Vulnerable Groups

NFER has a strong track record of research around children and young people who are disengaged and disadvantaged.

Our researchers have expertise in conducting research with and about a range of vulnerable groups including:

  • Learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD).
  • Looked after children
  • Children and young people living in poverty
  • Excluded pupils, and those at risk of exclusion
  • Pupils with behaviour and attendance issues
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils
  • Asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants
  • Young carers
  • Young offenders
  • Young people with mental health issues and medical needs
  • Young people not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)
  • Teenage parents.

The wide range of research projects conducted in these areas has entailed the collection of rigorous evidence, often in the form of detailed case studies. This body of evidence has  been used to inform national policy and programme developments and has contributed to improvements  in the educational and social outcomes for young people.

A particular area of specialism relates our expertise in engaging vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ young people and families in the research process, supporting those who are marginalised in society to have a voice on issues that affect them.