Insights and briefings

  • The Legitimation of Meritocracy in Government Discourse 2007-2013

    7 September 2014

    This study explored how policy narratives were created in the era in which Ed Balls and then Michael Gove were Secretary of State for Education, in successive governments of New Labour and the Coalition. It found that in both governments’ discourse, a distinctive policy narrative is created that is designed to appeal to core voters […]

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  • What accounts for ethnic achievement gaps in secondary schools in England?

    2 September 2013

    This study explores the size of ethnic, gender and social class gaps in achievement at age 14 and asks what factors might account for ethnic achievement gaps. For most minority groups, high levels of socio-economic deprivation can account for the achievement gaps. However, Black Caribbean students are distinctive, since socio-economic status (SES) cannot account for […]

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  • Education isn’t working for us – listening to disengaged young people

    2 September 2013

    A minority of young people are negative about education and become disengaged*.  This study investigated their experience. Most saw the primary problem as the system.  For them, school was an environment that was hard to endure, where some teachers were indifferent to them, where learning was not possible and where, whatever their attitude, they could […]

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  • Personalisation and student voice

    31 August 2013

    The New Labour Government (1997-2010) announced personalised learning as an idea ‘exciting’ the profession and one that promised ‘radical implications’ for the shape of education in England.  The policy included propositions about engaging student voice in learning, but how did young people experience this? What might their stories illustrate about the links between contemporary social […]

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  • Friendly schools: a whole-school intervention to reduce bullying

    31 August 2013

    School bullying seriously affects young people’s social, physical and psychological well-being as well as their academic achievement.  Increasingly, evidence suggests whole-school (universal) interventions are the most effective, non-stigmatizing means to reduce bullying. These programmes encourage the active participation of parents, students, teachers and the wider school community, to plan, implement and evaluate school policies, procedures, […]

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  • Why Educational Research Matters

    22 August 2013

    In the summer of 2013, BERA  published a briefing paper entitled ‘Why Educational Research Matters’. This was drawn from our contribution to the recent Comprehensive Spending Review and was based upon case studies supplied by members. By showcasing some of the most effective pieces of research in recent years this document showed the positive impact […]

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