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Social Sciences Policy Briefings

Social Science research at Warwick addresses a broad-range of policy-relevant issues. Our Policy Briefing Series highlights key findings and policy recommendations from recent research projects across the Faculty.

May 2021

Disability Inequalities in Post-16 Destinations and Early Socioeconomic Attainment

Dr Stella Chatzitheochari, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick and Dr Sanne Velthuis, University of Newcastle Disability gap image

Despite the dramatic increase in the prevalence of adolescent disability, we still know relatively little about the school-to-work transitions of disabled adolescents.

This briefing presents key findings from research that documents post-16 transitions and early socioeconomic attainment of disabled young people in England. It highlights pronounced disparities in the outcomes of disabled and non-disabled young people after the end of compulsory schooling and in early adulthood. It also explores whether post-16 destinations and early occupational outcomes vary by type of disability and by parental social class.

November 2019

Improving Forced Marriage Policy Implementation in France

Dr Khursheed Wadia, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, and Professor Gill Allwood, School of Arts Thumnail of policy briefing in Frenchand Humanities, Nottingham Trent UniversityThumbnail of policy briefing in English

This policy brief is based on a two-year research project funded by the British Academy that sought to investigate the intersection between gender-based violence, particularly forced marriage, and policy in France.

The briefing is available in both English and French.

Who's Challenging Who?

Dr Samantha Flynn and Professor Richard Hastings, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), University of Warwick

Behaviour that challenges, displayed by people with learning disabilities, are actions that place the individual or other people at risk of harm. Negative responses from support staff can make behaviour that challenges worse or more likely to occur. Who’s Challenging Who? (WCW) is a staff training intervention designed to improve empathy towards adults with learning disabilities who display behaviour that challenges. CEDAR and the Centre for Trials Research conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to analyse the effectiveness of this intervention. This briefing presents the results from the evaluation.

September 2019

Improving the Loneliness Strategy

Professor Kimberley Brownlee and Dr David Jenkins, Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick

This briefing highlights three notable gaps in the UK’s 2018 Loneliness Strategy and makes recommendations to address them.These gaps pertain to a national measurement tool, specific initiatives such as the Royal Mail scheme to support older people , and 'forgotten' people (such as those living in poverty, homeless people, and people who have committed offences) who are neglected in the Strategy.


June 2018

Creating inclusive conferences for academics with caring responsibilities
Creating conferences for academics with caring responsibilities

Dr Emily Henderson, Centre for Education Studies (CES), University of Warwick

The briefing gives an overview of findings from a small-scale, exploratory study that looked at the impact of caring responsibilities on academics’ participation in conferences. It presents recommendations for how conference organisers can be more accommodating towards these attendees.

May 2018

Improving the well-being of young children with learning disabilities
Improving the well-being of young children with learning disabilities

Dr Vasiliki Totsika, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) and Professor Richard Hastings, Centre for Education Studies (CES), University of Warwick

This briefing highlights work by researchers, charities and parents to develop an information booklet to help parents of children with learning disabilities promote their child’s well-being. It provides an overview of the booklet and demonstrates how research can be made more accessible if academics work collaboratively with non-academic stakeholders, such as parents and charities, and disseminate findings in creative ways.

April 2018

The Internationalisation of Higher Education: Developing Global Graduates
The internationalisation of higher education: developing global graduates image

Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey and Dr Daniel Dauber, Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick

This briefing paper summarises findings and implications from a survey that assessed the aspirations of students for a global education and their experiences in reality. The survey was conducted using the Global Educational Profiler (GE-P), a diagnostic and needs analysis tool developed by researchers at the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick.

Childhood Disability & Educational Attainment: The Impact of Parental Expectations and Bullying
Childhood disability and educational attainment_picture

Dr Stella Chatzitheochari, University of Warwick and Professor Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics

This briefing presents findings from research that explores the factors that influence disabled young people’s attainment and educational decisions at key points in the English school system. It explores the extent to which the low rates of disabled young people attending university are a result of poor performance, or experiences of stigma resulting in low educational expectations and school bullying.

March 2018

Emotional Finance: Investment and the Unconscious

Professor Richard Taffler, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

This briefing introduces the concept of ‘emotional finance’, the idea that unconscious feelings help drive both individual investment decisions and market activity. It provides an overview of the underlying theory and explores how it can be applied to improve our financial understanding.

January 2018

Lessons in Spiritual Development: Learning from Leading Christian-Ethos Secondary Schools
regulating EU migrant labour

Leslie J Francis, University of Warwick; Trevor Cooling, Canterbury Christchurch University; and Ann Casson, University of Warwick and Canterbury Christchurch University

This briefing presents an overview of findings and implications from the Ten Leading Schools project, which assessed models of spiritual development in Christian-ethos secondary schools in England and Wales. It highlights features of these schools that contribute to pupils’ positive spiritual development, offering insights of practical use for other schools.

December 2017

Employment Rights: Preserving and Strengthening Family-Friendly and
Egalitarian Workplace Cultures after Brexit
regulating EU migrant labour

Ania Zbyszewska, University of Warwick

This briefing assesses how employment rights underpinning family-friendly workplaces might be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU. It also makes recommendations for how the UK might preserve and strengthen its commitment to maintaining family-friendly and egalitarian workplaces after Brexit.

November 2017

Skills Training for Vulnerable Workers: Effects of the Loss of EU Funding after Brexit

skills training for vulnerable workers

Peter Dickinson, Daria Luchinskaya and Chris Warhurst, University of Warwick

UK spending on initiatives to help unemployed and disadvantaged workers in the labour market is significantly supplemented by EU funding such as the European Social Fund (ESF). Unless the UK government provides replacement funding, this funding source will be withdrawn on the UK's exit from the EU. This briefing outlines the benefits of the ESF in the UK and makes recommendations for what investment in skills training for vulnerable workers should look like after Brexit.

Job Loss and Job Creation - Pitfalls and Opportunities?
Brexit, Foreign Investment and Job Creation regulating EU migrant labour

Nigel Driffield and Erika Kispeter, University of Warwick

This briefing outlines recent policy-orientated research on the impact of Brexit on inward foreign direct investment and employment. It sets out recommendations for a post-Brexit inward investment strategy, with a focus on good-quality job creation.

Regulating EU Migrant Labour: Lessons from the Construction Industry regulating EU migrant labour

Guglielmo Meardi and Erika Kispeter, University of Warwick, Anne Green, University of Birmingham

Targeted regulations of migrant labour could reduce labour market uncertainty and job competition between UK and migrant workers after Brexit. This briefing analyses lessons from the construction industries of Canada, Switzerland and Norway to make recommendations for how migrant labour regulations might be implemented in the UK.

October 2017

Using Deep Learning to Quantify the Beauty of Outdoor Places English language standards

Chanuki Seresinhe, Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Beautiful outdoor locations are often protected by governments and are associated with better health. This briefing summarises research that uses a deep learning algorithm to investigate what makes an outdoor space beautiful.

Positive Behavioural Support: Impact of the PBS Academy English language standards

Louise Denne, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), University of Warwick

The Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) Academy is a collective of organisations and individuals in the UK working together to promote and raise standards in the use of PBS as a framework for supporting individuals with learning disabilities. This briefing provides an overview of the impact of the PBS Academy and makes recommendations for extending the reach of its work.

Experiences of a Therapeutic Writing Group for Survivors of Sexual Abuse English language standards

Dr Jeannie Wright and Dr Ravi Thiara, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick

This briefing summarises experiences from a pilot writing group for survivors of sexual abuse. It highlights key issues that emerged and shares learning to inform future therapeutic writing programmes.

August 2017

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Business English language standards

Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice, Warwick Business School

This briefing provides an overview of key challenges for the development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence technologies, including consequences for business and society and questions that will need addressing. It outlines some of the leading thinking in the field and defines key concepts.

July 2017

English Language Standards in Higher Education English language standards

Neil Murray, Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick

This briefing provides a critique of the English language tests used by universities to assess whether international students have the require levels of English language proficiency to be admitted onto degree programmes.

Taking labour rights seriously in a UK-EU trade agreement Taking Labour Rights Seriously

Ben Richardson and James Harrison (University of Warwick), Adrian Smith, Liam Campling and Mirela Barbu (Queen Mary University, London)

If the UK and the EU negotiate a free trade agreement or customs union, how should labour rights be addressed? We examine what the protection of labour rights could achieve, as awell as the dangers of not including significant commitments in a post-Brexit trade deal.

May 2017

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test: Views of People with Down SyndromeNon-invasive prenatal testing

Dr Barbara Barter, Clinical Psychologist, NHS and Professor Richard Hastings, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick

The introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) has implications for individuals with genetic variations and the way in which genetic differences are perceived in society. This new policy briefing from the University of Warwick sets out the ethical considerations of the policy and provides recommendations of how the policy might be implemented sensitively.

March 2017

Governing Labour Standards Through Free Trade AgreementsGoverning labour standards

Ben Richardson and James Harrison (University of Warwick), Adrian Smith, Liam Campling and Mirela Barbu (Queen Mary University, London)

This briefing summarises research on the effectiveness of labour standards provisions in Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters of EU trade agreements. It highlights the limiations of those labour provisions, and the need for closer examination of their aims and objectives if those limitations are to be overcome.

January 2017

A Secularist Framework for an Inclusive and Equal Society1.2017.jpg

Steven Kettell, Politics and International Studies

This policy briefing summarises a response to the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life (CORAB) made by secularists from a range of spheres. The response aims to provide a critical counterweight to CORAB recommendations on the role of religion in British public life, ensuring that a secular viewpoint can be heard.

Interested in writing a briefing? Contact the Impact Manager:

Carolyn Silvester:

C dot Silvester at warwick dot ac dot uk