ISOTIS is a collaborative project funded by the European Union, which includes 17 partners and 11 countries. The project started in January 2017, and will continue until December 2019. ISOTIS aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different system levels in order to effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities.



Dear reader,

We are almost at the end of the first year of ISOTIS. An incredible amount of work has been done this year!

The review studies of promising home education and family support programs and of intercultural curricula for early childhood and primary school classrooms are almost ready. In-depth case studies on these topics are soon to start. The overview of innovative strategies of professional development to support educators in dealing with diversity and inequality is impressive and will soon be available to the wider public. The design of the survey among educators and other professionals on intercultural attitudes and skills is already at an advanced stage. Results will be available in the second half of 2018. The analysis of changes in education systems and education policies promises to bring new insights into the macro-effects of education policy on equity and inclusion. Case studies are currently being conducted on exemplary models of inter-agency working, along with a review of the research literature. And in the Spring of 2018 we will learn how to organize our services better to fit the needs of disadvantaged children and families. The challenging work on digital tools to support family-school partnerships and intercultural and multilingual education is on track and pilots are already being conducted. 

In the meantime, the big interview study in ten countries has begun. The core team of the study deserves high praise for having managed to get the questionnaires ready in time. The first results are coming in now and the data base is growing every day. We are very curious about what we will learn regarding the experiences of parents across Europe. It is challenging task, but we receive very positive reactions from our informants.

 2018 will be an exciting year with so many highly relevant products!

Our team wishes you Happy Holidays and a great start to the new year!

Warmest regards,



 Paul Leseman, ISOTIS Coordinator



• As of the 1st of January 2018, a team of the Université de Paris-Est Créteil, UPEC for short, will join ISOTIS. The team, with Jérôme Mbiatong, Frédérique Montandon, Eric Bertram and Fanny Delerablée and new postdocs coming, will be involved in the interview studies and the work package on professional development. Welcome! Read more about this partner institution



• The first annual ISOTIS meeting was held in the Free University of Berlin, on December 3rd-6th. Our team discussed the work that had been developed and future steps. We had the privilege of welcoming the members of the ISOTIS Advisory Board, Tove Mogstad Slinde (Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research), Ljiljana Vasić (Pomoc Deci; Eurochild), and Davide Zoletto (UNIUD), and our invited expert Arno Engel (OECD). Their contributions were very relevant to our reflection on project activities, findings and future challenges. Read more



• ISOTIS researchers addressing inclusive curricula in the classroom, family support and professional development met in Brno, Czech Republic, on October 26-27th, to discuss the development of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The team discussed how to develop a VLE that is sustainable, innovative, and transferable to different contexts. Read more



• ISOTIS researcher Hande Erdem (Free University of Berlin) attended The Migration Conference, in Athens, on August 25th. She presented her own research “Barriers and facilitators to parental involvement in education: Perceptions and experiences of Turkish mothers in Berlin” and also introduced the ISOTIS project. Read more about the event

• On September 13th, ISOTIS researchers Jana Obrovská, Zuzana Lenhartová, and Lenka Slepičková, from Masaryk University, made a presentation "How to recognize good practice? Overview of practices used in working with children and families with social disadvantages in the Czech Republic and abroad", at the XXV annual conference of the ČAPV (Czech Educational Research Association), in Hradec Králové. Read the abstract (in Czech, p. 87);  Read more about the event

• ISOTIS researchers Kateřina Sidiropulu Janků and Jana Obrovská (Masaryk University) presented "Multilingual children in monolingual trap", at the conference Škola jako cesta k lidské důstojnosti (?), on November 22nd, in Brno. Read more about the event

• On October 9th, ISOTIS researchers from the University of Oxford, Edward Melhuish, Jacqueline Barnes, Maria Evangelou, Katharina Ereky-Stevens, Lyudmila Nurse, Rebecca Tracz, Pinar Kolancali, and Olivia Clarke, presented a poster on the ISOTIS project at the Department of Education Research Poster Conference, University of Oxford. See the poster

• ISOTIS researcher Jacqueline Barnes (University of Oxford) participated as a panelist in the webinar "Challenges and opportunities in integrating early years services: a spotlight on the workforce”, organized by the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative, on October 26th. She made a presentation on “Well established processes, enablers and (many) barriers to inter-agency working in the early years”. Read more about the event and watch the recording

• On November 2nd, ISOTIS researchers Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University) and Thomas Moser (University College of Southeast Norway) presented our project at the Longitudinal Research Projects in ECEC Seminar, in Bodø. See the presentation; Read more about the event

• ISOTIS researchers Caterina Falcone and Giulia Pastori presented "Digital storytelling at school: a multilingual intercultural perspective", at the conference organized by the Associazione Italiana di Sociologia (Italian Association of Sociology), in Rome, on November 6th. The researchers addressed Digital Storytelling (DS) as a creative, transformative and collective (didactic) process that can support inclusive education. They also presented ISOTIS, and focused on the development of a Virtual Learning Environment, and on a possible DS multilingual activity/experience to be included. See the presentation; Read more about the event

• On November 9th, the ISOTIS team from the Utrecht University participated in the organization of the 6th ECCESS (Early Childhood Care and Education in a Sustainable Society) seminar, on organizational and system characteristics that facilitate inclusive childcare and education, held in the same university - See the programDuring this event, Bodine Romijn and Ryanne Francot, in collaboration with Pauline Slot, conducted the workshop "Intercultural and multilingual practices in (pre)school", focusing on the ISOTIS proposals related to the development of professionals and organisations - See the presentation. Martine Broekhuizen and Melissa Be conducted a workshop on the ISOTIS parent interview study - See the presentation. Ryanne Francot, jointly with Rianne van den Berghe and Ivar Troost, also conducted the workshop “Can technology help?”, presenting the ISOTIS project, and focusing on the development of a Virtual Learning Environment to stimulate interaction and collaboration between stakeholders (professionals, parents and children) in intercultural and multilingual settings.

• ISOTIS researchers Joana Guerra and Catarina Leitão (University of Coimbra) presented the communication "The virtuous relationship of local partnerships in inclusive education. Examples of good practice in Portugal", at the II Congresso Internacional Transformações e (In)Consistências das Dinâmicas Educativas, in Coimbra, on November 11th. The researchers highlighted that identifying examples of good practice, and factors of success and obstacles in the collaborative work between health, educational, and social protection services can be a measure to combat early inequalities. Read the abstract (in Portuguese, p. 73); Read more about the event

• On November 22, ISOTIS researchers Jan Skopek and Giampiero Passaretta (Trinity College Dublin) presented the paper "The social stratification of skills from infancy to adolescence  – Evidence from am accelerated longitudinal study" at the Research Seminar, Department of Sociology, in the Trinity College Dublin.

• ISOTIS researchers Olga Wysłowska, Małgorzata Karwowska-Struczyk, Kamila Wichrowska, Justyna Pałczyńska (University of Warsaw) presented the ISOTIS project to academic teachers, students and researchers at the Department of Pedagogy of the University of Warsaw, on November 29th.

• Forum on Educational Inequality 

What can education do to reduce social inequalities and how can education contribute to a fair, inclusive and sustainable society? What kind of educational research do we need to strengthen the societal impact of education? These were the main topics of a two-day seminar in Washington DC, on December 11-12, organized by the OECD, the US national Institute of Education Sciences and the American Youth Forum. Paul Leseman (coordinator of ISOTIS) was invited as speaker and participant among representatives from 19 countries from all over the world. One topic was opening the ‘black box’ of the subtle and sometimes less subtle exclusionary mechanisms – including styles of disciplining children - in early childhood and primary school classrooms, and other topics were the coordinated efforts of schools working together with health and social services, local policy makers and organizations of parents.



• ISOTIS researchers from the Free University of Berlin, Franziska Cohen and Mareike Trauernicht, presented the project to representatives and providers of family support programs, on November 29th. Between October and December, Hande Erdem met with members of the Föderation Türkischer Elternvereine in Deutschland (Federation of Turkish Parents 'Associations in Germany), Türkischer Elternverein Berlin Brandenburg (Turkish Parents' Association Berlin Brandenburg), and Bundesverband der Migrantinnen in Deutschland (Federal Association of Migrant Women in Germany). The goal of these meetings was to ask for their kind cooperation in the scope of the recruitment of families willing to participate in the ISOTIS parent interview study.



• ISOTIS researcher Edward Melhuish (University of Oxford) is the author of the article "Early education and care is key to improve school readiness", published in the Child and Family Blog. Read more and find the link to the full article


• ISOTIS researcher Jacqueline Barnes (University of Oxford) and colleagues published the paper “Results of the First Steps study: a randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of the Group Family Nurse Partnership (gFNP) programme compared with usual care in improving outcomes for high-risk mothers and their children and preventing abuse”, in the journal Public Health Research. Find the paper



A big thank you to all our colleagues for the productive work and efforts during the first year of the project. Your contributions will make 2018 another exciting year! Happy holidays!



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ISOTIS: Giving voice to a diverse and inclusive European society.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727069.