Social Justice Re-examined

To coincide with the publication of the second edition of Social Justice Re-examined: Dilemmas and solutions for the classroom teacher (edited by Rowena Arshad, Terry Wrigley and Lynn Pratt) in December 2019, the CERES website is establishing a dedicated space to host resources relating to ten key themes emerging from the book.

The resources found here will benefit student teachers, teachers, academics, policymakers and others, enabling access to further readings, videos and other tools for considering, examining and reckoning with the key issues raised in the book.

Access the content for each theme here.


A CERES Conversation 2019

“Getting it right for every child: Is our education provision racially literate?”

19th to 21st June 2019
Moray House School of Education
Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland is proud of its inclusive approach to education and of the increasing diversity in our schools, classrooms and education establishments. However, education practitioners continue to report that they do not have sufficient knowledge, understanding or confidence to meet these increasing diversities. This two-day event provides education practitioners (early years, schools, colleges, universities, adult education) with spaces to consider how literate you and your establishment are on matters of racial, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. There will be opportunities to engage with what research tells us and to hear from practitioners who are trying to make their education provision more responsive.

The event will provide a challenging but safe space for us to dismantle what are often seen as complex, sensitive and controversial issues. We will be discussing a range of issues, from talking about racism with pupils of different ages, Whiteness, Islamophobia, culturally relevant pedagogy, to learning what recent research tells us about how to support pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. The day will require us to think critically about these issues but also provide ideas to take back to our settings and everyday work.

We welcome all education practitioners and researchers. Come and be part of the conversation if you are a researcher interested in race equality and education, a classroom teacher, school leader, early years practitioner or manager, local authority education officer, student teacher, secondary school pupil (especially 5th and 6th years), parent, community member with an interest in education, or anyone with an interest in race equality in education.

To enable inclusion and accessibility the event is FREE. Please book your place through Eventbrite HERE.  

You can view the programme for the event below, and download a copy here.

Download (PDF, 407KB)

New Publication: Initial Teacher Education and English as an Additional Language

Dr Yvonne Foley (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Charles Anderson (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Jean Conteh (University of Leeds)
Jonathan Hancock (University of Edinburgh)

Funded by The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy 

This project explored provision for student teachers in England who are working with pupils learning EAL. It also examines to what extent teacher educators feel prepared to extend the knowledge base, skills and practices of student teachers as they seek to meet the needs of EAL learners. The project blends research and practice to develop modules for trainee teachers and teacher educators with the long-term aim of these professional learning materials being adopted by education providers. Data was collected in the form of tutor interviews, student-teacher focus group interviews and online questionnaires.

You can download a copy of the report here, and a copy of the executive summary here.

Download (PDF, 2.61MB)

New Publication: Extending the 1+2 Language Strategy: Complementary schools and their role in heritage language learning in Scotland

Dr Andy Hancock (University of Edinburgh)
Jonathan Hancock (Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland, University of Edinburgh)

The Scottish Government’s ambitious 1+2 Language Strategy, launched in 2012, has refocused attention on language policy in education and the provision for language learning in Scotland. Contained within the Strategy is a commitment for schools to further develop links involving ‘language communities’ to ‘derive maximum benefit from foreign language communities in Scotland’ . This research reports on a national survey of complementary school providers in order to gain insights into the perspectives of ‘language communities’ in Scotland in relation to heritage language learning and their awareness of the 1+2 Language Strategy. Data reveals a complex picture of provision for heritage language learning outside of mainstream schools and an untapped resource for language planning and valuing the linguistic diversity of school communities.  The research report concludes with a number of recommendations to inform and help shape future developments of the 1+2 Language Strategy.

You can download a copy of the report here. 

Download (PDF, 851KB)


CERES forthcoming International Symposium

Normalising Difference in Teacher Education: national and international perspectives

Venue: The Outreach Centre, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ

Time: Friday 26th October 2018 – 9.30a.m. to 4.30p.m.

Attendance is free.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please contact: Yvonne Foley (etl@ed.ac.uk) to register your place, or call 07879 454969 / 0131 651 6650

The global movement of people across national and international boundaries has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL) in school contexts. Educational initiatives across Anglophone countries have sought to ensure non-discriminatory policies and practices for such pupils, who do not speak the dominant language of the country in which they now live.  Despite these initiatives, research shows that teachers feel inadequately prepared to acknowledge, understand, value and build on the social, linguistic and cultural capital brought into school contexts in this era of increased cultural and linguistic diversity (e.g. Lucas, 2011; Walton and Osman, 2018). Research has called for teacher education to acknowledge and place value on these various forms of difference and to recognize the need to move away from the assumptions of normativity in any educational context (Villegas et al, 2018; Walton and Osman, 2018). The question then arises of how we can enable teacher education to be sufficiently responsive to difference in terms of race, class, gender, language, ethnicity, and religion, which have become defining features of today’s classrooms.  This symposium provides an international comparative perspective in relation to these issues across four Anglophone countries: Australia, Canada, the US and the UK.  Each presenter will draw on their own research to illustrate national approaches and trends.

Invited speakers include: Professor Linda Harklau (United States), Associate Professor Angela Scarino (Australia) and Professor Kelleen Toohey (Canada).

See Flier


Anti-Islamic Abuse in Schools

A new report, published by Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, has shown that anti-Islamic abuse in Edinburgh schools has reached worrying levels.

As part of the 3rd International CERES Conference in June 2017, the author of the report, Samena Dean, presented her findings. This was followed by a Question and Answer session and discussion. You can watch a video of the full presentation here.

You can also download a copy of her report here.

Download (PDF, 5.37MB)


Symposium: Language, Literacies and Diverse Classrooms

At the end of March 2017 we held a symposium, funded by The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy, on ‘Languages, Literacies and Diverse Classrooms’. The event included international speakers and presentations featuring new and emerging research on language, literacy and education, and concluded with a Q and A session with the key speakers.

You can find copies of the presentations and watch videos from the event here.

If you would like any further information about the research presented please get in contact with us at ceres@ed.ac.uk.


Response to Inquiry into School Bullying

Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, has submitted a written response to the Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s Inquiry into School Bullying.

Rowena Arshad, CERES Co-Director, was a co-author of the submission, and the response draws on findings from recent CERES research projects as well as our recent professional seminars with teachers and schools leaders and participation in the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion.

See below to read the submission in full or click here to download.

Download (PDF, 344KB)

Race Equality and Scottish School Education

CERES, in partnership with the University of Glasgow, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), and the University of Edinburgh’s Teacher Education Partnership, has held a series of seminars and a one-hour webinar on “Race Equality and Scottish School Education”. The webinar and associated research briefing can be accessed below.

The webinar includes a presentation from Dr Rowena Arshad, Head of School for Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, and Dr Marta Moskal, School of Education, University of Glasgow, and also presents video clips from academics and practitioners highlighting some of the key themes and examples for practice. 

The webinar and briefing draw on research on black, minority ethnic, migrant and refugee young people from the period 2004-2016 conducted by CERES and their partners, particularly Newcastle University and University of St Andrews, and also from academics associated with Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration network (GRAMNet). The research serves to highlight recurring themes which teachers and managers could usefully reflect on as they take forward the indicators in How Good Is Our School 4 and the development of their own professional standards.

Further information about some of this research with BME young people can be accessed on Newcastle University’s website here: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/youngpeople/.

The webinar begins 1 minute in.


Download (PDF, 302KB)

On the Hideous Whiteness Of Brexit: “Let us be honest about our past and our present if we truly seek to dismantle white supremacy”

Akwugo Emejulu, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, examines how white supremacy has operated before and after the UK’s EU referendum and argues that the visibility of racism following the Brexit vote must not obscure the conditions for its possibility. Her co-authored book, The Politics of Survival: Minority Women, Activism and Austerity in France and Britain is forthcoming with Policy Press. 

Read the full article here

Internationalising the Higher Education Framework

This project was commissioned by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and conducted in partnership with CERES as part of the HEA Strategic Enhancement Progamme’s work on the theme of ‘Internationalising the Curriculum’. The study explored how staff and students understood, and envisaged the deployment of, the HEA Internationalising Higher Education Framework document. There was particular focus on individuals’ understanding of the language and concepts of the framework, and how they envisaged the framework as relating to their day-to-day learning, teaching and social interactions within higher education.

The project authors are Dr Charles Anderson, CERES Co-Director Dr Rowena Arshad, and Jonathan Hancock.

You can view and download the report below. Further information is available on the HEA’s website.

Download (PDF, 622KB)

Policy, pedagogy and pupil perceptions: EAL in England and Scotland

This project aims to give EAL learners a voice in shaping and informing their learning opportunities and experiences and to identify ways in which their perceptions can be used to improve their learning experiences within UK schooling. The research was commissioned by The Bell Foundation and conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University of Reading.

The Executive Summary and Full Report are available to view and download below.

Executive Summary

Download (PDF, 3.62MB)

Full Report

Download (PDF, 811KB)

Moray House School of Education issues Election Briefings

The Moray House School of Education has issued a series of briefings ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary Elections on 5th May 2016. You can access the full list of briefings here.

Read about the Experience of Minority Ethnic Young People in Scotland: Issues for Education
This study draws from the three-year AHRC-funded project led by Professor Peter Hopkins (University of Newcastle) with Dr Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews), CERES Co-Director Dr Rowena Arshad (University of Edinburgh), and Dr Kate Botterill, Senior Research Fellow (formerly University of Newcastle and now at Edinburgh Napier University).

Scottish Government publishes Race Equality Framework

The Scottish Government has published a Race Equality Framework which sets out their approach to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030.

Read the Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016 – 2030.

New CERES Briefing

Exploring Young Children’s Social Identities: Performing Social Class, Gender and Ethnicity in Primary School
Dr Marlies Kustatscher, University of Edinburgh

This briefing summarises the findings from CERES Co-Director Marlies Kustatscher’s PhD research conducted as part of her doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh between 2010-2015.

This study is based on an ethnographic research with a group of approx. 25 children aged 5-7 in a primary school in a Scottish city. The research explores how young children live their social identities in the context of a primary school. In particular, the project investigates the significance of social class, gender and ethnicity in the children’s identities and relationships.

While young children are sometimes seen as ‘too innocent’ or ‘too naïve’ to be concerned about these issues, this research showed that children are aware of general ideas and stereotypes about class, gender and ethnic identities. They also actively contribute to how such ideas and stereotypes come to be constructed and contested. This raises implications for education practitioners and policy makers to actively challenge intersectional inequalities in schools, and to involve children themselves in discussions about this.

Download (PDF, 329KB)


Final AHRC Project Report Published

Faith, Ethnicity and Place: Young People’s Everyday Geopolitics in Scotland

A research project focussing on the experiences of ethnic and religious minority young people has been published. The research was conducted by Newcastle, St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities from 2013-2015.  It explores the experiences of young people growing up in urban, suburban and rural Scotland, focussing on everyday geopolitics and patterns of Islamophobia among ethnic and religious minority young people. Everyday geopolitics describes the way in which international, national and local issues (economic, political and social) shape, and are shaped by, people’s everyday lives in different contexts.

You can download the full final report here.

You can also access the Executive Summary here.

Download (PDF, 4.18MB)