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Archive for the 'Employment and skills' Category

Making post-GCSE decisions during the Covid-19 crisis: the need for action

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 May 2020

Lorna Unwin, Ruth Lupton, Stephanie Thompson, Sanne Velthuis, republished from the BERA blog.

In the public debate about the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown on education, much attention has understandably been given to concerns about disadvantaged children falling behind at school, and to the potential impact of the estimation of examination grades on young people’s post-school prospects.

Much less has been heard about disruption to the practical processes that would normally be getting underway now as 16-year-olds decide their post-GCSE future. So it was good to hear David Johnston MP at the House of Commons’ education committee’s session with Gavin Williamson (starts 10.09am) urging the secretary of state to monitor destinations data as a measure of the Department for Education’s success in mitigating the impacts of the crisis. Responding, Williamson expressed concern that young people who are out of school or college this spring and summer may not be urged to take up the opportunities available to them.

Our ongoing research for the Nuffield Foundation focusses on the post-school transitions of young people who do not achieve the benchmark grade 4+ in English and maths. This group is more likely than their higher-attaining peers to be disadvantaged and/or to have special educational needs. In 2019, 23 per cent of
(more…)

How women managers close the gender wage gap

Blog Editor, IOE Digital24 October 2019

Alex Bryson, John Forth and Nikos Theodoropoulos 

In the last few decades there has been what has been called ‘a grand gender convergence‘. Women now outperform men in educational attainment and are closing the gap in labour market experience. 

These trends are common across much of the developed world. Yet a gender wage gap persists, with women earning substantially less than men. While the gap has been closing the rate of convergence is slow. Britain’s 1970 Equal Pay Act came into force in 1975 yet in 2017 the raw gender wage gap in median hourly pay was 18.4 per cent.

What can be done? In our study we ask: 

(more…)

Do people change their political ideology when they lose their job? If anything, they move to the left

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 August 2019

Dingeman Wiertz and Toni Rodon.

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in the wake of the Great Recession.

Nonetheless, many matters remain unresolved. For example, which types of preferences are affected? Are we mainly talking about views on concrete policy issues and politicians’ approval ratings, or are more deep-seated convictions such as political ideology also influenced? And are all people equally affected by experiences of economic hardship, or do such events elicit a bigger response from some groups than from others?

In a recently published study, we take these questions to the data. We (more…)

How the trade union approach to learning helps workers overcome maths phobia

Blog Editor, IOE Digital1 August 2019

Beth Kelly.

The more collaborative style of learning led by trade unions in the workplace helps people to become more motivated and confident about learning and using mathemtics. Indeed, my new research shows that even long-held negative feelings towards mathematics can be overcome.

The study, published in Motivating adults to learn mathematics in the workplace: a trade union approach, finds a strong link between developing adult learners’ confidence and the support provided by local social networks and the particular pedagogic processes promoted by trade unions in the workplace. However, there is still much debate about the value of using trade union resources to support such skills development. This is despite evidence from government-funded research showing that it is one of the ‘few effective existing models of work-based support for mathematics and English’ and (more…)

How an apprenticeship in the arts helps bridge the move from care into further education and fulfilling work

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 May 2019

Katie Hollingworth.

Young people who have been in care face significant obstacles as they make the transition into adulthood. Statistics on the outcomes for this group are troubling. Almost 40% of care experienced young people are not in education, training or employment at ages 19-21, compared with 13% of the age group overall.

Yet it is essential for these young people to have the rich range of opportunities available to others, to work in industry, government and the arts. Programmes such as ‘Tracing our Tales’, an art-based training scheme run by the Foundling Museum are making this possible.

Improving outcomes for care experienced young people is a key policy area (more…)

‘I don’t want to have to apologise for wanting a career at 60’: staff development for older workers

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 March 2019

Domini Bingham

Ageism is a dirty word, stretching across workplaces and society as a whole. Even if in principle equality and diversity are established by the law, the reality can be different, and a number of factors are in play. For example, it appears older workers are often passed over for learning opportunities, even if unconsciously so, despite wanting to continue working and developing.

Empowering older workers through learning and development turns ageing in workplaces on its head. In my new book, Older Workforces: Re-imagining Later Life Learningl seek to re-imagine how workplaces could capitalise on older workers’ (more…)

Michael Young: fighting for working class students’ access to knowledge

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 October 2018

John Morgan. 
The Guardian Education section last week published a profile of Michael Young, Professor of the Sociology of Education at UCL. Its author, Peter Wilby, charts what he saw as Young’s dramatic shift from countercultural figure on the educational left to alleged supporter of Michael Gove’s narrow view of the National Curriculum.
Wilby reverts to what has been described as the default settings of educational discourse in England, whereby to be in favour of the dissolution of subject boundaries is to be “progressive”, whilst to be in favour of strong subject boundaries is seen to be at best “traditional”, and at worst, “Conservative”. This could not be further from the truth. As Wilby acknowledges, Michael Young has always sought to advance the socialistcause in education.
The fact that he (more…)

It’s time to ‘open up physics’ if we want to bring in more girls and shift the subject’s declining uptake  

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 August 2018

Rebekah Hayes. 
Despite numerous campaigns over many years, getting more students to study physics after GCSE remains a huge challenge. The proportion of students in the UK taking physics at A level is noticeably lower than those studying other sciences. This low uptake of physics, particularly by girls, has implications not only for the national economy, but for equity, especially as it can be a valuable route to prestigious, well-paid careers.
The latest research from ASPIRES 2 explores why students do or do not continue with physics by focusing on students who could have chosen physics, but opted for other sciences instead.
ASPIRES 2 is a 10-year longitudinal study, tracking children’s science and career aspirations from ages 10–19. This briefing focuses on data collected when students were (more…)

Improving science participation: Five evidence-based recommendations for policy-makers and funders

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 May 2018

Science Capital Team. 
To continue with science post-16, young people must achieve certain levels of understanding and attainment. Crucially, they must also feel that science is a good ‘fit’ for them – that science is ‘for me’.
Drawing on more than five years of research conducted by the Enterprising Science project in classrooms and out-of-school settings, the team have developed five key recommendations for policy-makers and funders who want to broaden and increase young people’s engagement with science. These recommendations are set out in Improving Science Participation, a new publication (more…)

‘We’re preparing our army for the last war’: why the academic-vocational divide must fall

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 November 2017

IOE Events. 
Vocational education suffers from its second class status – variously seen as a ‘consolation prize’ and ‘for other people’s children’. It deserves better – for its own sake and for the sake of social justice, but also, as the speakers at the IOE’s second ‘What if…’ event this week noted, for the sake of our economy.
As Tony Little, chief academic officer of GEMS Education and former headmaster of Eton, remarked, ‘we’re preparing our army for the last war’; the economy and labour market are changing fast, and young people need a broader education. As evidenced by November’s Budget and Industrial Strategy, the government itself seems to have woken from its slumber on skills, and vocational education’s time has come (again). We have been here before, of course, so how can things be different this time around?
Also responding to the question, What if… we really wanted to overcome the academic-vocational divide? were (more…)