professors Mel Ainscow and Alan Dyson, both of whom have well-established records of working with policy makers and practitioners on research and development initiatives. They receive active support from many colleagues within the School of Education at the University of Manchester where the Centre is based, including Professors Tim Brighouse and David Hargreaves, both of whom hold honorary appointments. In addition, University staff from a range of other relevant disciplines are involved.
The Centre has established international partnerships with research centres in other countries that are addressing similar agendas. The purpose of these partnerships is to ensure that its work is in line with the best research and practice taking place across the world.
For further information about the work of the Centre for Equity in Education please contact Miroslava Hukelova firstname.lastname@example.org tel +44 (0)161 275 3503