About the research
How was the research carried out?
The research used a mixed methods design, including quantitative research (e.g. analysis of cognitive assessments) methods, a literature review and qualitative research methods (e.g. 50 case studies which included interviews with children, their families and some teachers).
What are the strengths of the research methodology?
Mixed methods designs combine qualitative and quantitative research methods. These designs aim to use the strengths of different methods and to triangulate findings to produce more balanced results and a deeper understanding of the issues.
What is the context for this research?
This research was carried out in England as an extension to the original EPPSE study. It was funded by the Cabinet Office for the Equalities Review in 2008 and by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2009 to focus specifically on disadvantaged children. It is important to be aware that due to different policy contexts and education systems, the findings may need to be contextualised for application in Scotland.
The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:
- How could your setting improve outcomes for learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds?
- How could you collaborate with parents from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to improve the quality of their children’s learning at home?
About the author(s)
This research report was commissioned by the UK Government’s then Department for Children, Schools and Families (now Department for Education) and written by Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Aziza Mayo, Edward Melhuish, Brenda Taggart (University of London), Pam Simmons and Kathy Sylva (University of Oxford).
British Educational Research Association (2014). Social Inequality: Can Schools Narrow the Gap? London: British Educational Research Association.
Teddlie, C. and Tashakkori, A. (2011). Mixed Methods Research: Contemporary Issues in an Emerging Field; in Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (Sage Handbooks), 4th. Ed.
This research was not commissioned by Education Scotland and the findings, recommendations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Education Scotland.
Siraj-Blatchford, I., Mayo, A., Melhuish, E., Taggart, B., Simmons, P. and Sylva, K. (2011). Performing Against the Odds: Developmental Trajectories of Children in the EPPSE 3-16 Study. London: Department for Education.
Link(s) to full research article
Performing against the odds