Over the summer, the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers, made an open call to fund a research proposal up to the sum of £10,000. The network hoped to fund an innovative research proposal that could help provide new insights and enhance the effectiveness of professionals working to support the success of care leavers’ progression into and through Higher Education.
The network was overwhelmed by the breadth of the quality of proposals received and after careful consideration, supported by a panel of experts in the field, the funding has been awarded to Dr Neil Harrison on behalf of the University of West England for the project titled ‘Higher Education: Researching Around Care Leavers’ Entry and Success (HERACLES)’. The project which will be taking a mixed-methodology approach that will seek to analyse national data sets to explore the educational progression of a cohort of care leavers, namely those that were in Year 11 in 2007/08. It is anticipated that by utilising a large national dataset of approximately 500,000 individuals alongside the rigorous use of statistical analysis will allow for strong evidence on the relative success of care leavers within the HE system. Dr Neil Harrison, noted in his proposal that ‘Not only should this provide NNECL with useful insights about, for example, particular points of disadvantage or points at which additional interventions may be needed, but it is anticipated that newsworthy findings will emerge and garner media attention’. The project will also seek to generate primary data through qualitative research with key stakeholders, which it is hope will support the findings of the statistical analysis and provide yet more insight that will be of immediate use to practitioners.
The findings of the research will be launched by the NNECL at the annual conference on 29th November at the University of West of England.
To find out more about the conference or to book a place please follow the link: www.nnecl.org/activities/nnecl-annual-conference