Like many sectors, education, children and families is a sector under tremendous pressure for change. Across the many local authorities, schools, education departments and other organisations we work with, there is a need for qualitative and quantitative research to help guide policy and understand the outcomes in this sector.
Our strength of experience in research across the early years and education landscape means that we are able to address the ethical issues in terms of informed, documented parental or guardian consent for participation in research. We also understand and have practical experience of methodologies which work most effectively with children and young people.
Who we work with
Our research interests, experience and capability cover most areas of recent and current government policy and its delivery at national, regional, and local level. We have recently investigated issues relating to the Ofsted inspection framework in the education sector, childcare, young people’s participation in work, youth unemployment and many other policy areas.
For example, we have provided mystery shopping for children’s centres, explored views of school uniforms and the wider costs of schooling for the Welsh Government and have recently conducted a qualitative/quantitative research project on behalf of the National College on issues such as Academy Conversion, and with the DfE and GLA on School Improvement in London.
Many of our projects have involved one-to-one work with children in schools. We therefore have staff who have enhanced CRB clearance for working with children and other vulnerable groups, and all of our research and field staff routinely have CRB clearance at the non-enhanced level.
How we work
What sets us apart from other researchers in this sector is that we can add value to the study through our extensive in-house resources, which span both online and CATI capabilities. Our telephone interviewers, who may be used in tandem with an online survey or as a standalone CATI survey, are experienced in interviewing a wide range of Education stakeholders. Further ways we add value include:
- Flexibility of resource and responsiveness of a (very senior level) client service team;
- Transparency in fieldwork progress and access to interim results via a client portal (and remote listening, if a CATI approach is undertaken);
- Expertise in implementing online and CATI surveys and analysis of data;
- Quality Assurance backed up by a long-established Quality Management System reflecting a wide range of industry accreditations.
Children and Early Years
Much of our wider work in this sector feeds into service design and alignment for local authorities nationally and policy development for early years. Many of our projects involve consultation with children and young people, parents, carers, teachers and the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable families.
Because of the nature of the research, we follow stringent quality and data protection requirements, and are able to deliver the necessary outputs to meet child protection procedures, as well as applying the necessary sensitivity in our approach, both at the doorstep and from our head office in Birmingham with the support of very senior researchers.
As a company, we are determined to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children and young people from harm and to this aim, we have a safeguarding policy on which all staff are briefed. This policy establishes our organisation’s position, role and responsibilities in this respect, and sets out what is expected from everybody involved in the organisation.
We believe that every child and young person who participates in the organisation’s activities should be able to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from harm.