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Project ethical policy

The team has gained ethical approval from the Institute of Education Research Ethics Sub-committee and adheres to the ethical guidelines set out by the British Educational Research Council (BERA, 2011).

Respect for Participants

  • Information about the aims, purposes and outcomes of the research will be provided to those centrally involved in the research activities.
  • Interested bodies or parties, such as LAs will be advised about research planned to take place in institutions or areas for which they have responsibility. Data gathering activities involving schools will be carried out only with the agreement of the head, or an authorised representative and after adequate notice has been given.
  • Undue pressure will not be placed on individuals or institutions to participate in research activities. Participants have the right to withdraw from the study at any time and to have their data withdrawn. 
  • The views of the participants in the research will be respected. Research will be carried out with regard for mutually convenient times and negotiated in a way that seeks to minimise disruption to schedules and every effort will be made to ensure that bureaucracy/paperwork is kept to a minimum. 
  • Research staff will be alert to cultural, religious, race, gender, age and other relevant differences amongst those participating in the research when planning, conducting and reporting any findings.
  • The implications of these undertakings for those involved are:
    • All findings will be reported in a way that no teacher can be identified. 
    • All responses are confidential to the teacher. 
    • Participating schools will receive regular feedback on findings of the project; they will not be given any data/findings about individual teachers in their schools.

Data collection and access

  • Data will be gathered openly and fairly. Records of research activity will be made according to appropriate professional practice. If conducting telephone interviews, adherence will be made to the statutory requirements of the Telecommunications Act (1987), with regard to the use of electronic recording devices. The provisions in the Data Protection Act (1984 and 1998) covering data on individuals will be adhered to.
  • Information will be stored according to appropriate levels of security and confidentiality. The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring the continued anonymity of respondents during the length of the project. Data will be collected and archived only at the university involved in the project and this data can only be accessed by members of the project team. 
  • Research instruments in use will have been subject to trialling and review to ensure maximum reliability and validity.
Ownership
In the event that participants may become concerned about the sensitivity of some of their comments, they will be provided with a period of one week after providing any data, in which to contact the Principal Investigator and ask for any comments they feel are too sensitive to be removed from the database. All data stored on databases will be anonymised.

References
British Educational Research Association (2011). Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. London: BERA.