Stakeholder Event: School Engagement and Youth Transitions. Findings of the project

Disseminating new findings from the project Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe (, our team from the  Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at Middlesex University and the University of Sheffield organised a half day event on the 9th of June 2017. The event brought together stakeholders, policy makers and researchers working on education and school-to-work transitions at a European, national and local level, with a focus on London.

Delegates were welcomed by MP Stephen Timms, followed by an introduction to the project by Prof Louise Ryan. The research team then presented some of the findings of their extensive research:

  • Dr Alessio D’Angelo and Neil Kaye: Preventing NEET by promoting engagement at school. Insights from a large-scale survey of young people in London
  • Prof Louise Ryan and Magdolna Lőrinc: The Opportunities and Challenges of Apprenticeships in England: alternative learning arenas or sites of exploitation

This was followed by a panel of young apprentices who took part in the research, then a round-table discussion on the Challenges of youth transition, youth unemployment and NEET with:

  • Yolande Burgess – London Councils
  • Peter Mathews – Ealing Connexions
  • Elaine Runswick – Barnet Council with Cambridge Education
  • Shelagh O’Connor – New Horizon Youth Centre
  • Mary Vine-Morris – Association of Colleges
  • Laura Walsh – YMCA

For the conference programme, follow this this link.


The project Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe ( sought to investigate the patterns of and underlining reasons behind young people’s disengagement from education and leaving school without qualifications. In so doing, we have undertaken 5 years of intensive research with young people, schools, colleges, parents, employers, local authorities, NGOs, national and international policy makers. We have identified a range of complex challenges facing young people today, but also the diverse array of intervention measures put in place to support them.

The event represents a key stage in the development of the ‘Stakeholders Engagement Platform’ of and allows the research team to identify ways in which their research findings can have wider impact by informing the work of national and local education practitioners and policymakers.