New applications research
Key findings: Using an approach based on boosting academic capital in the personal statement, 100% of students in Causeway's Academic Apprenticeship programme received offers from Russell Group universities compared to 73% in the comparison group. When comparing teachers and academics marked and responded to the same set of statements, there was agreement in only 23% of cases.
The 'Access Gap'
Boliver,V, "How fair is access to more prestigious UK universities?" The British Journal of Sociology, 64.2 (2013): 344-364
Key findings: The paper takes UCAS data from 1996-2006. Analysis of offer rates to Russell Group universities shows that, after controlling for grade attainment, state school students are a third less likely to receive an offer than similarly qualified candidates in the private sector.
Jerrim J, Vignoles, A & Finnie, R (2012) "University access for disadvantaged children: a comparison across English speaking countries", Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education (Read article)
Key findings: When grade attainment is taken into account, students from the UK state sector are significantly less likely to attend a "selective university" than their privately-educated peers.
Jerrim J, "Family background and access to high status universities" Sutton Trust (2013) (Read article)
Key findings: Disparities in access to top universities between the state and private sector cannot be explained by grades alone. With identical grades, a state school student is at least a quarter less likely to gain admission to a leading university.
Kendall L, O'Leary J, "Degrees of Success: university chances by individual schools" Sutton Trust (2011) (Read article)
Key findings: Four schools and one college accounted for more Oxbridge acceptances than the combined total of two thousand state-schools.
Jones S, "“Ensure That You Stand Out from the Crowd”: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Personal Statements according to Applicants’ School Type, Comparative Education Review, 57:3 (2013), pp. 397-423
Key findings: Analysis of a corpus of 309 statements reveals consistent disparities between the personal statements produced in the state and private sectors.
Jones S, "The Personal Statement: A fair way to assess applicants?" Sutton Trust (2012) (Read article)
Key findings: analysis of 300 candidates with the same grades applying to the same institution reveals significant and consistent differences between state and private school applicants. State school students in the study receive a markedly lower level of acceptance at "Sutton Trust 30 universities."
Cordingley P, Bell M, Isham C, Evans D & Firth A "Continuing Professional Development: What do specialists do in CPD programmes for which there is evidence of positive outcomes for pupils and teachers?", Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education (2007) (Read article)
Key findings: A systematic review of nineteen teacher CPD studies shows effective programmes feature a "specialist" or professional adviser reinforced by a peer support network. Successful interventions need to be sustained over a period of at least 12 weeks.
Bolam, R. & Weindling, D. Synthesis of Research and Evaluation Projects Concerned With Capacity-Building Through Teachers’ Professional Development. General Teaching Council for England (2006) (Read article)
Key findings: Systematic review of 20 studies between 2002 and 2006 argues that CPD can no longer be seen exclusively as attendance at short workshops. To be effective CPD must provide opportunities to reflect on practice, engage in dialogue, be based in actual work with students and provide opportunities for peer observation, coaching and feedback.