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Transformative sport? Appraising the impact of sporting interventions in the Pupil Equity Fund

Project Description

Project reference number: GSBS-2019-129

The Pupil Equity Fund was introduced in 2016 as part of a £750 million commitment over the current parliamentary term to close the poverty related attainment gap in Scotland. For 2018/19, the £120 million invested in the Pupil Equity Funding forms part of the £179 million Attainment Scotland Fund and was allocated to 2,387 schools. Allocations are based on the number of pupils from P1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals.

Head teachers have the discretion to use these funds – equivalent to £1,200 for each eligible child – in ways that they determine will be most effective in enhancing educational experience and improving the achievements and attainment of targeted pupils. Many head teachers have elected to use these funds to support participation in sport, leisure and cultural activity (either instead of, or in addition to, direct classroom interventions to support literacy and numeracy).

Advocating the use of sport as a stimulus for social change is not new. A range of disciplines have provided critical evaluations of sport and its relation to communities, social exclusion and even the reduction of crime. In general sport is presented as a set of leisure activities that can improve social capital and improve social cohesion. On the other hand, more critical research has spoken of a dark side to social capital in sport; one which may exclude particular groups. Nevertheless, research on the role of sport in reducing poverty and improving the education of children is in its infancy.

This project will therefore contribute to this field and appraise the theory of change whilst gathering empirical evidence of impact to better understand the impact of sport in transforming the life chances of pupils experiencing poverty in Scotland. This will involve a national mapping of the sporting initiatives in PEF and case study work with pupils and schools to ascertain impact.

The studentship is a joint collaboration between SPIRU and the Sport and Physical Activity Research Group, both located in GSBS.

Supervisor Research Profiles
Director of Studies: Professor Emmanuelle Tulle
GCU Research Online URL: [email protected]

2nd Supervisor: Professor John McKendrick
GCU Research Online URL: [email protected]

3rd Supervisor: Dr James Bowness
GCU Research Online URL: [email protected]

How to apply

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2019

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquiries regarding your application to:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

For further details on funding see View Website

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