About this research
How was the research carried out?
The research used a mixed methods design including quantitative research (e.g. analysis of test and examination data), inspection outcomes and published research.
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 a follow-up to an Ofsted report produced 20 years ago which explored access and achievement in urban education. After concluding that although there had been improvements but not enough, Ofsted decided to revisit the issue. As the research was carried out in England it is important to be aware that the findings may need to be contextualised for Scotland.
The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:
- In your setting, how well do you understand the links between socio-economic disadvantage and educational outcomes?
- How could your setting improve outcomes for learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds?
- How could you collaborate with partners, including parents, to respond to the particular needs of learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in your area?
About the author(s)
This report was written and produced by Ofsted.
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.
Ofsted (2013). Unseen Children: educational access
and achievement 20 years on. Manchester: Ofsted.
Link(s) to full research article
Ofsted Report: Unseen Children: educational access and achievement 20 years on