NEWS14 October 2021

Nuffield Foundation funds children and families research

News Public Sector UK Youth

UK – Education and social charitable trust The Nuffield Foundation has awarded £2.8m for a research programme focused on better understanding the needs and experiences of children and families.


The programme, which will last five years, will be led by Professor Leon Feinstein, director of the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford.

Academics from the University of Oxford, the University of Sussex, London School of Economics and Political Science, University College London and Manchester Metropolitan University will work with local authorities on the programme, which is focused on children and families who need additional support from local authority children’s services.

The programme will be focused on five local authority areas: Greater Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, North Yorkshire and Hampshire.

Children, young people, parents, carers, policymakers and professionals will all be engaged in the programme, which will also examine how to better use administrative data, children and families’ voices and information from practitioners to improve services.

Local authority areas will also examine co-designing services and information with children and families, and the programme will test learning materials with another 20 local authority areas.

Tim Gardam, chief executive of The Nuffield Foundation, said: “By transforming the quality and use of information and data by local authorities, this project has real potential to reduce inequalities and improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children and their families.”

Feinstein said: “The Nuffield Foundation has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to bring evidence into policy and practice in a new way and to really support improvement to the lives and experiences of children and families.

“If we get this right, we can make sure data and information are used for and with people, rather than, as so often is the case, for and by government.”