This research programme will explore the mechanisms by which Social Inequalities affect the development of young children (specifically oral language skills and socio-emotional development) and the implications that these mechanisms can have through childhood and into work. The programme sits within the theme 'Early Life Influences and Outcomes' linking into the theme 'Early adult transitions into tertiary education, vocational training and economic activity'. It will be well placed to feed into policy and practice across Europe.
The programme of work will utilise representative cohort data in the three applicant countries to achieve two principle objectives:
- To identify the mechanisms through changing social inequalities impact on children's oral language development.
- To identify the implications that these evolving social disparities have for patterns of performance at school age and beyond into adolescence and adulthood.
These activities will be further enhanced by parallel analyses of data in the co-operation partner countries. Such a pan European programme has never been attempted before.
Led by Professor James Law, the project team is made up of senior, mid and early career researchers, from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands and includes co-operation partner input from Australia and the USA. The project will run in 3 interlocking phases: local/national analyses, joint analyses and impact generation (national and EU level). The team will meet at regular intervals and will facilitate several researcher exchanges throughout the project lifecycle. The team will be assisted by an Advisory Group, drawn from the research team countries, which will help to both shape the research and act as a dissemination conduit.