Falkirk Council Children's Services encourages research that assists teaching and learning. We get many requests from both internal and external researchers. Where possible this is published on our website or linked Glow Blogs.

Wishing to undertake research in Falkirk?

We have a system to approve research requests, but the exact process may vary depending on what research you may wish to undertake, and the process would understandably vary slightly depending on what topic or participants or methods you were planning on using.

In general terms:

  • you will need ethical approval from your university

  • you need to write to either the Director of Children's Services or the Headteacher, depending on the scale of your study; you would need to include:

    • your proposal

    • your consent letters for participants (adults or children/parents)

    • your evidence that it has been granted ethical approval from the University

  • additionally, you should outline what quantity of time it would expect to take for those participants (whether it is the children) or the employees

There may be other steps required, for example if you were seeking to do research including Looked After, Adopted or Care Experienced children, then additional consent/agreement from the Chief Social Work Officer may be required.

For research which involves direct access to children it is likely that additional security such as Disclosure Scotland clearance would be required which can be difficult to obtain for external researchers.

While we are generally supportive of research we sometimes decline requests, even with ethical approval, on the grounds of too many other studies have been agreed with the same population or too much workload for members of staff. Action research by teachers and other education staff is increasingly common in our schools. Understandably our focus is often on promoting this type of research which also enhances our staff skills.

While schools are often a convenient location to be able to access children as participants in research, we must be mindful that they are in school to learn. It is not the only such location you could recruit participants and we would hope you would give thought to other forums for recruiting potential participants such as community groups or spaces.