University of Huddersfield to lead on major
THE first national-level analysis of early intervention programmes in England for young people aged 14-16, who are considered vulnerable to becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), is to be carried out by researchers at the University of Huddersfield as part of a major research project funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant.
Led by Dr Lisa Russell from the University’s Huddersfield Centre for Research in Education and Society (HudCRES) within the School of Education and Professional Development, the four-year project will address the significant gap in knowledge concerning early interventions. This will provide a much-needed systematic analysis of existing practice including estimates of the size and structure of the population of young people receiving early interventions.
“There is evidence to suggest that extended periods of time outside of education, employment and training can not only have a negative effect on the individual, but also on society in general. Economically, if we don’t get the interventions right it can cost society more in the long run, so there are high economic and individual social costs attached to being NEET and that is why this research is so important.”
Dr Lisa Russell, Principal Investigator
The aim of the research is to gain a better understanding of the nature and impact of early interventions, providing knowledge of educational processes, the subjective experiences of the young people and professionals working with them, and the short and longer-term outcomes for young people.
The findings will potentially contribute to improved support for vulnerable young people at school and postschool levels, as well as inform education and employment policy. The timing of the research means it will also lead to a greater understanding about the educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable young people.
Dr Russell, Principal Investigator of the project, suggests that this is an important area of study so that a clearer national picture regarding who gets what intervention is developed.
“There is little robust evidence on how young people are progressing once an intervention has been put in place. The lack of knowledge, particularly from a comparative perspective across local authorities, is a serious obstacle to understanding the prevalence and impact of different approaches,” said Dr Russell, who has been specialising in researching NEETs for almost 15 years within the University’s Department of Education and Community Studies.
Appointment of a Senior Research Fellow
The project entitled ‘Mapping the provision of NEET early interventions in England’ has been awarded £357,704 by the Leverhulme Trust and will allow Dr Russell and co-investigator Dr Ron Thompson to recruit a Senior Research Fellow to help execute the research. They will conduct a systematic literature review, develop quantitative as well as qualitative research tools, and develop relationships with NEET young people and the professionals working with them across multiple social sites of investigation located in England.
“There is evidence to suggest that extended periods of time outside of education, employment and training can not only have a negative effect on the individual, but also on society in general,” added Dr Russell.
“Economically, if we don’t get the interventions right it can cost society more in the long run, so there are high economic and individual social costs attached to being NEET and that is why this research will be so important.”
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