IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE research centre to inform government decision-making on children and families

18 July 2018

UCL Institute of Education's (IOE) Thomas Coram Research Unit is part of a UCL collaboration undertaking a research programme about children and families to inform UK health and social care policy.

Family sitting on grass

Launching in January 2019, the new Children and Families Policy Research Unit (CPRU) will conduct research over five years to support the government's development of evidence-based policy to improve the health of children and their families.

CPRU is one of 13 research units launched by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with investment from NIHR totalling £65 million.

The 13 new units join two existing units in mental health and obesity. The new NIHR units will provide both a long-term resource for policy research and a rapid-response service to provide evidence for emerging policy needs. The units will also offer advice to policy makers and analysts on the evidence base and options for policy development.

The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) will lead the new Children and Families Policy Research Unit (CPRU), under the directorship of Professors Ruth Gilbert and Terence Stephenson.

TCRU's Dr Jenny Woodman, Lecturer in Child and Family Policy, is a co-investigator of the Unit.

The UCL collaborators include UCL ICH, UCL Department of Applied Health Research, the IOE's Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) and partners of the University. They will work with colleagues from the University of Bristol, the University of Oxford, the Child Outcomes Research Consortium, and the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Dr Woodman said:

"TCRU is pleased to be part of this exciting multi-disciplinary team of experts which will provide robust and timely research to support Government policies to improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families.

"Our research will take into account social and environmental factors affecting health and well-being, with a strong focus on understanding and reducing inequalities.

"TCRU will be primarily contributing to the rapid response component of the programme, providing Government departments and arms-length bodies with timely and digestible answers to their most pressing policy questions."

Media contact   

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
T: +44 (0)20 3108 8515
E: rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk