CEPEO is a policy-focused academic research centre at University College London. We carry out rigorous and cutting-edge research focused on equalising opportunities across the life course. Our work seeks ways to inform evidence-led policy and wider practice to achieve this goal.
The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, in terms of outcomes and opportunities. Our multidisciplinary work seeks ways to reduce these inequalities. We identify barriers to opportunity in under-explored areas, using innovative methods and thinking, and co-produce evidence-led policy solutions to reduce these barriers to opportunities. We offer insight and impact at every stage of the life course, through the centre’s four main research streams: early years, schools, tertiary, and adulthood.
To achieve these aims, we use a variety of approaches. We research previously unanswerable questions, through innovative data collection and analysis. We design, implement, and analyse randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We also address novel questions in under-researched areas using existing large-scale data from administrative sources, and from rich birth cohort studies.
Along with partners at the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies and the Sutton Trust, CEPEO leads the COVID Social Mobility & Opportunities study (COSMO), which tracks the lives of a cohort of young people across England to understand the unequal effects of the pandemic on their education, well-being, and life chances. Understanding these unequal effects, and proposing policy to mitigate them, based on analysis of data from COSMO, is an important strand of our research, given the large and long-lasting effects of this major event.
As well as academic publications, CEPEO produces policy-focussed briefings on our research and related topics, providing timely summaries of the state of the evidence on crucial topics in education policy and related areas.