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Work programme

The project is organised around a series of work streams, to generate a body of evidence that will help us to address our overall aims. Ecorys and the AFNCCF are working collaboratively with schools and young people to review and update the work programme as the project develops, and to identify new work streams as required. This reflects the exploratory nature of the research, and a commitment to action learning principles.

The current work streams are as follows:

Work stream 1


Literature review – navigating the digital world: a synthesis of the evidence

This work stream involves a quick scoping review, building on our 2016 review titled Resilience for the Digital World , and updating and extending this with literature from the past four years. It summarises recent trends in young people’s digital lives and considers the ways in which young people’s resilience is understood and translated into policy and practice. Finally, it examines and appraises the educational resources, information and signposting that are available to young people and schools on these topics.

Publication expected: Summer 2020

Work stream 2


Schools' and teachers' interactions with students about their online lives – a qualitative study

This work stream centres on a series of semi-structured qualitative interviews with teachers and other school-based professionals, from a sample of maintained, independent and alternative education providers in England. Carried out remotely during the spring and summer of 2020, the study provides a snapshot of teachers’ everyday interactions with students about their digital lives; their perceptions about the main opportunities and risks afforded by the internet; the impact of the pandemic and immediate transition from lockdown, and the key components of ‘whole school approaches’ to supporting young people online.

Publication expected: Autumn 2020

Work stream 3


Online conversations with young people

This work stream involves online focus groups carried out with young people aged 11-18 during summer 2020. These interviews explore young people’s online lives inside and outside of school; their recall of formal and informal conversations with teachers and other professionals about the internet and staying safe online, and their views on the support and information currently received from schools on these topics. This strand also includes a user-testing exercise to inform the design of the #FOOTPRINTS framework (Work stream 4).

Publication expected: Autumn 2020

Work stream 4


#FOOTPRINTS – a framework and toolkit for schools

This work stream entails the development and testing of a new evidence-based framework and toolkit, with the aim of supporting schools to better understand the risks and opportunities presented by the digital world, and to adopt ‘whole school’ approaches for supporting young people to become digitally resilient. The approach is based on gathering empirical data about the online lives of young people within any given student population and playing this back within a supportive setting to inform the development of whole school approach. At the current stage, this work focusses on 11-18-year olds (KS3 and KS4) only. The commencement of this Work Stream is contingent on an external funding application.

Publication expected: 2021

Contact us

For any inquiries about the project, contact the research team here.