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Current and recently commissioned research and evaluation studies:

If you would like to know more about any of these projects, explore how the methods and approaches used could be applied to your work, or discuss training opportunities, please contact me.

Current (2019 onwards):

Evaluating the impact, breadth and reach of the Greater Manchester Higher partnership

This study aims to determine the benefits that have been achieved by Greater Manchester Higher [GMH] through its partner organisations working collaboratively to deliver outreach activity. In particular, the study examines the impact that GMH's current organisational and funding model has had in relation to co-operation, impartiality and the balance between partners, as well as explore the impact that changes to this model might have.

Views from the chalk-face: teachers' perceptions of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire

This study draws on the insights of teaching professionals from a range of secondary schools and FE colleges across the Higher Horizons+ region of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire, with the aim of exploring the impact of the network and the outreach initiatives it provides.

Views from the chalk-face (supplementary study): the outreach officer's perspective on supporting the schools and colleges of the HH+ region

This supplementary study seeks to recognise the central role that the partnership's account holders play in the work of HH+.  In so doing it recognised the the perspective they can offer into the day-to-day and operational aspects of collaborative outreach.

Views from the chalk-face (supplementary study 2): teachers' views on the role of outreach in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic

This small supplementary study gathers the teacher perspective on the role of outreach in the wake of the pandemic. It seeks to achieve this by returning to some of the teaching professionals involved in the main Views from the Chalk-face study.

The impact of outreach: investigating of the learner perspective

Few studies in the field of widening participation have been able to draw on the experiences and insights of learners in schools and academies that have not been exposed to HE access initiatives. However, this study is based on one such school. Central to this study will be the aim of capturing the 'learner voice' and working with learners as 'co-producers' of outreach activities.

Reports from recently completed studies

An investigation into the factors determining low participation rates in three areas of Suffolk and Norfolk (2016)


The HE progression of BTEC students (2016)

Professional development in widening participation for school and colleges (2016)

Drop out amongst AS and A-Level learners: interpretations and interventions (2016)

The progression of advanced apprentices: learning from the student experience (2016)

HE progression of males from under-represented backgrounds (2016)

Bucking the trend: raising HE progression rates amongst first generation, economically disadvantaged, white males (2017)



The progression challenge: an investigation into factors influencing the low rates of young higher education participation found in a sample of census wards across Essex (2017)

Triggers and Timings. Insights into the higher education decision making process amongst learners from educationally disadvantaged areas (April 2019)

Understanding learner journeys: qualitative insights into the impact of outreach (April 2019)

Identifying, engaging and facilitating the HE progression and sector entry of those from under-represented backgrounds. Written by N. Raven and R. Webber-Jones, and researched with J. Baldwin (May 2019).

Perspectives and prospects: The educational ambitions and intentions of young white British males from five disadvantaged areas in North West England (July 2019)

Teaching and transitions: understanding classroom practices that support HE progression (September 2019)

Understanding learner journeys (second phase): new qualitative insights into the impact of outreach (October 2019)

Current Work