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School of Environment, Education and Development

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Collaborative research

Staff and students within SEED have a long standing reputation for developing collaborative partnerships with schools and colleges within Manchester, across the North West, and internationally.

Continued engagement with the education community is a vital part of ensuring the University of Manchester’s commitment to high quality teaching, research and social responsibility.

Evolving research

Academics within the School of Education, Environment and Development (SEED) work with schools in order to better understand and support education.


Inclusive is a school-led intervention that aims to improve behaviour, reduce bullying and improve social and emotional skills. It has three main elements:

  • all school staff are trained in managing behaviour;
  • year 8 pupils receive a social and emotional learning curriculum;
  • a school action group involving students and staff reviews data on needs makes changes to school policies and rules to improve relationships at school and reduce disruptive behaviour.

An external facilitator supports these changes over two years, with the aim that the school will maintain the programme independently thereafter.

Researchers in SEED are working with colleagues at the London Institute of Education and more than 40 secondary schools in England to examine whether the Inclusive intervention is effective in managing behaviour and improving academic attainment.

For more information, contact principal investigator Dr Michael Wigelsworth.

Research community

Engagement with schools, teachers and pupils is of critical importance for understanding more about education and development.

One of our doctoral students, Claire Forbes, shares some of the latest work occurring through school-research partnerships.

Thesis title

Mapping assets in disadvantaged communities. What assets do communities have to support education and wider life chances and what does this suggest for the actions of schools and other services?


This study will be embedded in a school, which opened in 2010 to serve three socially deprived postcodes in Manchester. The school has set itself up to be a community 'hub' and is seeking to have a substantial impact upon the disadvantaged area that it serves. To achieve this, the school leadership have rejected the traditional 'deficiency-oriented' stance, preferring to embrace an assets-based approach towards their future development and community relations.

As part of an ESRC CASE studentship, my study will involve work with a community interest company, established by the school to develop innovative responses to poor outcomes in the school's highly disadvantaged local areas. Its members consist of local service providers, including representatives from the Adult Education Service, Local Authority Regeneration teams, the Police and the NHS. The group meets approximately four times a year to share perspectives and discuss collaborative strategies to tackle the significant issues faced by the surrounding communities.

Bringing research capacity to the school, this study will not only explore the community assets which might support children to achieve better outcomes in relation to education and their wider life chances but also it will support the school to develop its future agenda and actions by responding to the evidence-base created.

School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI)

The Research Councils UK (RCUK)-funded School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI) is a three-year catalyst scheme providing opportunities for schools and universities to bring contemporary research to life for young people.

Six initial projects will lay the foundations for what will become the Manchester Research Gateway, a network supporting schoolteachers and staff across the University’s four faculties.

Our key aim is to communicate what research means across a variety of academic disciplines while clarifying the processes and skills involved not only in gathering knowledge but also in creating new knowledge. Our belief that research has social and cultural, as well as economic, value underpins the project.

Working with schools within Greater Manchester, we seek to inspire the next generation of researchers by bringing secondary and sixth-form students, research staff, and teachers together.

SUPI will enable young learners to discover what it is like to be a researcher and to develop the necessary skills of inquiry.

Find out more