Project reports

D2.1. Report on the conferences with different stakeholders organised in the participating countries of the parallel running RIAs

Working Package 2 of the Inclusion4Schools project sets out to collect information about data collection and provision methods across Europe with the aim of creating an internationally applicable tool that would enable longitudinal, transnational, comparative studies in the field of educational inequalities that could inform and aid the work of both researchers and policymakers. Our main product is going to be a policy recommendation document that will include practical information about the present state of data collection methods and practices, as well as the challenges identified in relation to data collection and access to data. The results of the policy recommendation document are going to be based on a set of  online surveys that were conducted between December 2021 and June 2022, on 13 online and personal think tank events that were organised between June 2022 and January 2023, and on the feedback received about the first draft of the policy recommendation document that participants at the “Measuring educational inequalities in Europe: methodological, ethical, and policy aspects” will provide in September, 2023. Currently, our first comprehensive report on the think tank events is available to view here.

The international think tanks confirmed our hypothesis that there is a great need among researchers to find internationally comparable data but it is quite difficult to get access not only due to data sensitivity issues but also due to the fact that merging different data sets seems to be costly, time consuming, and many times, impossible, even at a national level.

What we have found so far:

  • All think-tank participants have agreed on the need to conduct large-scale empirical research on educational inequalities both at a national and transnational level, using quantitative research methods.
  • All agreed that the harmonisation of data would be highly necessary to be able to conduct trans-European research both historically and in terms of country specificities.
  • Methodology and rapport during think tanks – different approaches during online and in-person events
  • Identification of most frequently occurring topics. Top themes: level and source of data; comparability and data harmonisation;  use of census data; external limitations and restrictions to data access; and the use and misuse of data collection
  • Almost no one has purposefully used the national censuses to collect data on students’ and teachers’ immediate and wider social backgrounds, revealing a lack of knowledge about the widespread usability of the censuses in the research of educational inequalities.
  • creating safe spaces for research
  • Most common indicators: social economic status, regional specifications, cultural background – sensitive data            

The think tanks have also revealed that

  • There is a need for mixed-methods and field-based research
  • The involvement of NGOs and local authorities can increase the success of data collection through maintaining a direct personal connection with communities