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Research Briefing

Research Summary

Project Poster

Full Report


Project Website

     Phase III Research Network:

Learning in and for Interagency Working (2004 - 2007)

This project has now completed. Major outputs include:

Prof. Harry Daniels (University of Birmingham)
Prof. Anne Edwards (University of Birmingham)
Dr Angela Creese (University of Birmingham)
Dr Jane Leadbetter (University of Birmingham)
Dr Deirdre Martin (University of Birmingham)
Dr Steve Brown (University of Loughborough)
Dr David Middleton (University of Loughborough)

Project Summary

Current government policies aimed at the social inclusion of at risk children, young people and their families call for joined up responses from professionals. These responses need to be flexible and demand that practitioners work together to help clients to take control of their own lives. This flexible and responsive working requires new forms of collaboration between professionals and new organisational practices to enable these collaborations.

The four year study developed and tested a model of the work-based professional learning needed to ensure responsive collaboration. The education and care plans of young people at risk of social exclusion or with special educational needs will be used as sites in which this working is examined. The project drew on activity theory to examine both professional and organisational learning and builds on work in medical and commercial settings by Yrjö Engeström and his Centre in Helsinki. It operated in parallel with a study of collaborative professional learning led by Engeström and funded by the Finnish Learning for Life Programme.

The research team worked closely with practitioners, for example, educational psychologists, teachers and school support services. They produced material on professional learning, interagency working and client participation, for professional and policy communities. The team linked with other service providers working with children, young people and families, to ensure the broad relevance of the model of learning it produced and tested.


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