Dr. Ed Baines
Ed was the co-director and researcher on the previous Breaktime project in 2006 and the main researcher on the Spencer Foundation funded project involving a longitudinal study of breaktime games and peer relations. His main research interest is in peer interactions and relationships in and outside of school and particularly in relation to school breaktimes and mealtime environments.
Prof. Peter Blatchford
Peter has an international reputation for his work on school breaktimes/recess, and has written many books and papers. He conducted the first national survey of breaktimes in England (also funded by the Nuffield Foundation), and (with Professor Tony Pellegrini) a Spencer Foundation funded project on the significance of playground games in peer relations and friendships in the UK and USA.
Dr. Helen Lawson
Helen Lawson is the research officer on the current 2016/17 project. Helen's research has focused on Citizenship and Citizenship Education. She has a particular interest in the ways in which the social aspects of citizenship develop outside the classroom in a school setting.
Other related researchers
Helen's research examines "School Eating Times as Contexts for Children’s Peer Relationships and Adjustment to School".
This doctoral study of children in Year 5 (9-10 years) focuses on children's interactions during the time that they eat their lunches together at school. Helen is interested in the developmental value of this particularly informal conversational school micro-system (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1989) for children's relationships with one another and for their consequent adjustment to school. As with Blatchford and Baines (2010) breaktime research, this work makes a contribution to debates about adult structuring of children's social lives and concerns about a reduction in recent decades in the free time children have to spend with their peers. This mixed methods study is intended to provide a description of the interactions which take place during school eating times and to examine their connection with children's friendships and wider peer relationships. Quantitative data collection includes systematic observation of children's mealtime interactions and child completion of questionnaires about their relationships with one another and liking for school. Qualitative data collection includes video analyses of selected children's interactions with peer during eating times and interviews with these same children.
Jasmine is undertaking research involving "An exploration of the peer interactions and experiences of children during breaktimes and in class in mainstream primary schools."
Dr. Simon Higley
Simon's research for his DEdPsy examined "The Social Lives and Friendships of Children with Special Educational Needs Outside of School:
A considerable amount of research has explored the social opportunities of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) during school time but there has been relatively little research that has focused on these opportunities outside of school and particularly in the UK. This exploratory study sought parents' perspectives on their children's social opportunities and friendships outside of school. The study involved a mixed methods approach, incorporating two phases of data collection as well as background data from the Millennium Cohort Study. In phase 1, 229 parents of children and adolescents with a range of different SENs participated in a survey and provided information in response to closed and open ended questions. In phase 2, 5 parents took part in semi-structured interviews focusing on their experiences and views of their children's social lives outside of school. Findings show that children with SEN saw other children less frequently outside of school and were less likely to have at least one good friend than children without SEN. This was particularly the case for children with statements or Education and Health Care plans. The majority of children were found to participate in at least one organised activity outside of school each week. In interviews parents raised issues related to their children's social opportunities, these related to both 'within child' factors and environmental factors and were reported to impact upon children's social participation outside of school. Findings are discussed in relation to the need for social interventions to be developed that bridge school and home settings.