Institute of Education


Our approaches

To deliver our aim of identifying and reducing inequalities in opportunities across the life course, we will take multiple approaches using rigorous quantitative methods.

Our approaches take three main strands:

Conducting, Research, Evaluations and Trials in Education (CREATE)

CREATE champions the development and application of expertise in the use of randomised evaluations and related methods to understand policies and programmes in the work of CEPEO and beyond.

We focus on how to understand the effect of complex and multi-component interventions that are conventional in our field.

We carry out evaluations and critique the approaches taken by studies of this type. Also, we are developing innovative approaches aiming to understand not only what works, but how.

One of the ways we do this is by facilitating informed and critical engagement between stands of education research. This does not often occur, encouraging innovation and robustness of evaluation work in the field of education.


Achieving the aims of CEPEO is not always possible using traditional sources of data.

Our innovation strand identifies and collates alternative sources of data needed to address previously unanswerable questions. These are vital to understanding barriers to opportunities within and beyond education.

This includes:

  • How to best work in a sensitive but ethical manner with organisations - to access and analyse data which is typically unavailable to researchers.
  • Innovative approaches to primary data collection.
  • Use of data from different institutional contexts (other countries) to address issues relevant to education policy in the UK.

Our researchers have world-leading expertise in working with linked longitudinal population administrative data and the rich birth cohort studies.

This includes knowledge of and access to the UK Government's Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data - an innovative resource for understanding links between educational opportunities and long-term labour market outcomes at the population level.

We also work closely with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies to make best use of their internationally renowned cohort studies:

  • National Child Development Study
  • British Birth Cohort Study
  • Millennium Cohort Study
  • Next Steps.

We learn from current datasets by working closely with expert researchers and survey methodologists who run these outstanding resources.