Digital Economy Bill: how academic research + government data = a rich mine of information

2Data puzzle-4592x3056px

Alison Park

Government departments and agencies build up routine information about all of us as part of their everyday activities. Who should have access to these data?

Were it not for Brexit, it’s likely that the last few weeks would have seen far more discussion about this topic. On 5 July the Cabinet Office published the response to its consultation on the ‘Better Use of Data in Government’. The document’s proposals  form the basis of a new Digital Economy Bill, which includes legislation to help researchers access data. The next day Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian for Health and Care, published her review of data security standards and proposed a new consent model for data sharing in the NHS and social care.

Researchers are interested in this so called ‘administrative data’ because its volume and detail can vastly exceed what it’s possible to collect through other routes such as surveys. As a result, bodies like the Economic and Social Research Council have set up special Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Research matters, Social sciences and social policy

How does moving house affect young children?

Child flats-OE blog

Heather Joshi. 

In the July special issue of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies researchers from the UK and US have collaborated to investigate whether the experience of moving home affects children’s development in their pre-school years.

Children move home in their early years more often than they do once they start school. Our transatlantic research project looked at two cohorts of children born around the year 2000. We decided to focus on the first five years of life, rather than often-researched school ages, to examine the impact solely of moving home rather than the complications that arise when moving and changing school.

The British families in our study, the UK Millennium Cohort, had some 14,000 children Read more ›

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Posted in Childhood & early education

Dear Secretary of State for Education…

JustineG

Now we know. Justine Greening, MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, has become the new Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities. Her brief is to include higher education and skills, formerly under the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Downing Street says the education department will take on responsibility for: “Reforming the higher education sector to boost competition and continue to improve the quality of education that students receive; and delivering more apprenticeships through a fundamental change in the UK’s approach to skills in the workplace”.

Ms Greening, one of the few education secretaries to have attended a non-selective state secondary school – Oakwood Comprehensive in Rotherham – was previously Secretary of State for International Development. The new education secretary has a background in accountancy.

While teacher supply –  discussed in a recent IOE blog post – will be at the top of her very full in-tray, she will also need to master a wide range of topics from Academies to Teacher education. As early as next week, she will have to steer the Higher Education and Research Bill through its second reading. Here, IOE experts suggest priorities for Ms Greening to consider in key areas of education policy. Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy

Changing the subject: why pushing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take more academic subjects may not be such a bad thing

Becky Allen

Today, Sutton Trust published our report on the 300 secondary schools who transformed their curriculum between 2010 and 2013 in response to government policy, achieving a rise in the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc from 8% to 48%. Understanding the experiences of pupils in these schools gives us a little window on

Source: Changing the subject: why pushing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take more academic subjects may not be such a bad thing

Posted in Uncategorized

There’s more that holds us together than divides us

place

Kathryn Riley.

As a stoic Mancunian, I stagger through the sodden winter streets of Nedlands, Western Australia. My flimsy umbrella no match for the deluge, I take shelter in Morgan Marks clothing store. There is a sale on. Conversations unfold.

What brings you here? Where are you from? And the clincher…..What is happening in the UK?  I have been asked this question many times since leaving Heathrow Airport on July 4 for Hong Kong, en route to Australia: by residents at the peaceful Jen Hotel; by a Law applicant to UCL, at the Transit Interchange at Admiralty; and now by this group of interested  Australian women,  keen to share stories about aberrant  politicians.

Since the early hours of June 24, a post Referendum gloom has shrouded me. I have been in mourning for the idiosyncratic Britain I thought I knew: the ‘cultural cacophony’ of my second city, London; the roars that filled the Olympic Stadium in 2012, for British–Somalian Mo Farah. Disaffection, disenfranchisement and disengagement seemed to have prevailed.

Yet on this damp Australian morning I reply, ‘There’s more that holds us together than Read more ›

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Posted in Leadership and management, Schools

Life after levels: is the new Year 6 maths test changing the way teachers teach?

Teacher with School pupil[467]

Melanie Ehren and Nick Wollaston

Earlier this month (5 July), the Department for Education published the results of the Key Stage 2 test for 10 and 11-year-olds. The publication was awaited with more anxiety than usual as this year’s test was the first one on the new national curriculum. One of the major changes in the test is the removal of the ‘old’ national curriculum levels 3, 4 and 5, where children were expected to reach at least a level 4. The level 6 paper for the most able children has also gone and results are now reported as ‘scaled scores[1]’. Each pupil now has to achieve at least a score of 100 to reach the expected standard. It seems like a minor change with little impact on how teachers teach mathematics and prepare children for the test, but recent findings from our Nuffield-funded study suggest otherwise.

We interviewed 30 Year 6 teachers in schools performing both below and above the floor standard in Mathematics. Interviews took place prior to the changes in the test in Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.


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