2017- An update so far

A brief summary of the research done so far in 2017 and how the youth aspirations project is progressing…

This year, to target the deprivation faced in Whitley, Reading Borough Council and the University of Reading have created a project funded by the Decent Neighbourhood Fund and Affinity Housing, focusing on the four following themes:

  • Families and schools
  • Barriers to education
  • Aspiration and ambition
  • Stigma

They are working with a range of stakeholder within the community, including both the Whitley Researchers and the secondary schools: John Madejski Academy and Reading Girls School. The first phase of the project focuses on young people, their school and parents to equip them with the necessary research skills and aims to be completed by the end of August.

As part of the initial phase we have completed the home build at JMA, (for more information, click the link here) as well as starting a photography project with both JMA and RGS (links attached). From this a number of student researchers have been trained at both schools and will help with the data collection over the autumn months.


The anticipated outcomes of the project will include:

  • A better understanding of young people’s aspirations and how they think they might achieve them which might influence how both schools and other agencies engage with young people
  • Better ‘working relationship’ between schools and parents to encourage parents to become more actively involved in school life and to improve school performance
  • A strong series of recommendations that stakeholders and service providers can use to direct and focus funding and adapt their services.

As well as working on this year’s project, a great deal of effort has gone into the writing up of last year’s project to hopefully be published later this year. The poster below shows a brief overview of the project.

Financial Exclusion Poster



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