The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Legal Education and Training in England and Wales

Globalisation, technology, and changing social (and digital) values, are dramatically and rapidly transforming the future of work. This is also true of legal practice and the future of lawyers and other law professionals. It is estimated, for example, that “nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term”, and that new roles will emerge for which legal professionals at present are not adequately trained or prepared. (See here for a report by The Law Society, UK.) It is against this background that the article – The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales – sets a policy agenda for undergraduate legal education and training that is sensitive to the opportunities and potential negative outfall of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (now exacerbated by COVID-19), while also taking into consideration the distinctive nature of legal education and training in England and Wales. It is suggested, inter alia, that the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree be radically transformed to accommodate and produce interdisciplinary and T-shaped graduates, those are graduates with in-depth knowledge and expertise in law, together with wider knowledge and expertise in other disciplines, including an awareness of technology and its potential applications. This will allow for more resilient, adaptable, and multi-functional law professionals in future.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Andra Le Roux-Kemp, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School

A Step to VAR: The Vision Science of Offside Calls by Video Assistant Referees

Prof George Mather, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology,
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system has had a major impact on decision-making in professional association football. However, offside decisions remain a major area of dispute and debate, with over 34 goals ruled out in the first season of VAR in the Premier League. Evidence in vision science points toward two problems with the application of the offside law in VAR, due to their use of a live TV video feed in reviews. First, due to physical and perceptual limits on spatial resolution, there is a significant probability that the spatial positions of the ball and players as judged by VAR will be several centimetres to one side of their true positions. Second, the 50 Hz TV update rate means that judgements of the time-of-contact between player and ball will on average be 10 ms too late, which translates into an increased likelihood of offside calls in fast-moving play. Suggestions are made for how to compensate for these problems during decision-making.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

George Mather, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

COVID 19: Suggestions to Universities, Supervisors and Line Managers from Doctoral and Early Career Researchers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, universities closed their doors with uncertainty over when they would reopen. In the early stages of lockdown, many doctoral and Early Career Researchers (collectively, ECRs) felt their institutions had forgotten them.

Vitae and the UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) surveyed 5,900 ECRs across 128 UK universities at the end of April 2020, to establish the impact of lockdown on their work. While almost two thirds of respondents agreed that their supervisor/line manager had done all they could to support them, only 38% felt the same way about their institution. A quarter of respondents identified that their relationship with their university had worsened since the pandemic began. Right now, a key question is: what can universities do to support their ECRs?

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Nicola Byrom, King’s College London

Patricia Jackman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Amy Zile, University of East Anglia

Elizabeth James, Teeside University

Katie Tyrrell, University of Suffolk

Cameron J. Williams, University of New South Wales

Tandy Haughey, Ulster University

Rebecca Sanderson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute

Michael Priestly, University of Durham

Nicola Cogan, University of Strathclyde


Ambulance clinician perspectives of disparity in prehospital child pain management: A mixed methods study

When children suffer pain through medical illness or traumatic injury, they are often assessed, treated, and transported to hospital by ambulance. Prehospital pain management in children is considered poor. Within the United Kingdom (UK), a recent study showed that only 39% of children suffering acute pain achieved effective pain management (abolition or reduction of pain ≥2 out of 10). In Australia, a study showed that 55% of children suffering severe pain received no analgesics. This is despite pain management being considered an essential human right.

The consequences of inadequate pain management in children suffering acute pain include posttraumatic stress disorder and altered pain perception. Prehospital pain management in children is extremely complex; difficulty assessing pain and administering analgesics have been identified as key barriers to effective management. Recent efforts to improve pain management include the introduction of intranasal analgesics. Although a promising solution, there are likely to be many unrecognized barriers to prehospital pain relief in children. These require a mixed methods approach to better clarify and delineate the problems associated with effective management.

We have previously identified a number of predictors of effective pain management in children within a UK ambulance service. Children, who were younger (0‐5 years) compared to older (12‐17 years), administered analgesics, attended by a paramedic, or living in an area of medium (index of multiple deprivation [IMD] 4‐7) or low (IMD 8‐10) deprivation compared to those living in an area of high (IMD 1‐3) deprivation were more likely to achieve effective pain management. We aimed to explain these four predictors, along with two other previously identified predictors; child sex (male) and type of pain (traumatic), using the perspectives of ambulance clinicians within a mixed methods approach.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Gregory Whitley, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit
Pippa Hemingway, University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Graham Law, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit
 Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit

COVID-19: Psychological flexibility, coping, mental health, and wellbeing in the UK during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered the daily lives of many people across the globe, both through the direct interpersonal cost of the disease, and the governmental restrictions imposed to mitigate its spread and impact. The UK has been particularly affected and has one of the highest mortality rates in Europe. In this paper, we examine the impact of COVID-19 on psychological health and well-being in the UK during a period of ‘lockdown’ (15th–21st May 2020) and the specific role of Psychological Flexibility as a potential mitigating process.

We observed clinically high levels of distress in our sample (N = 555). However, psychological flexibility was significantly and positively associated with greater wellbeing, and inversely related to anxiety, depression, and COVID-19-related distress. Avoidant coping behaviour was positively associated with all indices of distress and negatively associated with wellbeing, while engagement in approach coping only demonstrated weaker associations with outcomes of interest. No relationship between adherence to government guidelines and psychological flexibility was found.

In planned regression models, psychological flexibility demonstrated incremental predictive validity for all distress and wellbeing outcomes (over and above both demographic characteristics and COVID-19-specific coping responses). Furthermore, psychological flexibility and COVID-19 outcomes were only part-mediated by coping responses to COVID-19, supporting the position that psychological flexibility can be understood as an overarching response style that is distinct from established conceptualisations of coping. We conclude that psychological flexibility represents a promising candidate process for understanding and predicting how an individual may be affected by, and cope with, both the acute and longer-term challenges of the pandemic.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science research

Dave Dawson, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Nima Moghaddam, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science


Building partnerships and undertaking impactful research in collaboration with vulnerable groups and the services that support them

We are a team of four academics from the Schools of Health and Social Care, and Psychology, with experience in frontline services and conducting research into homelessness, addiction, criminal justice and mental health.

In the past 2 years, we have worked on multiple mixed-methods projects with people who are vulnerable due to complex needs. Projects have included investigation into the critical success factors for Nottinghamshire Rough Sleeper Initiative Services; investigation of the effectiveness of a local social impact bond project supporting people experiencing entrenched rough sleeping; a review of the Lincolnshire Blue Light Service which supports people considered ‘treatment resistant drinkers’; and an exploration of the impact of Covid-19 on people experiencing homelessness locally. The findings inform future delivery to underpin continuous service improvement for services supporting people experiencing multiple and complex needs.

In our discussion, we will share our learning from undertaking such research including collaboration with local organisations; ethical and practical considerations for interviewing people who are vulnerable; adapting and undertaking research within the pandemic; the benefit of undertaking smaller scale projects to inform the development of future successful applications; the effectiveness of inter-disciplinary working across schools; and the importance of drawing upon practice experiences alongside academic experience.

Dr Jim Rogers, School of Health and Social Care
Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology
Dr Amanda Roberts, School of Psychology
Mr Thomas George, School of Health and Social Care

Combining Our Virtual Isolation Discussions

In this presentation, Jamie, a PhD Student studying the pathways into teaching: exploring the preparation and retention of maths and science teachers, converses with his supervisor Rachael about their combined experiences of the virtual isolation over the past year. They discuss the challenges and benefits put upon them by the situation over the last year, such as research designs and data collection, and how together they have found innovative ways to overcome them. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to possible support for future researchers and supervisors to ensure that the journey whilst challenging is a successful and enjoyable one!

Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Mr Jamie Ainge, School of Education

Prisons in a Pandemic – Examining the Impact on Prisoner Well-Being and Mental Health

Rachael Dagnall joined the University of Lincoln in 2018 following a 17-year career as a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). Rachael will deliver a talk on how her previous experiences of working within the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP) services have enabled her to become part of a research team that has recently been successful in securing funding for a national research project within HMPPS. Still in its infancy, Rachael will describe the teams plans for the Swansea University led project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19. The project, led by Professor Jason Davies, has collaborators from universities in Belfast, Lincoln, Liverpool and Leicester as well as from the Ministry of Justice. Rachael will describe how the team plan to focus on a sub-group of people living in prison who will be following the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway, to establish the impact of introducing restrictions – and of easing them – on prisoners’ psychological wellbeing and behaviour.

Mrs Rachael Dagnall, School of Psychology