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The causes of and consequences of educational disruption owing to irregular school transition

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Ceri Brown
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Irregular transition between schools outside of normal admission points is known to be disruptive to early education and hence a major barrier to engagement at higher level. What is not well understood is whether a) all forms of irregular school transition (IST) are equally disruptive and b) whether attainment in all subject areas is equally affected. This study will test the hypotheses that a) ISTs that are embedded within a routine culture (e.g. in military families) are less disruptive than those forced on families (e.g. via divorce, housing benefit reform, redundancy and for children in care), b) that curriculum subjects that require contextual embedding for clear progress to be made (e.g. maths and sciences) are more profoundly affected than subjects in which contextual progress is of lesser importance (e.g. English). Prior evidence suggests at key stage 2 there may be a maths/English difference, but this may diminish by stage 4. These hypotheses will be tested within this mixed method doctoral study. The second question can be addressed by big data analysis of national databases of student attainment and irregular school transition. The former question will be investigated by quantitative and qualitative analysis comparing children whose parents are in the military (routine relocation) and those with ISTs owing to spontaneous factors (e.g. divorce, redundancy ect). As a control the study will consider military families that haven’t moved and students of divorced parents and children receiving free school meals who haven’t had to relocate.

The appointment reflects an inter-departmental collaboration under the co-supervision of Dr Ceri Brown, Department of Education, and Prof Laurence Hurst, Director of the Genetics and Evolution teaching project, Department of Biology and Biochemistry. Dr Ceri Brown is an expert in mobility/disadvantage and educational attainment alongside qualitative analysis. Prof Laurence Hurst is a world leading international expert on the evolution of genetic systems and an expert in the statistical handling of big data. The successful candidate will have the option to sit within in Prof Hurst’s GeVo teach team alongside PhDs doing extensive large data set analysis. The student will also contribute to the ‘social and geographic mobility’ strand of the Internationalisation and Globalisation of Education research cluster, Department of Education.This project is aligned with the Milner Centre for Evolution: http://www.bath.ac.uk/groups/milner-centre-for-evolution/

The Successful Candidate should:
1. Fulfil the entrance requirements for a Department of Education PhD
2. Have an interest in Educational disadvantage and learning inequalities. Have a strong understanding of quantitative research methods (including statistical methodologies) and an interest in mixed method research involving qualitative and quantitative research. Experience in R would be highly desirable, an understanding of SPSS or qualitative research methods would be an advantage.

Interviews will take place on Friday 28th June for shortlisted candidates.

Funding Notes

The award will cover for 2.5 years (with the possibility to extend to 3 years) of full time study: tuition fee at the 'Home/EU' rate, an annual stipend of £14,777 (2018/19 rate) and an annual training support fee.

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