New project aims to improve outcomes of young people by mapping their journeys


Tuesday 30 January 2024

Mapping young people’s journey through school, further and higher education is essential to support their transitions through life and reduce inequalities.

Currently there are evidence gaps in the area of youth transitions, but mapping the current national evidence base in this area will highlight any gaps in our understanding of what works when seeking to improve outcomes for young people.

Addressing and improving these evidence gaps is the focus of a new Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) project on youth transitions which is being led by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

The Research Community Catalyst for Youth Transitions project will provide strategic research leadership by consolidating the growing body of knowledge on youth transitions. This will include mapping the existing research evidence and data sources; coordinating and co-designing a research agenda with key stakeholders; and mapping accessible administrative data sources that are required to address this research agenda.

The project will also seek to build greater capacity for undertaking academic research using administrative data on youth transitions. In addition, it will aim to develop a diverse administrative data research community and start to address the key research priorities through providing research fellowships.

This programme is being co-funded by ADR UK with the Youth Futures Foundation and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education. The Principal Investigator for the project is Dr Angela Donkin, on behalf of NFER. Also collaborating as co-investigators on the project are Jude Hillary (NFER), Professor Peter Urwin (University of Westminster), Dr Jake Anders (UCL), Dave Thomson (FFT Education Datalab) and Dr Alex Sutherland (Research Design UK).

Dr Angela Donkin, the Principal Investigator for the project, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in a project designed to identify and fill the gaps in national data sets around youth transitions.

“We look forward to working with our partners to create a more comprehensive data picture of the current research base, identifying the key gaps in the evidence and mapping the key data sources which might be better used to address these gaps, to support decision makers in improving the lives of children.”

Karen Powell, Head of Research Strategy and Commissioning for ADR England, ADR UK said:

“This is a new pilot investment for ADR UK. We are excited to see how these collaborative awards, supported by proactive co-funders, will bring the community together across two really important cross-cutting themes, and make an important contribution to increasing meaningful and relevant research underpinned by ADR England flagship data.”

If you are interested in the youth transitions research communities, please complete this expression of interest form.