Through stakeholder-engaged, methodologically innovative research, the School of Education and Professional Development aims to bring about real benefits to society outside academia and respond to national and International policy that aligns with UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) public engagement vision to engage under-represented communities.
Research activity in Unit of Assessment 23 is exemplified by the three impact case studies selected for submission for REF2021. These cover a diverse range of impacts, including informing and developing effective educational approaches to prevent national and International terrorism, improving practitioner engagement with young people on the margins of education, employment and training and improving the curriculum in Initial Teacher Education.
The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF2021 submission. Find out more below.
Policymakers frequently argue that the English Further Education (FE) sector is critical for social mobility and economic performance. However, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) for FE teachers has been very under-researched, particularly in comparison to ITE for school teachers.
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have explored the professional development of FE teachers and the best approach to pedagogical training, which is essential for quality education. This has led directly to improvements in ITE provision for over 1,000 trainee teachers each year (around 15% of the national total). The research has also informed and significantly influenced the activities of policy stakeholders such as the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Education and Training Foundation, Ofsted and ITE providers, leading to improved support for subject-specific pedagogy in FE. Furthermore, the research outputs are being used in courses for teachers of Vocational Education and Training at the School of Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia.
Preventing terrorism is an international policy priority. The UK’s counter-terrorism Prevent Strategy (2011) outlines important roles for educators and communities in averting terrorism. Researchers at the University of Huddersfield conducted the first national study about educators’ experiences and implementation of the 2015 Prevent Duty.
The research has had direct impact on how the Prevent strategy was delivered by Kirklees Council, how Prevent duty implementation in education was understood and evaluated at national UK Government level and informed the work on prevention of terrorism by civic organisations in the Flemish region of Belgium. Research findings about ‘community reporting’ have directly impacted on preventative, community-focused counter-terrorism policies being developed and led by the National Counter-Terrorism Policing Headquarters (NCTPHQ) in the UK, and have shaped the focus of research into counter terrorism commissioned by national governments in the USA and Canada.
The problem of young people not being in education, employment or training (NEET) has been a central issue in youth policy for UK governments since the 1990s. Young people who are socially, economically and educationally marginalised are often presented in official and popular discourse as lacking motivation and commitment to education and work. Yet, rather than having inherent negative dispositions to education and employment, research conducted at the University of Huddersfield found that marginalised young people are more likely to become demotivated by inappropriate training provision and repeated negative labour-market experiences.
This research informed and supported third-sector organisations as well as practitioners to advocate for - and carry out work to - (re)engage marginalised young people in the UK and across Europe. The research provided an evidence-based narrative which reflects the lived experience of marginalised youth. This has contributed to national policy discussions of - and proposals for - NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’) strategies in the UK. The researchers have used the research to challenge stereotypical assumptions and offer an alternative narrative in regional and national media debates around young people on the margins of education, employment and training.