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Youth Researchers – Preventing School Exclusions Project

Youth Researchers – Preventing School Exclusions Project

The RSA will support up to six young people (two from each of the three local areas) as part of the Preventing School Exclusion (PSE) Youth Researcher cohort. Working with professional researchers, you will have the opportunity to shape the research design, collect and analyse data, and influence how we share our finding with local stakeholders as well as nationally to help build a more inclusive education system.

The RSA is driven by a mission to unite people and ideas to address the challenges of our time. Through the Preventing School Exclusions project, the RSA will work in three localities (Worcestershire, Oldham and East Sussex) over three years to build a fair education system through better partnership working. We will support each local area to;

What is the Preventing School Exclusions project?

  • Establish learning collaboratives (groups) for professionals to come together for partnership working
  • Facilitate a better understanding of local need through research in the community
  • Co-design processes for working together locally
  • Test and pilot ways of working at a local level whist working at a national level to influence change

Youth researchers will work alongside the RSA to support the design and delivery of the project.

How will PSE Youth Researchers contribute?

  1. Work alongside the PSE research team from the RSA to understand place-based approaches to reducing school exclusions and help shape local area action
  2. Co-design research activities including semi-structured interviews with children and young people impacted by, or at risk of, school exclusion
  3. Co-host youth-led focus groups to ensure continuous feedback from young people
  4. Work collaboratively with a cohort of youth researchers to strengthen youth voice
  5. Influence how research findings are communicated and shared via reports and events

What do we mean by Youth Researchers?

By ‘youth research’, we mean the meaningful involvement of young people in research practices around issues that affect them. Young people need to be provided meaningful opportunities to influence research about them and use it to inform their own decision-making as well as shaping organisations and institutions that impact their lives.

No prior experience as a Youth Researcher needed. We’re interested in hearing from young people who like to share their ideas, value empathy, want to learn about community research, enjoy working as part of a team, and want to influence reducing exclusions in their local area.

Who are we looking for?

Key Criteria:

  • You must be based in one of our three partner local areas; Oldham, Worcestershire and East Sussex (we’re looking for two Youth Researchers from each area)
  • Aged 18 –25 years-old (you can still apply if you are 17 but turning 18 before the 1st January 2022 or if your 26th birthday falls before the end of the project in August 2024)
  • You may be required to complete a DBS safeguarding check

Exclusions disproportionally affect young people who receive free school meals, identify as Black Caribbean or Gypsy/Roma/Traveller, have social-emotional and mental health needs, specialist educational needs and disabilities, or have spent time in local authority care. We’re particularly keen to hear from young people with similar lived experiences.

The commitment we need from youth researchers:

Please note: ‘w/c’ means taking place sometime with that week.

This equates to approximately 40 hours of commitment over the three years with much of the activity taking place before March 2022.

How will youth researcher benefit?

  • Create impact: Play a key role in learning about and communicating the impact of exclusions. This research will help develop ways of working to address this real-world issue and make a difference to the lives of young people in the local area. 
  • Shape issues with professionals: Work closely with researchers at the RSA and key professionals in local areas (education, criminal justice, social services and social health) to help them understand what needs to change for young people.
  • Developing skills and experience: Gain opportunities for personal development through skills training, dedicated support, and experience of action research. Develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and communication 

Paid engagement:

Taking part is free. Young Researchers will be paid at the rate of £14 per hr of engagement. This is comparable to an Assistant Researcher’s salary the RSA. The table above outlines the expected engagement level over three years. This would involve approximately 40 hours of commitment which would equate to around £560 over the three years. This could be paid to you via pre-paid cards or vouchers.

Travel expenses will be covered.

Young Researchers can choose to spend more time engaging with the project, either with the RSA or with the anchor organisation but should be aware that they may not be able to be paid for additional time contributing to the project outside of the commitment timetable.  

How to apply:

You can choose to apply via a written form or a video application. Both require you to respond to key questions about your motivations, skills and any relevant experience you might have.

Please see the relevant application form for more details.

The deadline to apply is 9:00am Monday 13th December

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an informal group interview before two youth researchers are selected for each local area.

Further information

Please contact Hannah Breeze at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Application form

Video Application form