Our Research Aims

The Scottish Out of School Care Network undertakes research to support further development of school-aged childcare in Scotland. SOSCN also provides a research consultancy service and in the past have been commissioned by the Scottish Government, Scottish Consumer Council and various local authorities including Dumfries and Galloway and North Lanarkshire.

The 2 lead researchers/consultants in SOSCN: Irene Audain MA (Hons) MEd Pg Dip Adv Dip and Andrew Shoolbread MA (Hons) MSc MEd Adv Dip are both qualified and experienced social researchers with over 40 years combined experience and relevant knowledge.


SOSCN offers a consultancy research service to external agencies and organisations- past projects have included: conducting regional childcare audits; business health checks for childcare services; consultations with children and young people on a variety of topics, as well as regional childcare overviews and policy development documents. Past clients, many of them repeat, include the Scottish Government, Scottish Consumer Council, Capability Scotland, the Big Lottery Fund (formerly New Opportunities Fund) and various local authorities.

If you have a project which you would like to discuss with us, please email

Stat Tables

SOSCN Research

"Your Time- Your Club", Scottish Out of School Care Network (2006)

This research project surveyed all P7, S1 and S2 students in Dumfries and Galloway in the winter of 2005. Of the 7,000+ surveys distributed, 3,300 were completed and returned.

The participating children and young people were asked if they would like to attend an out of school care service for older children, and if so, where it should be located, what activities should be available, and how much it should cost.

The survey report is freely available as a download:

your time- your club (.pdf)

"Rural Out of School Care Survey", Scottish Out of School Care Network (2005)

In 2005 SOSCN undertook a survey of rural out of school care services to identify the issues and challenges faced by rural out of school care services in Scotland.

The survey report is freely available as a download:

rural out of school care survey (.pdf)

"What's for us? Out of school care services for young people. Meeting the needs of older children.", Scottish Out of School Care Network (2005)

This 12-month project (November 2004 - 2005) was funded through the Laidlaw Youth Project and was designed to research out of school care services for older children and young people (11/12+).

The project enabled funding to provide activities for the older children and young people in one rural, and one city service. The rural service, Coldstream OSC, was already providing services for the older age groups, while the Crazy Club in the BamburyCentre, Glasgow was set up through the Laidlaw funding.

The project was further extended when Y:Generation, a service already established in Glasgow, agreed to participate in the research aspects of the project. The young people attending the services were asked to evaluate all aspects of the services: activities, premises etc and much of this information has been included in DVD presentations made by the young people.

"What's 4 Us?" report can be downloaded for free below; please call SOSCN on 0141 564 1284 for a copy of the DVD.

Download the report here:

what's for us? (.pdf)

Joint Projects' Research Group

This partnership project brought together a group of Scottish childcare and children organisations under the banner of the Joint Projects' Research Group. The group received funding from the Scottish Government from 2001 - 2002 to conduct 4 pieces of research; the group was comprised of SOSCN, SCMA, SPPA, NATLL, Play Scotland, SINA and the National PlaybusAsssociation. SOSCN took the lead on 2 research projects; the resulting reports can be found below:

"Working with local enterprise companies: Childcare Staff & Business Development Guide", Scottish Out of School Care Network (2002)

In response to the need for clear and concise information, with respect to Local Enterprise Companies' (LECs) initiatives to assist childcare development, SOSCN undertook a project aiming to produce and promote a Guide to facilitate the access to LECs' existing products and resources for childcare providers.

Download the report here:

childcare, staff and business development (.pdf)
"Is it child's play?", Scottish Out of School Care Network (2002)

A project looking at the facilities available to parents and children with special needs throughout Scotland. Highlighted are areas of good practice as well as the areas where better provision is required.

Download the report here:

is it child's play? (.pdf)

"Peace Education in Out of School Care" (2000)

A joint European project between 7 organisations based in a total of 4 countries: France, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Spain. SOSCN's member partners in this project were: La FundacioCatalana de l'Esplaite, Edex, CoordinadoraInfantil y Juvenil de TiempoLibre de Vallecas (Spain); L'UnionRegionale des Franca du Languedoc-Roussillon, Le Centre de Loisirs Pierre Francois de Vauvert (France) and Playboard (Northern Ireland).

The common reflection and the practical experiences described in this project spring from ongoing educational work directed at children and youngsters from endangered social settings with some of the following features: unstable jobs, school failure, lack of cultural stimulus, sectarianism, xenophobia, violence towards children or environmental degradation.

These aims want to turn children and youngsters' leisure into a significant and educational experience which helps them in their personal development. It also aims at being part of a global advance towards justice and solidarity.

If you wish a copy of the completed report (available in English, Spanish, French and Catalan) please contact the SOSCN Information Officer on 0141 564 1284 or

last updated: 29/11/2023