Much of our work concentrates on the activities that children and young people are involved in when they are not following a formal curriculum which takes place during normal school hours. Some of these activities are formalised in the form of clubs (either on, or off, school premises), and other activities are informal and unsupervised. Key themes for us in our research into out of school activities are:
- How children spend their time: we are interested in what children and young people do.
- Equality of access: we are interested in the effects of disadvantage on participation in out of school activities
- The functions of out of school activities: how does taking part in various activities benefit (or not) children and young people?
- How schools and other organisations work together to provide organised activities: partnership working can take many forms, from commissioning to co-production and we are studying how these partnerships work in respect of organised out of school activities
- Activities that are aimed at addressing specific issues in children’s lives: we have been involved in studying how specific interventions and programmes of activities for young people can address some of the key risk factors for negative outcomes in their lives. Much of this work has centred on preventing and dealing with substance misuse.
- Young people as agents of change: we are keen to research how young people can drive activities and make a real difference to their communities
2014-15 Out of school activities and the attainment gap, Nuffield Foundation, Liz Todd (PI), Karen Laing (Co-I) and Laura Mazzoli Smith in collaboration with NATCEN.
2013 – 16 Evaluation of Thinking Differently, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Liz Todd (PI), Karen Laing (Co-I), Jill Clark (Co-I), Dorothy Newbury-Birch and Ivy Papps (Tecis Ltd).
2016 – 17 Evaluation of Young in Wallsend, Wallsend Action for Youth, Liz Todd (PI) and Karen Laing (Co-I).
2014 – 15 Evaluation of MPACT+, Comic Relief/The Royal Foundation, Karen Laing (PI) in collaboration with Mentor UK.
2011-12 Evaluation of Sub 21, Mentor UK, Karen Laing (PI), Jill Clark. And Liz Todd
2011-12 Evaluation of Just for a Laugh, Mentor UK, Lucy Tiplady (PI) and Karen Laing
2017-18 Evaluation of the Consequences of choice project, LEAF, Karen Laing (PI)
2016-17 Evaluation of InHarmony, Gateshead Sage, Karen Laing (PI)
Publications and conference papers (click on cover image to read)
Presentations and slides
Out of school activities and the education gap. 2016. Liz Todd, Karen Laing, Laura Mazzoli-Smith, Newcastle University. Emily Tanner, Jenny Chanfreau, Meg Callanan, Amy Skipp, Jonathan Paylor, NatCen Social Research (presentation slides)