Kat joined Edge in early 2018 as a Senior Researcher in the Research & Policy Team. She has worked within the field of education for the majority of her career. She started working in the social care and education section at Sheffield City Council, analysing and monitoring the city’s education and young people’s social care outcomes.
Kat spent several years working in a higher education environment, conducting research and market intelligence around student admissions, recruitment and widening participation. More recently she taught the IB Primary Years Programme at an international school in Vietnam, using project-based learning (PBL) approaches and leading on the development of the primary STEM curriculum.
Her undergraduate research background started in Psychology with a particular focus on developmental psychology, early learning, language acquisition and memory. At postgraduate level her research particularly focused on international development, health inequalities and in particular mental health.
At Edge, Kat’s main areas of research are in higher education, vocational education, skills shortages in the economy and employability skills.
- New Higher Education Institutions: A real chance to innovate. March 2021 - 2023
- Joint Dialogue phase 2 – pupils understanding of employability skills
- Online learning in FE colleges in an island context. In collaboration with University of Nottingham. January 2020 – February 2022
- Degree Apprenticeships in England December 2021 – December 2022
- Green skills in the construction sector: building back better? In collaboration with SKOPE (University of Oxford). February 2021 – March 2022
Externally funded completed research projects
- Graduate Apprenticeships: Developing Scotland’s Future Workforce. June – Nov 2021. Funded by Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB)
- Drivers of technical excellence in the skills economy. December 2020 – May 2021. Funded by WorldSkills UK
- WorldSkills UK – Four Nations Project. Internal report. February - May 2019, funded by WorldSkills UK.
- Joint Dialogue: How are schools developing real employability skills? in collaboration with Education and Employers and National Education Union. October 2017 - November 2018
Other professional engagement/activities
Publications and Reports
- Emms, K., Laczik, A., Newton, O. and Wilson, E. (2021). Graduate Apprenticeships: Developing Scotland’s Future Workforce. London: Edge Foundation.
- James Relly, S., Robson, J., Emms, K., Laczik, A., Randhawa, A. et al. (2021). Drivers of technical excellence in the skills economy: A report for the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, by SKOPE and the Edge Foundation. Laczik, A. & Emms, K. (2021). Apprenticeships, England (Ch 24, p. 164-172). In Cedefop et al. (2021). Apprenticeship governance and in-company training: where labour market and education meet: Cedefop community of apprenticeship experts: short papers. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Cedefop working paper; No 3. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/6203_en.pdf
- Kersh, N., Laczik, A., & Evans, K., Emms, K., Maslo, I. & Ertl, H. (2021). Work-based learning: Towards embedded processes and inclusive approach. In C. Nägele, N. Kersh, & B. E. Stalder (Eds.), Trends in vocational education and training research, Vol. IV. Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET) (pp. 137–143). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.541620
- Emms, K., Laczik, A. & Dabbous, D. (2021). Rethinking higher education: Case studies for the 21st Century. London: Edge Foundation
- Percy, C. & Emms, K. (2020). Drivers of early career success for UK undergraduates: An analysis of graduate destinations survey. December 2020. London: Edge Foundation
- Emms, K. & Laczik, A. (2020). Cardiff National Software Academy: A contemporary approach to employable graduates?
- Emms, K., Laczik, A., Dabbous, D. (2020). A journey to employment for young people with additional needs. September 2020. London: The Edge Foundation
- Dabbous, D., Emms, K. (2020). Education Technology in Further Education Colleges: how are colleges integrating digital technologies into their practice? The Edge Foundation. July 2020
- Edge Foundation (2020). The Impact of Covid-19 on Education: evidence on the early impacts of lockdown. London: Edge Foundation
- Newton, O., Laczik, A. and Emms, K., Cohen, K. (2018). Towards a Twenty-First Century Education System. London: The Edge Foundation
- Kashefpakdel, E., Newton, O., Clark, J., Emms, K., Laczik. A., Rehill, J., Taylor, J. (2018). Joint Dialogue: How are schools developing real employability skills? London: Education and Employers
- Newton, O., Percy, C., Laczik, A. and Emms, K. (2019). Our Plans for Apprenticeships. Broader, Higher Quality, Better Prepared. London: The Edge Foundation
Selected conference presentations
- SRHE – New Higher Education Institutions: A Real Chance to Innovate? December 2021
- ECER - Alternative Approaches to Higher Education in the UK: From Simulated to Real-world Workplace Learning. September 2021
- Education & Employers Conference. Developing online learning in vocational education in small island context of the British Isles. July 2021
- NordYK - A collaborative approach to curriculum development and delivery supporting student employability: rethinking higher education through a UK case study. June 2021
- Crossing Boundaries - Crossing Boundaries In Higher Education: Linking Theory To Practice With Two UK Case Studies. March 2021
- ECER - Improving graduate employability - An alternative model of higher education? September 2019
- JVET - Preparation for employment: An innovative approach in higher education. July 2019