We’re delighted to welcome back leading researchers Dr Carl Emery and Louis Dawes from the University of Manchester in our latest Tutorcast episode.

In Poverty and Place Part II, the two build on the themes they spoke about in the first episode.  They share fascinating insights into their work and the steps some schools have taken to change their practice, in turn making a real impact with the parents and pupils in their communities.  There are some amazing examples of new ways of working that offer real food for thought for those involved in education – from inviting a community to look at the curriculum, to giving parents and teachers the opportunity to get to know each other.

Carl and Louisa, Lecturers in Education and Social Responsibility, based at the University of Manchester School of Environment, Education and Development, specialise in social and emotional wellbeing/learning, emotional intelligence and research on pupils from lower income homes experiencing poverty. 

Under the ‘Local Matters’ programme, they undertake what they describe as ‘slow research’ in schools, as the programmes run over a year-long period, and that has added benefits, says Carl.  “It means giving participants the space and time to critically reflect on their learning and understanding of poverty and link that and collaborate with local communities.”

For Vicky Sadler, our Deputy Director of Training and Tutorcast host, the interviews with Carl and Louisa, for two episodes of the podcast, were thought-provoking.

"The conversations I had with Carl and Louisa were really eye-opening. They have some insightful suggestions for us, as educationalists, to better support those young people who are living in poverty. They certainly made me reflect on my understanding of poverty, and I have a different way of thinking after talking to them.

"I know that the research programme we're working on with them will have an impact on what we do, and I can't wait to find out more."

In the latest episode of Tutorcast, Carl and Louisa share their insights into what they have found and what has worked in different schools – with the emphasis on tailoring solutions to the school’s local community.  For example, one school invited in members of the local Bangladeshi community to help develop a community-based curriculum for geography and history. And in another, the researchers enabled parents and teaching to staff to create a new dialogue so that they could get to know each other, rather than simply focusing on pupil behaviour, attendance or achievement.

Carl talks about the importance of talking about poverty and people’s lived experience, and also about the need to ask some tough questions of ourselves about how our thoughts and actions might stigmatise poverty and disadvantage. And not to assume that all pupils will have the time, space or resources when they’re at home.

Carl asks listeners to think differently about poverty, stressing that:

The emphasis should be on moving beyond the attainment gap and thinking of it as an ‘opportunity gap’.

Tune in to find out what we can all do to better support those young people who most need it.