We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

See, B.H., Gorard, S. & Torgerson, C. (2012). Promoting post-16 participation of ethnic minority students from disadvantaged backgrounds: a systematic review of the most promising interventions. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 17(4): 409-422.

Author(s) from Durham


There is widespread international concern that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and some ethnic minorities are less likely to continue education or training after compulsory schooling, or are less likely to follow the highest-status and prestigious routes. Based on work done in the UK, this paper presents the results of a systematic review of evidence from 1996 to 2011. The review identified only 14 intervention studies with a robust evaluation, intended to encourage participation and retention in post-compulsory education for disadvantaged ethnic minority groups. Of these, the most promising approaches were the use of extrinsic motivation for behaviour and attendance (payment by results), and the close personal engagement of adult mentors. Both were tried in the USA, and so the paper concludes that they should be adapted for contexts elsewhere, including the UK, and tested carefully. Given limitations of funding for research, other approaches should not receive priority.

School of Education