Media in Family Courts Pilot Evaluation

An independent evaluation of the Family Court Media Pilot being delivered in Cardiff, Leeds and Carlisle

About the study

The Judicial Office has commissioned the National Centre of Social Research (Natcen) to carry out an independent evaluation of the Family Court Media Pilot being delivered in Cardiff, Leeds and Carlisle.

The pilot commenced in January 2023 across three courts in England and Wales. It is based on the findings of the 2021 Confidence and Confidentiality: Transparency in the Family Courts report which proposes allowing accredited journalist and legal bloggers to be able to attend, observe and report publicly on family court hearings.

This piece of qualitative research aims to understand the views and experiences of those involved in the pilot to date and inform decision-making about further and future roll-out of the pilot. The research will include members of the judiciary, court staff, families, and journalists with experience of the pilot across the three pilot areas.

Why take part and what will it involve?

This is an opportunity to tell us about your views and experiences of being involved in the pilot so far. This will help inform future decision-making on the involvement of the media in family courts.

Taking part in the research involves a short interview or focus group with a NatCen researcher. Interviews will take place July to October 2023 and can be arranged by telephone or MS Teams. The interview will involve discussions around your experiences of and involvement in the pilot, any guidance provided, and the set-up process and logistics of the pilot. You can choose a date and time that is convenient for you.

Why have I been selected to take part?

You have been invited to take part because of your previous or current experience in family court settings. Your insight on this topic is valuable to understanding the future direction of the pilot.

Who is carrying out the research?

The research has been funded by The Judicial Office and is being carried out by the Crime, Justice and Equalities Team at Natcen.

Who are NatCen?

Find out more

How will my data be processed and used?

You will be asked to take part in a short interview or focus group with a Natcen researcher. Your interview will be recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data collected will inform the findings of the report.

The data collected will be used for research purposes only and all data will be stored and managed securely and confidentially. Only the research team will have access to the data. Participants will not be identified in the report. All personal information, and any other data held, will be securely deleted six months after the study is completed.


In compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), there are certain things that we need to let you know about how your information will be handled. Please see the privacy notice.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the research team at  or on 0808 196 9507.