Applied Education Research

The Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER) is committed to improving educational outcomes for children and young people (CYP) through the power of science. There is overwhelming evidence that improving social mobility requires a ‘whole system’ approach with fully integrated services – including education, health, and care. For example, many children experience ‘health’ barriers that prevent them reaching their academic potential. CAER seeks to empower educational settings (schools, nurseries, early year providers) to use evidence-based approaches to identify and remove all barriers to learning.

CAER seeks to realise its vision through the creation of a ‘community of practice’ throughout the UK. CAER has demonstrated the strength of partnership working within a District, and has managed to generate learning of National significance. CAER now seeks to work with other Districts to create similar – connected – communities to improve outcomes for CYP, and join forces to tackle inequalities through our educational systems.

Bradford: A City of Research

In 2019, the Department for Education’s Bradford Opportunity Area (BOA) partnership board recognised that many barriers to social mobility fell outside the school gates. The Born in Bradford project showed that many children were experiencing difficulties (including but not restricted to health) that were acting as barriers to their education. In response, the BOA established the Centre of Applied Educational Research (CAER), to help schools address the barriers to learning falling on both sides of the Bradford school gates.

CAER is a partnership between the Bradford Institute for Health Research, the Universities of Leeds, Bradford and York, Leeds Trinity University, the Department for Education, the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the Bradford Research School, and the Educational Endowment Foundation. CAER Bradford lies at the heart of many exciting research programmes: including Born in Bradford; the healthy learning strand of ActEarly; and the healthy schools strand of ARC.

Our Methodology

All CAER research follows an ‘education translation pipeline’  to ensure that promising scientific research is translated rapidly but safely into policy, identifying important contextual factors for effective implementation, and allowing the best possible evidence to underpin decision-making.

Evidence-Based Practice

Our eight themes of work were developed on the basis of the evidence and insights provided by teachers and schools to the Royal Society and British Academy in a series of focus group sessions published in 2017. Our themes and place-based working ensures that we have evidence at the heart of our whole system approach to tackling structural inequalities and supporting children and young people from 0-25 years of age in partnership with communities and educational organisations.

Learning, Language, and Cognition

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health 

Autism and Neurodiversity

Digital Education

Integrated Data Analytics

Motor Skills and Physical Activity

Child Health in Schools

Birth to Five Years

Get Involved

We are eager to work with schools to examine the evidence base for pre-existing interventions and approaches within schools, and to set our research priorities going forwards. If you have any ideas or would like to be involved in this please contact us.

Projects Currently Recruiting

Find a Research Project 

Research Collaborations

Contact Us

Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research,
Bradford Royal Infirmary,
Duckworth Lane,
Bradford,
BD9 6RJ


    The Centre for Applied Education Research is a partnership between: