Academic achievement in UK education policy and young people's mental health: a school based ethnography in London

Lead Research Organisation: University of East London
Department Name: Psychology


This ethnographic project will examine the impact of schooling and education on young people's mental health. National curricula for secondary education have become increasingly target driven in recent years, with a rise in the frequency of assessment and regular review of student progress. This culture is creating significant pressures on young people, who we know are suffering with a steady increase in mental health problems (e.g. anxiety and depression). The study will undertake in-depth ethnographic research in three secondary schools in London, to consider the effects of target-driven school policies on young people's mental health. The project will investigate how students' daily experience of learning -and its continuous assessment -may impact on their identity and sense of self and worth. In addition, it will focus specifically on two recent interventions that are designed to improve well being(Assessment without level and Happy Being Me),which therefore have the potential to counteract some of the negative consequences of target-driven policies. At an age where identity formation is often seen as chaotic, unclear, and filled with anxiety, I intend to study adolescents' development and how socio-economic and political decisions making affect students' well being, as well as the role school leaders, parents, and most of all, students themselves.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/I900616/1 01/04/2011 30/09/2014
1941827 Studentship ES/I900616/1 01/10/2017 29/07/2022 Danilo Di Emidio
ES/P000592/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1941827 Studentship ES/P000592/1 01/10/2017 29/07/2022 Danilo Di Emidio