Education Research

Data-based research

Our team frequently undertakes education research projects that range from large scale reports, to more localised projects

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Consultation and Engagement Support

We can support clients with a community wide assessment, with the aim to improve opportunities within the community

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Children and Families

We recognise how important the early years are for a child’s development and have a track record in researching this area

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Childcare Sufficiency Assessments

Our research team deliver childcare sufficiency themed projects, focusing on sufficiency for local families

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Early Years Education–Focused Research and New Provisions Feasibility

We can support clients that want to establish an on-site day-care provision by researching and producing business cases

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Social Mobility

We are passionate about learning, social mobility and aspirations; creating life changing opportunities for young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities

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16-19 T-Levels Funding Applications

We can support clients with their funding application bids to deliver T-Levels, the new technical study programme

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Further Education Capital Transformation Funding Applications

We are on hand to support your Stage 2 application; we have a 95% success rate in winning education capital funding bids

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Data-Based Research

We will undertake educational research projects ranging from large scale reports to more localised projects. We have the capability to contribute to Local Authority School Places Planning through forecasting exercises and strategic plans. Our research seeks answers to questions and trends, including:

  • Is the 0 – 19-year-old demographic rising, stable or falling, and is this a trend?
  • Are birth rates rising, stable or falling?
  • Do population or household projections suggest that there will be significant changes in 0 – 19-year-olds in the short, medium or long term?
  • Are pupil numbers in the independent sector rising, stable or falling?
  • Are there any plans for changes to local housing patterns in the short to medium term phasing, and in the long-term developments?
  • Are there any plans in neighbouring authorities that will have an impact on cross-boundary flows and overall pupil numbers in your authority?

Our research team has extensive experience of undertaking large-scale consultation projects with service/provision users, including parents, families, carers, children and young people. These consultations can be quantitative or qualitative data captures, digital and online engagement projects and surveys; focusing on children and families or educational topics with emphasis on:

  • Clients having raw/hard data through which they can derive conclusions and recommendations
  • Research transparency with open access to research findings and underlying research data
  • Usable and informative metrics, which can support the production of strategic outputs with the highest possible influence and impact

Interested in Our Data Research?

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Consultation and Engagement Support

We can support clients with a community wide assessment which will identify the groups of children and young people that would benefit most from a range of intervention strategies – potentially around absenteeism and exclusions.

Our research and expert support can help clients:

  • Enhance social mobility ambitions during the early years
  • Use evidence and research to remove barriers to learning
  • Develop collaborative programmes of work, aimed at improving Level 2 outcomes in English and Mathematics
  • Talk to children and young people about their aspirations through innovative surveys and focus groups, helping them find the right academic and vocational routes for the careers they aspire to – including the possibility of apprenticeships
  • Develop coaching and mentoring programmes for the most vulnerable children and young people
  • Improve advice and support for young people moving between school and work, including where they are currently unprepared and under-skilled
  • Interact with employers, providers and disadvantaged young people to ensure access to skills and resources at the right point in their education
  • Review the quality of careers systems
  • Raise aspirations and increase access for young people to a wide range of career choices and post-16 routes
  • Work with local universities and colleges to find innovative ways of enabling SEND/vulnerable young people to access higher education to ensure they have every opportunity to reach their potential
  • Embed SEND reviews and greater capacity for school-to-school support to review and improve provision for pupils with SEND

Interested in Our Consultation and Engagement Support?

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Children and Families

We are getting more involved with projects that have an early years education focus. We recognise that the formative early years for 0 – 4-year-olds plays an important role in a child’s development, including their eventual school-based educational progress and attainment.

Our team has a long and strong track record in supporting clients with research and project management that has a child and family theme. Our services include:

  • Research into the extent to which social mobility is starting in the early years
  • Review and sustainability projects for Sure Start Children’s Centres
  • Review of parenting support programmes and projects
  • Review of services, provision and support for families with 0-4 year olds with SEND
  • Advice and support with nursery to reception transition

Interested in Our Children and Families Services?

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Childcare Sufficiency Assessments

Members of our research team have been directly responsible for the delivery of childcare sufficiency-themed projects for over 30 local authorities since the inception of the 2006 Childcare Act, and its focus on sufficiency of places for local families.

In 2020, as an outcome of Covid-19 the Place Group research team have been supporting local authorities with assessments which have focused on sustainability themed intelligence. This has required a focus on structured interviews with representatives of early years childcare groups/settings and registered childminders. We have been helping local authorities to, in effect, triage groups and childminders who may be most in need of support.

Our client local authorities have commissioned us to continue such research in to 2021 in order to help them monitor the ever-evolving effects of Covid-19.

Our more traditional sufficiency projects focus on themes including:

  • Ongoing impact of the 30 hours childcare offer – including from a process and impact evaluator perspective
  • Ongoing (localised) sufficiency of free entitlement for 2 year-old provision
  • Sufficiency of all three types of free entitlement offers
  • Forecasting need aligned to specific demographic and socio-economic factors, particularly new housing developments

Naturally our expertise extends to consulting and determining strategic priorities via qualitative and quantitative methodologies with early years childcare providers, out of school childcare providers, parents and carers.

We also support clients who wish to look at the feasibility of establishing or extending out of school childcare at their provision.

An example of a CSA produced by Place Group, with strategic priorities for 26 School Planning Areas, can be viewed here.

Interested in Our Childcare Sufficiency Assessments?

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Early Years Education-Focused Research and New Provision Feasibility

We support clients who are considering establishing an on-site day-care provision – typically a nursery or pre-school playgroup. We will undertake a comprehensive feasibility study which examines:

  • Localised sufficiency of early years childcare provision and whether there is a tangible demand for more places
  • Business case aligned to sustainability and profitability
  • Business case aligned to the free early years education entitlements
  • Suitability of potential space(s) for a new provision
  • Procurement avenues
  • Regulatory requirements

Interested in Our Early Years Education-Focused Research and New Provision Feasibility?

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Social Mobility

Academic research demonstrates that the key determinant of how successful someone is in securing a good job with a decent salary is the level of educational qualifications that they achieve.

Place Group is passionate about learning, social mobility and aspirations; in effect creating life changing opportunities for young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities.

Our team has worked with a number of England’s thirteen Opportunity Area Partnerships, which aim to help more children and young people achieve their full potential through targeted funding in areas of entrenched disadvantage.

Enhancing education pathways by addressing a range of issues that affect children and young peoples’ outcomes and life chances is a key part of the Opportunity Areas Programme strategy. We can support all local authorities and educational stakeholders with this ambition. For example, developing a shared, cross-sector awareness and understanding that social mobility is an issue which requires a collective sense of purpose to tackle it.

Interested in Social Mobility?

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16-19 T-Levels Funding Applications

T Levels are a new technical study programme to be introduced from the 2020/21 academic year. Eligible academies, colleges, university technical colleges and sixth forms can apply for T Level funding to introduce or enhance your facilities to deliver these programmes. We can support clients with their funding bids to enable them to enhance the scope of their own offer to their student.

The T Level Capital Fund is split into two elements; the Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA) and the Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant (BFIG). The deadline for all BFIG applicants to submit applications is 30th April 2020.

The DfE Guidance outlines that “providers should apply for a BFIG if you have a pressing need for capital funding to support the delivery of T Levels. For example, if your buildings are in poor condition, unsuitable for delivering T Levels or you have an estate at risk of becoming inefficient and your project can deliver high value for money”.

Place Group would work in partnership to obtain all supporting information for an application and to prepare the form. We can also support the educational delivery section of the application, which includes:

  • Determining and quantifying pupil projections
  • Student growth number plans
  • Proposed initial T-Learner numbers
  • Reasons why T-Levels delivery will benefit other learners at an establishment

Interested in 16-19 T-Levels Funding Application Support?

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Further Education Capital Transformation Funding Applications (FECTF)

The FECTF is intended to deliver the government’s £1.5 billion commitment made at the 2020 Budget to upgrade and transform the FE college estate over the next 5 years. We will be working in partnership with Mace Consult to support colleges applying for funding.

If you have submitted a successful Stage 1 application, Place Group can support you in creating a successful Stage 2 application.

Your application should:

  • Evidence how it will fully meet the assessment criteria
  • State how it will deliver against the agenda set out in the DfE’s publication ‘Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth’ (January 2021)
  • Rank highly for affordability
  • Meet national targets for net zero carbon omissions and sustainability

Mace Consult has worked on over 200 DfE projects and currently has over 30 staff seconded to the DfE, so fully understand their processes and requirements – particularly their growing focus on FE capital investment. We believe this knowledge will give your application an ‘edge’ and maximise your chances of success. We seek to design the very best learning and teaching environments to support effective and innovative learning. These ‘Landmarks for Learning’ have a strength of vision and concept that are sustainable and inherently flexible.

We sit on numerous tendered OJEU procurement frameworks including the DfE’s own technical advisory framework, and the Everything FM framework which provides a fast and easy way to appoint us.

If you have heard that your Stage 1 application was unsuccessful this time, we would be happy to review it and offer suggestions for improvement if you plan on re-submitting. Similarly, if you have not applied, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help you for the next round.

Interested in Further Education Capital Transformation Funding Application Support?

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Contact us for a free initial consultation with one of our senior team members today!

T: 0845 548 5677


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