The crisis for young people: why housing is the key to social mobility


Andy Green.

Last week’s report from Alan Milburn’s Social Mobility Commission, Time for a Change, provides a useful assessment of the impact of government policies on social mobility between 1997 and 2017. Ranging over policies for the different phases of education and early working life, it finds that, despite some successes, these have had limited impact in enhancing opportunities for today’s younger generation.

The report concluded that today’s social divisions are not sustainable ‘socially, economically or politically.’ It calls for new ten-year, cross-sectoral targets for social mobility improvements, including a ‘social mobility test’ to be applied to new policies. In my new book, The Crisis for Young People, I have argued for a similar test to judge the effects of policies on intergenerational inequality (which is much the same concept as absolute social mobility).

However, despite the Milburn report’s range, in at least one area – housing – it Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Social sciences and social policy, young people

Special needs: politicians should check the evidence before making claims about inclusion

Rob Webster. 

Last week, a video of controversial comments made in the Australian Parliament about pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provoked international headlines. Voice wavering and clumsily tripping over her words, Senator Pauline Hanson unmistakably suggested that “we need to get rid of these people” from mainstream classrooms, because their presence “held back” others:

Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them, they forget about the child who is straining at the bit and wants to go ahead in leaps and bounds in their education”.

Educators, researchers, advocates and parents of children with Read more ›

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Posted in Special educational needs and psychology

Students need support in order to build skills for the future

Mutlu Cukurova and Rose Luckin. 

There is a growing interest globally in teaching approaches that allow university students to work independently, often in group activities. However, our research suggests that leaving students to do their own investigations without any support is a practice that should be approached with caution if we want to promote effective learning in higher education.

These teaching approaches include Enquiry-Based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Practice-based Learning, and Project-Based Learning. This focus, at least in part, stems from discussions about the impact of automation on the future of employment and the Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education, ICT in education, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Performance management is here to stay, but TEF needs a rethink

Simon Marginson.

The post-election regroupement of the government provides a surprising and welcome opportunity to rethink the TEF before it does too much damage, before the shaping of behaviours and unplanned consequences become entrenched.

Let’s consider what might happen if the government took that opportunity—replacing TEF 2 (2017), whose first results will be announced – along with celebrations and wailing – tomorrow, with a much better TEF 3 (2018) for implementation next time round.

TEF 3 would need to start from three assumptions. First, for better and for worse we live Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education

Does enjoyment go down as achievement goes up? Findings from TIMSS on how pupil attitudes to maths and science have changed over 20 years

Toby Greany. 

When the report on the 2015 International Trends in Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) was launched late last year, the media’s focus was on how England had performed relative to other countries in the tests. The headline result is that England did reasonably well overall, performing significantly above the international mean in maths and science in both years 5 and 9, which places us in the second highest performing group of countries overall. [A blog summarising England’s performance is available here].

What I want to focus on here though is how pupil attitudes to maths and science have changed over the past 20 years. One finding is that enjoyment and confidence in maths declined among Year 9 pupils in England between 1995 and 2015, even as our attainment increased. This apparent paradox has been seen across a number of countries participating Read more ›

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Posted in International comparisons, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
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