Local matters research and teaching programme

Local mattersThe University of Manchester’s Institute of Education’s research on child poverty and its implications for schools, has been put into practice via the development of ‘Local Matters’ – a participatory university/school, social justice, research and teaching programme.

Led by Dr Carl Emery and Louisa Dawes, the programme has been developed over several years through work with a variety of educational partners across Greater Manchester and nationally.

The programme is designed for participants to explore the way that society and education views, understands and responds to poverty in schools and educational contexts. University-led sessions build knowledge about poverty through an exploration of national and local data and questions what we know about low-income communities by examining popularised narratives and myths associated with poverty and the current responses to the poverty/attainment gap in education. As part of the programme, participants construct a school survey of attitudes towards poverty and based on the responses from their educational setting, design co-enquiry action research projects, bringing knowledge and learning together to develop contextually responsive policy and practice that has a direct impact on the educational experiences and outcomes of children from low-income communities.

Local Matters is working with networks of schools in the North West alongside tailored programmes for Manchester Museum, The Tutor Trust and the National Union of Teachers (NEU) as part of its CPD offer for teacher members nationally.

A district education leader, describes the programme: “Absolutely transformative… the [Local Matters] programme is like dropping a stone into a pond and watching all the ripples coming from that. And each new cohort adds to the ripple effect… and there are lots more ripples that I can’t see yet but they’re there”

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