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Enhancing Social Inclusion of Migrant Pupils in Disadvantaged Communities

Project Description

This project is supported by colleagues in Storylab

Context: Social inclusion research has found that pupils with a migration background are more likely to socialise with pupils who have a similar background. The lack of social interaction between different group pupils leads potentially to stereotyping and conflict within schools, parental groups and the wider community; in the context of Brexit especially, group divisions, racism and hate crime have increased in communities (Home Office 2019). The majority of social inclusion research within migrant communities focuses on larger cities, while this project identifies a research need with, and for, deprived communities in the Eastern Region, including the Fens. Many social inclusion projects focus on migrant residents rather than increasing interaction and understanding between different groups within the community. Therefore, an innovative two-way social inclusion approach, based on conversation, story-telling and other creative interaction processes between pupils with diverse backgrounds, will be applied and evaluated in the wider context of theories of stigma and labelling.

Aim: To implement two-way social inclusion projects within primary schools in disadvantaged communities and analyse their social impact on the social interaction and mutual understanding between pupils and parents with diverse backgrounds. The project’s focus on the East of England will enhance the visibility of ARU across local communities. It will also address experiences of exclusion within educational spaces within primary education, which are one of the root causes for gaps in attainment within secondary and higher education.

Methodologies: Creative and participatory methodologies (story-telling, performance, object work, photography) will be applied to encourage conversations between pupils about ‘arriving at a new place’ (e.g. school, neighbourhood, country) and to identify commonalities between pupils with diverse backgrounds. The core methodological approaches will be combined with participant observations of everyday life in the primary school, and baseline and endline surveys which will measure the impact of the two-way social inclusion project on pupils and their families. The research will be conducted in 3-5 primary schools (one class and about 30 pupils per school) in different disadvantaged communities across the East of England (using Baxter’s contacts with the Schools of Sanctuary network). The selection of schools will be based on existing criteria of social deprivation (English indices of deprivation 2019) and schools’ enrolment numbers of pupils with a migration background.

To discuss the research project, please contact Dr Claudia Schneider, at email address

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.


You can apply via our landing page We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 9 February. Applications missing the project reference number will be rejected as will applications for multiple studentships.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the studentships, please contact Becky Kraszewski on 01245 684920, or email .

Documentation requiredYou will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

1) Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)
2) Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project
3) Passport and visa (if applicable)
4) English Language qualifications (if applicable)
5) Curriculum Vitae

Funding Notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s studentship awards which covers Home/EU tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions.

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