Project Description

ISOTIS addresses the nature, causes and impact of early emerging social and educational inequalities in the context of socioeconomic, cultural, and institutional processes.

It aims to improve the contribution of (early) education systems and support services to the main goal of inclusiveness of these provisions. It gives a voice to disadvantaged groups, focusing on their strengths and potentials. Furthermore, current resources, experiences, aspirations, needs and the wellbeing of children and parents in these groups are examined in the context of acculturation and integration and in relation to local and national policies.

ISOTIS aims to contribute to more effective policy and practice development. We will make recommendations and suggest concrete tools to:

  1. Support disadvantaged families and communities in using their own cultural and linguistic resources to create safe and stimulating home environments for their children;
  2. Implement effective and inclusive pedagogies in early childhood education and care centres and primary schools;
  3. Professionalize staff, centres and schools to improve quality and inclusiveness;
  4. Establish inter-agency coordination of support services to children and families; and
  5. Develop policies to combat educational inequalities.

For more information, go to the ISOTIS website  or the ISOTIS Facebook page.


The project runs from January 2017 until December 2019.

Cooperative partners

ISOTIS is a collaborative project that includes 17 partners in 11 countries:

  • Utrecht University, Netherlands (Coordinator: Paul Leseman)
  • University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • University College of Southeast Norway, Norway
  • University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Free University Berlin, Germany
  • University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • University of Porto, Portugal
  • University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Hellenic Open University, Greece
  • University of Warsaw, Poland
  • University of Oslo, Norway
  • Institute of Research and Information on Volunteering, France
  • International Step by Step Association, The Netherlands
  • Wise & Munro, The Netherlands
  • Masaryk University, the Czech Republic

Researchers on ISOTIS from the University of Oxford: Professor Edward Melhuish, Professor Jacqueline Barnes, Dr Lyudmila Nurse, Dr Katharina Ereky-Stevens, Ms Clare Savory, Pinar Kolancali, Eszter Saghy

Researchers at the Department of Education, University of Oxford have leading roles and main responsibilities in three of the research areas of the ISOTIS project, investigating i) resources, experiences, aspirations and support needs of families in disadvantaged communities, ii) parent and family-focused support to increase educational equality, iii) inter-agency coordination of services for children and families. Other ISOTIS tasks we are involved in relate to inclusive curricula, pedagogies and educational practices, and the development of professionals and organisations.

Team of researchers carrying out ISOTIS fieldwork in our target areas London and Manchester: Pinar Kolancali (Co-ordination – Turkish target group), Joanne Wilson (Co-ordination, London), Eloise Fraser, Gulcin Bulut, Ozlem Tas, Isil Su Erdogan, Filiz Bibby, Mahwish Saleem, Maria Ichim.


The project is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Theme: H2020-EU. – Trusted organizations, practices, services and policies, which are necessary to build resilient, inclusive, participatory, open and creative societies in Europe, in particular taking into account migration, integration and demographic change.