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Department of Education

Rees Centre

Our vision is that children and young people supported by children’s social care services have better educational outcomes, better experiences and better lives. We conduct research to understand the nature and causes of outcomes, test ideas about how things might improve and to inform policy and practice.  
We begin from a commitment to the rights of children, particularly those with a need for care and protection, and to independent research of the highest quality that supports the full realisation of these rights. This requires us to understand the experiences of those interacting with children’s social care and the ways the system functions. It requires us to co-design research with those most affected by it and to make our findings accessible to those seeking to act on them.

Current projects

Completed projects

Personal data and research projects

How we process your personal data if you agreed to participate in a research study or project run by academic researchers at the University of Oxford; and/or provided your personal data to another organisation who has passed on that data to the University of Oxford for research purposes.


Education and training

Current evidence suggests that one key challenge in educational settings meeting their ambitions is the capacity and capability of schools to operate as safe and inclusive places for all children. Our research aims to shed light on experiences and outcomes and how the education and care system can adapt to address barriers.
We aim to inform the way practitioners in education learn and work with our specific cohort of children. Key practice groups include teachers, school leadership, those working with children with SEND, Education Psychologists, inclusion and welfare officers and other school staff.  


The Practice of care

The work of the Centre puts Education in the wider context of a child’s life. To understand the role of policy and practice in the education of children and young people we have to ground this in an understanding of the wider experiences of children of care, whether in the form of foster care, kinship care, adoption and special guardianship, or around the entry to care or in transitions both in and out of care – and from care and care leaving.   
Our work will aim to support understanding of intergenerational and lifecourse pathways in and out of care. This includes interactions with health and social policy through early years, school age, post-16 and adult life.  


Policy and systems

The Centre aims to lead research on how the care system learns and improves, in particular on how children’s social care uses information and data to support improvement in the experiences and outcomes of children and families.

The centre will develop a clearer understanding of the way the policy environment of the education and care system operates and will engage with policymakers to support the development of policy on the basis of this evidence.  

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