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Manchester Institute of Education


Discover more about the impact of our research.

  • Children’s communities – Partnerships between schools, community organisations and agencies to tackle specific inequalities facing disadvantaged and poor children.
  • Coalition of research schools - A cross-phase school-based Greater Manchester research network.
  • Co-producing research-based resources for teachers working in high-poverty neighbourhoods - The project uses research findings to foster the development of teacher practice which will help narrow socio-economic gaps in educational attainment in Greater Manchester.
  • Who do you think you are? - A curriculum intervention project for a targeted group of 'at risk' year 9 students and their families at Manchester Communication Academy.

Children’s communities

We have worked in partnership with Save the Children (an international children’s charity) to put forward 'children’s communities' as a way of addressing socio-economic disadvantage for children living in deprived areas of England.

Children’s communities include a partnership between various organisations and agencies in the community (e.g. schools, health services and local government) to ensure the 'right mix' of initiatives are used to tackle the specific inequalities facing children in the local community.

Recent developments include a partnership with Save the Children to set up four pilot initiatives across England including two in Greater Manchester. An example of one of these pilot initiatives is a children’s community set up in Collyhurst in Greater Manchester which is characterised by high rates of unemployment, a loss of a sense of pride in the area and isolation of residents from opportunities in other areas of the city. As such, community partners decided on a strategy to change the image of the area and to instil a sense of pride among young people and residents. An extensive publicity campaign was run which highlighted the positive aspects of living in the area.


Coalition of research schools

Set up in 2011, the Coalition invites schools to commit to and participate in research activities to inform their development. 

The inquiries are concerned with finding effective ways of improving the achievement of all pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Researchers from the Centre for Equity work with the schools in identifying and responding to factors that need to be addressed in order to improve outcomes for vulnerable groups of learners. 

Coalition head teachers and teacher research teams meet regularly throughout the year to plan, share, interrogate and learn from each other’s inquiry based developments.


Co-producing research-based resources for teachers working in high-poverty neighbourhoods

The project uses the work of the Disadvantage and Poverty research group to help develop a set of research-based professional development resources for teachers working in low-income neighbourhoods.

These include online resources in the form of film, podcasts, animated presentations and written briefings, as well as tools for face-to-face delivery/peer education/teacher enquiry. They are co-produced with teachers and with young people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, and have been developed both to enhance understanding of the problem and to address specific issues of practice raised by the partner organisations – thus tackling the question "so what should I do?"

The project has worked with one local authority partner initially (Stockport) and five school partners (two primary and three secondary) in Stockport and  Manchester. The schools are located in contrasting neighbourhoods (e.g. white working class/multi-ethnic inner-urban), thus enabling the development of contextually tailored resources that will be usable in other schools across the North West. 


Find out more

The resources created from this project will be available in digital format in late 2017.

Who do you think you are?

In conjunction with Manchester Communication Academy (MCA), this project developed a curriculum intervention – "Who Do You Think You Are?" – to meet the learning needs of an educationally at risk group of approximately 20 Year 9 students.

This intervention was both area-based and young people and family orientated, focused on building educational 'thinking and doing' via the creation of a multimedia presentation.

A target group of students, and their families, became reporters, collectively acting as secretariats of the community’s rich memory. The resulting showcase capture the biography of Collyhurst and Harpurhey, privileging the significant ‘funds of knowledge’ located in local neighbourhood, family and school contexts.  The main success of the intervention focused on the development of high trust relationships between students and staff and students that resulted in students' enhanced motivation and engagement with learning.