Research project

ESRC Social Sciences Festival 2023

Project overview

The event was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2023 and presented the findings of a project, funded by UKRI - Research England Participatory Research that involved a network of primary schools in Southampton: Mason Moor, Redbridge, St John’s, St Mary’s, and Wordsworth. The schools were involved in collaborative action research and focused on the following broad question: “How can we promote inclusion in schools through an engagement with pupils’ voices?” Each school identified an area of focus that related to inclusion and agreed a plan of how they would explore this, using the pupil voice lens and participatory approaches. In this way, solutions to the identified areas were addressed through active participation of children and teachers.
During the event, participants had the opportunity to view a display of posters summarising the work and discuss informally with the researchers and the teachers from the schools. Presentations were then made, first by Prof Messiou giving an overview of the project and then from each of the schools about how they approached the work within their own context. For example, one school focused on identifying barriers for boys' writing, another one focused on raising children's future aspirations, whilst another focused on raising children's confidence. A video with children who became researchers explaining their involvement was also shown during the event.


Lead researcher

Professor Kyriaki (Kiki) Messiou

Professor of Education

Research interests

  • inclusive education
  • marginalisation in schools
  • research with children and young people
Connect with Kyriaki (Kiki)

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs