We are the hub for educational research at the University of Derby. The Centre conducts educational research and provides consultancy to schools, education providers, the wider education sector, and Government. We have a lifelong focus and addresses education policy, practice, and research from early years to adult learning. The Centre is home to researchers from the Institute of Education, educational researchers from across the University of Derby, and associate researchers from a range of schools and organisations. Its core areas of focus include career education and guidance; educational leadership and management; higher education; mathematics education; and special needs education. The Centre was launched in October 2015 and brings together a wide range of pre-existing research and expertise from the University of Derby.

Recent Submissions

  • Book review: Research methods for ssocial justice and equity in education

    Hanson, Jill; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-05-15)
    This is a review of the book "Research Methods for Social Justice and Equity in Education" by Liz Atkins and Vicky Duckworth.
  • Evaluation of the careers leader training

    Williams, Joy; Akehurst, Georgie; Alexander, Kate; Pollard, Emma; Williams, Ceri; Hooley, Tristram; Institute of Employment Studies; University of Derby (Institute of Employment Studies, 2020-05)
    This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the careers leaders training programme which was funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company.
  • Future frontiers: the impact of career coaching on year 11 students

    Hanson, Jill; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (IAEVG, 2020-03)
    This paper considers the issue of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and in particular it describes an evaluation of a career coaching programme conducted in a disadvantaged school for teenage students in London, England. The long-term aim of the programme is to improve destinations for children and reduce the number of NEETs, but in the shorter term the evaluation employed a semi-quasi experimental design to identify whether the coaching produced changes in career readiness and indicators of successful transitions. The students who took part in the coaching programme showed significant increases in some aspects of career readiness and some indicators of successful transitions compared to young people who did not. The paper discusses the size of the effects found and the importance of establishing short term measures of impacts for programmes that ultimately wish to evidence long-term impacts such as reduced NEET numbers.
  • The Gatsby benchmarks and social mobility: impacts to date

    Hanson, Jill; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (IAEVG, 2020-03)
    Young people face a lengthening transition from education to the world of work. The average age that young people leave full-time education has been rising for over a century. Within the education system they are frequently asked to make choices about subject, institution and qualifications that will exert a profound influence on their future lives. This is an issue for all young people and is particularly concerning because social capital is a significant influence on careers. Some young people can lack the social capital to develop an awareness of careers and labour markets, decision making around careers and progression routes available to them through education and training. They can then be at risk of being outperformed by their more advantaged peers when building their careers. This paper discusses recent developments in policy and career strategy in England for young people and the extent to which career strategy is moving away from being a marginalised policy area. It examines a recent pilot which has operationalised elements of the recent career strategy for young people and an evaluation which explores how career guidance, as an all-inclusive measure, is being used to impact positively on learners in the short, medium and long term.
  • Is Gatsby great for careers education? A vision for the future of career learning in schools

    Andrews, David; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2020-04-27)
    This paper provides a written record of the 2019 iCeGS Annual Lecture which was delivered in December 2019 by David Andrews OBE.
  • An evaluation of the INSPiRED teenager framework

    Clark, Lewis; Parry, Caroline; University of Derby (National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 2019-10-01)
    Teenagers frequently struggle to make informed career choices and often turn to their parents or carers for help. In response to this, the INSPiRED Teenager framework was developed to encourage collaborative career-based learning between parents and carers and their teenage child. A mixedmethods approach was implemented to explore the effectiveness of the two programme delivery formats. The findings show evidence of improving teenagers’ career confidence and career direction clarity and also parents/carers’ understanding of the changing world of work, their ability to have informed conversations with their teenagers, and their confidence and clarity to help their teenager make informed career decisions
  • Understanding the digital skills of the career development sector

    Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Career Development Institute, 2020-01)
    This article summarises the findings of research which examines the digital skills of the career development sector.
  • The role and relevance of theory in careers professionalisation and practice

    Lauder, Lydia; Neary, Siobhan; The Open University; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-11)
    A new qualification benchmark, the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma Level 6 in Career Guidance and Development was established in the UK in 2011. This study was conducted to ascertain whether a theoretical nexus is necessary for practice and how this could contribute to the professionalisation of the adult careers sector in England. The study was undertaken with practitioners, all of whom had trained either through the work-based competency route or the academic route. Practitioners were asked to consider their theoretical modalities and how this influenced the embedding of theory within their professional practice. Analysis of survey and case study data revealed that degrees of exposure to theory during initial training affect capacities for theoretical integration during ongoing practice and development.
  • Let’s talk about career guidance in secondary schools! A consideration of the professional capital of school staff in Ireland and England

    Hearne, Lucy; Neary, Siobhan; University of Limerick; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-03-27)
    The delivery of a comprehensive career guidance service in secondary schools through the whole school model that equips students with requisite career learning and development competencies has garnered credence in recent years. This article deliberates on the current situation of this type of provision in secondary schools in Ireland and England and the implications for professional practice in both countries. Specifically, it considers the conditions that could support the delivery of a whole school approach to career guidance through the concept of professional capital.
  • An evaluation of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire collaborative outreach programme

    Hanson, Jill; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-05)
    In the East Midlands the NCOP consortia is the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP) which is a progression of NEMCON (North East Midlands Collaborative Outreach Network) and is comprised from several universities and colleges of further education. DANCOP’s initial two goals were: 1. Raise learners’ motivation to work hard and their understanding of the importance of education in their future: 2. Equip learners to plan for progression and make appropriate choices for post-16 study and HE. This report includes an extensive review of literature on widening access, collaboration and networks and details a formative and summative evaluation undertaken by The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) using data collected from February 2017 to May 2019. It reports on the progress made by DANCOP up until April 2019 with respect to: 1. The development of the collaborative network 2. The extent to which schools and learners have been engaged 3. The perceived impact of activities on learners, feedback from learners, teachers and parents and distance travelled with respect to knowledge/attitudes/intentions pertaining to future options and in particular higher education 4. Innovations in collaborative working and widening access The evaluation has captured data from surveys, interviews and focus groups from DANCOP team members, management group members, learners, teaching and school staff, session deliverers and third party providers. KEY FINDINGS 1. The network is well established amongst the HEIs, external stakeholders and FE colleges 2. DANCOP has surpassed its targets with respect to school engagement and learner interactions 3. It took a long time to establish the central and hub teams and recruit college based roles, partly because of the policies and processes inherent in HEIs and FECs but also because of non-competitive salaries and short term contracts. 4. It took a long time to build awareness in schools and develop good working relationships so that activities could be delivered. In short term funded programmes this is a problem. 5. DANCOP could work more quickly if legal, recruitment and financial issues and executive sign off could be facilitated. 6. Collaborative work has been supported by: a. Representation of key partners across different management groups b. The structural and physical location of teams and individuals c. An agile Steering Group and inclusion of further education colleges through the IPG d. ‘Blended Professionals’ who have significant experience, knowledge and skills and are able to cross boundaries to get work done 7. Key innovations have been the IPG, a small but agile steering group and using funding for longer term resources such as skills study coaches in colleges and the STEM Centre. 8. With respect to activities, feedback has been almost entirely positive, and this includes learners, teachers, DANCOP staff funded roles and parents. This has been the case across the wide range of different activities which have been delivered, across year groups and across delivery teams. 9. Activity evaluations show participants report significant increases in knowledge about HE and confidence. 10. Comparisons of knowledge, attitudes and intentions between DANCOP and non DANCOP learners suggest there have been the desired changes in DANCOP learners. They have shown increased likelihood of attending FE and HE, increased sense of academic fit, increased confidence and increased knowledge of HE.
  • Professional learning communities and teacher enquiry

    Fox, Alison; Poultney, Valerie; The Open University; University of Derby (Critical Publishing, 2020-03-16)
    Professional Learning Communities and Teacher Enquiry as part of the book series Evidence-based Teaching for Enquiring Teachers provides a critical overview of different ways of thinking about professional learning as a social process through collaborative and collective activity. These conceptualisations are illustrated through their application in a range of international settings to allow a critical examination of the opportunities and challenges they present to teachers and school leaders. Case studies offer insights into the way the factors affecting collaborative professional learning play out in particular contexts. The book includes practical recommendations about how to facilitate and engage with collaborative teacher enquiry, based on published evidence. Chapters weigh up the benefits and challenges of the approaches covered and suggest either actions or questions for those of you as readers wishing to act them in your own setting. The book concludes with support for action planning, which includes evaluation of the success of any intervention initiated.
  • Supporting service children in school: An organisational improvement framework

    Burke, Ciaran; Neary, Siobhan; Hanson, Jill; Parker, Gordon; Everitt, Julia; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-12)
    The SCiP Alliance defines a Service child as a person whose parent, or carer, serves in the regular Armed Forces, or as a reservist, or has done so at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life. Quoting the 2016 School Census, McCulloch and Hall (2016) report that there are 68,771 Service children in England. Service family life may involve repeated relocation, deployment and separation; literature highlights the impact this lifestyle may have on Service children‘s progression. The empirical research detailed in this report provides a robust evidence base to support the development of an improvement framework, a simple way for schools to identify improvement priorities and strategies for their work supporting Service children.
  • Different schools, same problem What value teacher research and inquiry?

    Poultney, Valerie; University of Derby (British Education Research Association, 2020-02-21)
    Robust school leadership is seen as the most effective route by which schools and outcomes for students can be achieved (Greany, 2015). But how does a headteacher of a school graded ‘outstanding’ by the inspectorate maintain the motivation of its teachers to work consistently at this highest level? I am a university academic, and recently I was in conversation with the head of an outstanding secondary school about this issue. He explained that most of his staff are graded as ‘very good’/‘outstanding’, and student outcomes are consistently above the national norm. The school is not aligned with a teaching school alliance, nor is it part of a multi-academy trust (MAT). Networking with other teacher professionals is limited because of a restricted budget for cover teachers and for fear of compromising standards in the long term. We talked about teacher research to encourage staff to engage with wider external networks, in order to keep them motivated about practice. This might open opportunities for dissemination to enable the staff to adopt a more critical perspective on their work. He seemed interested.
  • International centre for guidance studies (iCeGS) annual review 2019

    Neary, Siobhan; Clark, Lewis; Hanson, Jill; Nicki, Moore; Tom, Staunton; International Centre for Guidance Studies (2019-12-01)
  • The personal guidance fund- developing new and innovative practice

    Neary, Siobhan; Hanson, Jill; University of Derby (The Career Development Institute, 2020-01)
    To support the implementation of Gatsby Benchmark 8, ‘Personal Guidance’, the Careers & Enterprise Company have invested £2.5 million over two phases, to showcase how groups of schools and colleges can successfully and affordably deliver personal guidance. In total, eighteen projects will be funded until July 2020. This article introduces these programmes and presents some of the initial findings from the evaluation of the Personal Guidance Fund being undertaken by the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby.
  • Diversifying the careers workforce: opportunities and challenges

    Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (De Gruyter, 2020-01-20)
    Attracting high quality candidates with relevant and pertinent experience to any profession is often a challenge. A UK based research project is presented that employs a protean lens to examine the motivations and expectations of career changers who have recently moved into the fi eld of career guidance and counselling. The research comprised of a mixed methods design, utilising an online self-completed survey and interviews aimed at practitioners who have transitioned into the careers fi eld over the last fi ve years. The data refl ects practitioners working in a range of settings including, schools, further education colleges and higher education. The initial fi ndings present several important issues for the careers fi eld in the UK which may have wider applicability. Respondents transitioned from a diverse range of professional backgrounds including HR, education management consultancy and research. A common motivation focused on supporting and infl uencing a social justice agenda. The research identifies that the field is successful in recruiting highly qualifi ed and experienced candidates, the challenge is about diversity and attracting a workforce that better reflects the populace.
  • Icarus, grannies, black holes and the death of privacy: exploring the use of digital networks for career enactment

    Staunton, Tom; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-11-28)
    New perspectives on how digital networks can be understood as an environment for career enactment are explored in this article, in particular, through using critical perspectives on technology, especially in the context of prevailing instrumental perspectives in the majority of the career development literature. Thus, the narratives of people using digital networks for their careers were explored using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The results are captured in three main themes or critical discourses: the speed and scale of digital environments, game-like features of social media interactions and a divide between offline and online worlds. These are presented as sites for critical investigation and are aligned with technological and socio-cultural critical theories.
  • Nudge theory: should career development practitioners have a position?

    Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Career Development Institute, 2019-06-01)
    This article considers the ethical issues of applying nudge theory in the career development sector.
  • Understanding the use of digital technology in the career development sector

    Moore, Nicki; Czerwinska, Karolina; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-12-04)
    This research, funded jointly by the UK’s Career Development Institute and the University of Derby, has been conducted at a time of rapid change in the availability and use of digital technologies. A recommendation to develop digital skills to harness technology is not new and was first suggested by The Careers Profession Task Force (2010). This research aims to determine what progress has been made over the last nine years since the recommendation was made and seeks to determine: • How practitioners and managers use digital technology to deliver career development services • The potential for digital technology to deliver career development services; and • The training needs of career development practitioners so that they can use digital technology to deliver services, innovate solutions and solve problems in service delivery. The knowledge developed through this research will be used to develop professional support and training activities and services to organisations and individual career development practitioners. It will also be used by policy makers in the UK and beyond, who are tasked with the development of modern, cost-effective and client appropriate career development services.
  • Pop-up shops for increasing employability and contributing to civil society in times of austerity

    Hill, Inge; Bass, Tina; Coventry University (Springer, 2019-09-24)
    This chapter discusses a learning and teaching unit pop-up shop rooted in experiential learning. This pop-up shop learning activity aims to increase employability and educate young learners how to contribute to civil society. The discussion offers a reflection on how lecturers’ roles are changing in response to the austerity informed UK policies and HE measures. Universities are increasingly required to generate larger numbers of enterprising, employment-ready graduates. Increased monitoring of the efficient use of public spending in HE has seen the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) bringing more focus on employability rates, which in turn help to determine university rankings. These rankings put pressure on HE senior management, which is then passed down through the hierarchy to lecturers. The detailed guidance on how to run pop-up shops offers a pragmatic answer to the outlined challenges to inspire lecturers to develop their learning and teaching strategies. Particular attention is paid to developing reflective skills in learners.

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