Alastair's work is focused on different aspects of inequality - identifying and challenging the processes that create and sustain it. Along with Katie Hunter he has led the development of an intergenerational mentoring programme that supports children and young people in terms of early literacy development and access to and progression through higher education. This work has created the Intergenerational Mentoring Network which is independent social enterprise supporting different aspects of school and community development and focused on building relationships in and across communities. He is currently (December 2019) leading a research and development project (with Sue Ellis & Katie Hunter)aimed at understanding local council understandings and responses to SAC and PEF funding initiatives in education. The direction of this work is to look at the ways in which community development can occur alongside educational intervention in ways that support and sustain change in communities.
A new 2020 research project funded by Scottish Government and partnered with Barnardo's will explore working with community projects and parents to find ways in which they can support their children's learning. A recently completed project (with Lio Moscardini & Katie Hunter) has examined the impact of tuition fees in music provision in schools and the impact on children and young people from working class and poor households.
Current research projects include:
Developing community based mentoring for children and young people from working class and poor backgrounds;
What’s Going on Now? An audit of youth music in Scotland. This project, commissioned by Creative Scotland, is designed to revisit and update on the issues highlighted in the What’s Going On? report of 2003 which was an audit of youth music in Scotland. It has a particular focus on inequality and music provision;
Creating school-based resources to increase understanding of people with learning disabilities;
Understanding local council understandings and responses to SAC and PEF funding initiatives;
developing literacy support for young people in areas of social/economic disadvantage.
Alastair is the course director for the MSc in Applied Educational & Social Research and currently teaches research methods on a range of postgraduate courses. He has successfully supervised 5 PhD students (including 2 ESRC studentships) working in the area of education, employment and social justice.