Laura Kayes, an advanced practitioner, who teaches performing arts at Leeds City College, is undertaking research that will look at the impact poverty can have on 16-19 year old learner outcomes in further education and how education institutions can support students from areas of deprivation.
She is one of 11 scholars in the UK who will undertake funded research into areas of further education by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE) and hopes to build on previous work she has done, which she said revealed a lack of representation of the 16 - 19-year-old age group, and of further education itself.
Research further - a joint scholarship programme from the AoC and NCFE - has been set up to tackle a historic lack of research in the sector and will support practitioners to carry out Masters’ or doctorate level study.
The scholars’ work will be tracked through a webinar series hosted by AoC and NCFE, who have promised that new knowledge on education and policy will be shared with the sector
through reports, articles and blogs.
She said: "In recent years, there has been some study into how experiencing poverty has the potential to impact learning, but currently there is little research around the impact and
the overall considerations for teaching professionals.
“One of the principles of poverty informed practice is a commitment to reducing barriers for students, so they may use their education to change their economic reality, but that also
allows educators to support students who face the impacts of poverty daily.
“It's a topic close to my heart and ties into my own experience of compulsory education and one that I recognise in the student demographic within further education. In my previous research experience, I have been struck by lack of representation of the 16 - 19-year-old age group, and of further education itself.
“I hope that this research project will result in an improved learning experience for our students, which I then hope will translate to improved outcomes of both educational
attainment and personal wellbeing for this group.”
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