Completed Projects


A Review of Evidence on Literacy ‘Catch-Up’ During Transition to Secondary School

This is a rapid review of the existing evidence on interventions to assist children from disadvantaged backgrounds in danger of missing expected levels in literacy at the end of Year 6 and start of Year 7. The focus of the report will be on tested interventions and promising approaches that would be effective for children eligible for the pupil premium. The search will be for international work ‘published’ in English since 2001, involving rigorously evaluated interventions for literacy of 10 to 12 year olds in mainstream schooling.

Aspirations, attitudes, behaviour and attainment: a review of causality

The aim of this project is to identify and assess available evidence for the causal impact of aspirations, attitudes, and behaviours of young people and their parents on educational outcomes such as attainment and post-compulsory participation.

The determinants and clustering of school intakes

This new study uses existing data from all secondary schools in England 1999/2000-2009/2010, coupled with a national survey of pupils, to provide a wide-ranging and rigorous test of the immediate and longer-term impacts of school intakes. The outcomes of particular concern are pupil enjoyment, participation and preparation for citizenship. The statistical modelling will uncover the likely determinants of progress in these outcomes, once the individual background characteristics of pupils are accounted for. The results will be of relevance to all national school systems.

Links between affective and academic outcomes

This overview uses a mixture of existing evidence and a new search of electronic databases. It considers the evidence that teachers can affect pupil affective characteristics and behaviour which in turn can affect school outcomes. There s very little evidence relevant to enhancing post-school participation. There is insufficient evidence that pupil aspirations and expectation can be used to improve attainment at school. There is little evidence that pupil attitudes to education and motivation can be improved by teachers in order to improve attainment at school. Mental characteristics such as self-esteem and locus of control are confusing in the literature. There is almost no evidence that they can be used to improve attainment at school. There are teacher-led interventions that can improve pupil poor behaviour, and that are strongly associated with improved attainment. The sequence to attainment is not clear, but there is promise here. A similar but weaker situation emerges for social and emotional competence and well-being. There are some teacher-led interventions that can improve pupil well-being and that are sometimes associated with improved attainment. There have been no trials of teacher influence on civic participation to improve attainment. There is some promise here from the work that has been done on teacher influence (not from pedagogy but in personal interactions). The most promising areas for teachers to pursue come within the domain of promoting pro-social pupil behaviour, including citizenship, and respect for and trust in others.

Can we judge the performance of schools? (ESRC Festival of Social Science)