Who we are

The Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) is a ‘think and action-tank’. We believe society should ensure all children and young people receive the support they need to make a fulfilling transition to adulthood.

We provide the evidence and support policy makers and practitioners need to support young people.

We use our timely and rigorous research to get under the skin of issues affecting young people in order to shape the public debate, advise the sector and campaign on topical issues. We have a particular interest in issues affecting marginalised young people.

What we do

We call ourselves a ‘think-and-action’ tank because not only do we undertake research, we also make change happen on the ground. Our work includes:


Organisational development and evaluation

Speaking and writing

Toolkits and resources


We research the big issues that affect children and young people and the individuals and organisations who support them. We research the stories behind the data, putting people’s voices at the heart of our work to make the case for change. Previous projects include:

  • A Place to Call Home: Understanding Youth Homelessness: This report, commissioned by the Sage Foundation, explored youth homelessness and its interaction with education. It involved participatory research where young people were trained to take photos of their lives and interview each other to tell their stories. The project culminated in participants presenting their artwork at the South Bank Centre. The research led to a pilot of innovative, community based solutions to the issues we identified.
  • School Cultures and Practices: Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: This report, commissioned by the Department for Education, explored the cultures and practices of schools that are successful in raising disadvantaged pupils’ attainment. It included a detailed literature review and in-depth qualitative case studies of 23 schools across England.
  • More Than a Job’s Worth: Making Careers Education Age-Appropriate: This report, commissioned by Founders4Schools showed how to deliver effective careers education for children and young people. It included an extensive literature review, roundtables, expert interviews and case studies of best practice.

Organisational development and evaluation

We help organisations that work with children and young people evaluate and grow their impact. Previous projects include:

  • Creative Writing in Schools: A three-year evaluation of a £1.2m creative writing project in schools involving 3,000 pupils. The project began with an extensive literature review to develop an evidence-based evaluation framework. The framework shaped a series of longitudinal surveys, interviews and art-based research tools to explore a variety of areas including changing perceptions of artists.
  • Action Tutoring: A multi-year evaluation to help the organisation understand their impact and refine their model as they scaled up. It involved surveys, focus groups and interviews with teachers, volunteers, children and staff.
  • Well Grounded: a package of support to help the team refine and agree their theory of change, identify the evidence base underpinning their model, audit and streamline the data they feed into their impact reporting, and produce a 2-page ‘walkthrough’ which explains the work they do to a wide range of stakeholders.

Speaking and writing

We regularly share our work by speaking on panels and delivering keynotes at conferences such as the Le Rosey International Festival of Education in Geneva, The Church of England national conference, and practitioner conferences around the country. We also hold our own events for practitioners exploring topics such as flexible working, teacher wellbeing and careers education.

We write for sector and national press and are regularly called on to TV and radio to respond to government announcements. Topics we are able to speak on include:

  • Social mobility and social justice
  • Teacher recruitment and retention
  • Special educational needs, school exclusion and marginalised young people
  • School culture and school improvement

If you would like a member of the team to speak at an event, email [email protected].

For press enquiries please contact [email protected] or call us on +44 7828 183469

Toolkits and resources

We create resources, short films and deliver training to improve practice. We also have a regular podcast that includes research round-ups and interviews with sector leaders. Previous projects include:

  • Developing Youth Social Action: This project, commissioned by the Careers and Enterprise Company and the #iWill campaign, helped careers leaders use youth social action to enhance careers education. We carried out research to understand market and sector needs before designing a new website with case studies, short films and resources.
  • Special educational needs training videos for teachers: For this project, commissioned by NASEN, Whole School Send and the Department for Education, we created 12 films for trainee teachers to help them support children and young people with special educational needs. The films were produced in partnership with schools and experts.

For support developing resources or to partner with us on a podcast or other comms output, please email [email protected].

Keep up to date

If you would like to be kept up to date with our work, please sign up to our newsletter. Our work is made stronger by including the voices of practitioners on the ground. If you are working with children and young people in education, perhaps as a teacher, youth worker or in a different capacity, please sign up to our practitioner panel here to get updates about how you can get involved.

We’re always keen to hear from new talent so if you’re committed to our mission and would like to find out more  about working for us, do get in touch!