The pupil premium is not working (part I): do not measure attainment gaps

On Saturday 8 September 2018 I gave a talk to researchED London about the pupil premium. It was too long for my 40-minute slot, and the written version is similarly far too long for one post. So I am posting my argument in three parts [pt II is here and pt III is here]. The IOE London Blog is re-posting Part 1 and recommends following the links to the other two on rebeccaallen.co.uk for the full analysis.

Every education researcher I have met shares a desire to work out how we can support students from disadvantaged backgrounds as they navigate the education system. I wrote my PhD thesis about why school admissions help middle class families get ahead. No politician is crazy enough to do anything about that; but they have been brave enough to put their money where their mouth is, using cash to try to close the attainment gap. This series of blog posts explains why I think the pupil premium hasn’t worked and why it diverts the education system away from things that might work somewhat better. I suggest it is time to re-focus our energies on constructing classrooms that give the greatest chance of success to those most likely to Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in accountability and inspection, Evidence-based policy, Leadership and management, Teachers and teaching assistants

Hot off the press: the IOE debates series for 2018/19

IOE Events.

Last year we launched our new flagship events programme, which includes our much- loved debates series What if…? radical and inspiring ideas for alternative education futures. Through this series we bring together prominent speakers on education issues – from policy makers to academics, practitioners to parents – to hear their views on key debates in the field.

So far, we’ve tackled education’s role (or not) in social mobility, vocational education’s Cinderella status, teaching’s image problem, the (unmet) needs of schools operating in the most challenging circumstances, the special educational needs and disability (SEND) crisis, the AI revolution, the promise of educational neuroscience, and how to get all kids to love (or at least not hate) mathematics. Phew. (You can watch all these back/listen back to all these here, or find write ups here.)

But there are many crucial topics that we haven’t yet covered. We intend to put that right in 2018/19.

To get us started, on 1 October we’ll be looking at young people’s mental health and well-being – asking What if…we wanted our kids to be happier?. Young people’s Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in IOE debates

Teacher training and the ‘problem of more’ – how do we scale up without sacrificing quality?

Clare Brooks

As schools begin a new term, many headteachers are faced with chronic gaps in their staffing. It is at this time of year that the teacher shortage is most keenly felt. At the same time teacher education and teacher training providers prepare to welcome a cohort of new recruits, and consider how to best induct them into what is, for many, a new career and a new professional identity.

As a new report from the Education Policy Institute outlines, the teacher labour market is getting worse. Applications for teacher training are in decline by 5% and exit rates are increasing by up to 10%. For both schools, teacher education providers and the DfE now is a good time to think about the issue of quality initial teacher education (ITE) at scale.

In recent years Read more ›

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Education policy, Leadership and management, Teachers and teaching assistants, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Exams shape students’ future life chances. It is vital to share our knowledge on how we set and maintain standards

Tina Isaacs and Lena Gray. 

As we wind down from a relatively calm examination season – even with the introduction of new examinations this year – some of us continue to mull over the idea of ‘standards’ in examination systems.

What does the term ‘standards’ mean, anyway? It crops up everywhere in the world of assessment. In England, exam boards and Ofqual, which offer general qualifications like GCSEs and A levels, have to try to make sure that grades have the same meaning across subjects, in different years, and even between competing exam boards – a Sisyphean task that is fraught with technical challenges. This is an area in which assessment researchers like us can see our work having real impact, and there are plenty of exciting developments to shape new thinking. One of those developments is the publication on 10 September by the UCL IOE press of a new book called Exam standards: how measures and meanings differ around the world.

Standard setting in national exams is a topic of interest throughout the global assessment community, yet opportunities for information sharing are rare, given the politically sensitive Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in accountability and inspection, International comparisons, Research matters, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

The long roots of childhood, and how they explain economic inequalities across the whole of life

Alissa Goodman.

In my inaugural lecture earlier this summer I asked the question, what are the root causes of the economic inequalities in our society, and why have these been so difficult to budge?

6920034054_3d09cfa7ac_z

This is a question that I’ve been asking ever since, early in my own research career, I was part of a team of economists demonstrating for the first time in historical context the huge rise in income inequality which had taken place over the 1980s in Britain. This change had transformed us from a relatively low-inequality country to a high one in the space of around 10 years. Fast-forward to today, we remain just as, if not more, unequal.

Some of the most important answers to my question come from the national birth cohort studies that we run at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Childhood & early education, Social sciences and social policy
UCL Institute of Education

This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.

Our blog is for anyone interested in current issues in education and related social sciences.
@IOE_London
Keep up with the latest IOE research

Enter your email address and we'll let you know when a new post is published

Join 30,356 other followers