Against a backdrop of metamorphosis in the UK educational landscape and the increased focus on ‘innovation’ in research funding and postgraduate programmes, a conference entitled ‘Inequality in Education – Innovation in Methods’ (IEIM) was held at the University of Warwick in November 2014 to offer space to reflect on ‘inequality in education’ as a field of research and the impact, and future prospect for ‘innovation in method’ in this field. This article offers reflections and considerations based on the IEIM conference and the articles contained in the resulting special section published in this journal. The article argues that innovation in methods offers new and exciting directions in terms of increased understanding of inequality in education. The article also discusses the possibilities that innovative methods offer in terms of including a wider range of participants in research and increasing opportunities for participants to be involved with the research process and communicate effectively. The article ends with some ethical considerations in relation to new and innovative research methods before drawing to a conclusion.