WISERDEducation has two main research dimensions:

  • Cohort studies
  • Data integration

In undertaking this research, we want to involve researchers across Wales.

The cohort studies

In 2012, we identified over twenty primary and secondary schools which were happy to participate in WISERDEducation by allowing us to follow the progress of a class of children over the next three years.  These schools represent the broad diversity of schools in Wales.  They are located across Wales – in rural and urban areas, they include Welsh-medium, English-medium and dual language stream schools.

In 2012 we surveyed:

  • 345 Year 6 pupils in 16 primary schools
  • 412 Year 8 pupils in 13 secondary schools, and
  • 436 Year 10 pupils in these same secondary schools

In 2013 and 2014 we will revisit each of these students to follow their progress. In 2013, we will also seek to survey:

  • 300 Year 2 pupils in 15 primary schools

In our surveys, we are keen to gather data on the child’s experience of school.  In addition, we are in the process of surveying their parents and carers, to find out parents’ perceptions of their child’s school and education in general.

In 2013, we will also have completed interviews with the headteachers and governors of these 29 schools.  A teacher survey will also give us the professionals’ perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of working in Wales.

Data integration

In addition to gathering new data from pupils, parents and professionals, we are keen to ensure that we make the best use of already existing data. We are therefore in the process of seeking parental permission to link nationally held data about the child’s progress to our surveys.  We hope to extend this data integration to a range of other secondary data.

Involving researchers across Wales

The data from the cohort studies and other datasets provides a fantastic resource for other researchers across Wales to explore a whole range of important educational issues.  In order to maximise the use of this resource, we regularly engage in:

  • Visits to education departments in Welsh universities to showcase the research and engage the teacher education community
  • Invite education researchers to take up WISERDEducation placements to undertake their own analyses using the data.