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Ms Xin Shao

Research Student

Research Student in the School of Education


Miss Xin Shao is a doctoral researcher at the School of Education, Durham University and an accredited researcher for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for Education. She is also a reviewer for Review of Education: An International Journal of Major Studies in Education (BERA).

Miss Xin Shao studied Business English for her BA at Nanjing Normal University, gained an MA in English Language & Literature from Nanjing Normal University, an MA in TESOL from Durham University, and a Master of Education by Research from Durham University. She was a teaching assistant on the “British and American Literature” module at undergraduate level in Nanjing Normal University, and a Business English trainer in international companies in China. She has been the president of Model United Nations Conferences and was the trainer for the MUN Nanjing Normal University team for 2 years.

Her current research work concerns equity and equality in education. During her PhD studies, she offers assistance in various research projects, including Philosophy for Children (P4C) ( and the Evaluation of Children’s University Social action trial (

Doctoral project

The impact of socio-economic background and secondary schooling on students’ access to the labour market: Evidence from England

This doctoral project probes into two aspects of young people’s occupational mobility: intergenerational social mobility and social mobility within one’s lifetime. Young people’s early access to the labour market in the UK and other developed countries is still clearly stratified by each person’s prior educational attainment and their socio-economic background. However, these factors are difficult to change, are not the only factors creating stratified outcomes, and may in any case be mediated by other factors such as peer influence. This new project is based on linking two sets of longitudinal data – the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) and the School Level Annual School Census (SLASC) – in an innovative way to investigate these issues. SLASC provides official figures on the distribution of resources and the stratification of students between schools, and LSYPE provides detailed data on young people’s family background and early occupational status. This research will contribute to furthering policy development maximising equality of opportunity in the labour market and increasing occupational mobility.


Xin. S. (2016), The impact of socio-economic background and secondary schooling on students’ access to the labour market. BSA Postgraduate Regional Event 2016 – Educational (in)equalities: Towards an elite but not elitist society. Warwick, UK.


Research interests

  • Social Mobility
  • Human Capital
  • Labour Market
  • Equity and Equality in Education


Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Journal Article