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Archive for the 'Social sciences and social policy' Category

Women in science: has Athena Swan lost its way?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 November 2021

Alice Sullivan and John Armstrong.

The Athena Swan charter was established in 2005 to advance the careers of female academics in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Yet it now discourages academic departments from collecting data on sex.

Athena Swan awards were designed to incentivise academic departments to support women. Monitoring gaps between men and women in recruitment and career progression was an essential criterion. Yet, Advance HE, which runs Athena Swan, now recommends data collection exclusively on gender-identity, not sex. As they state:  “Advance HE recommends asking a question about gender rather than asking a question about sex. This ensures equality efforts are … inclusive of a diverse range of gender identities.”

In common parlance, the term ‘gender’ is used as a synonym for sex, while sociologists often use ‘gender’ to (more…)

Pupils are not just citizens in waiting. They are already citizens, and they need more than political literacy

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 September 2021

By PGCE Citizenship students Madeleine Spink, Nikita Yadav, Joe Lewin, Farhana Khanom & Achintya Gupta supported by Hans Svennevig.

The establishment this year of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Political Literacy is welcome news for Citizenship teachers, as its aims assert the importance of young people having a strong political education in order to play an active role as citizens.

The APPG puts forward the idea of a Politics GCSE. As most of us are new alumni of the IOE’s PGCE citizenship programme we are strong advocates for comprehensive political literacy. But we want to set out the value of a broader approach. We urge the APPG to engage with the value of existing teaching and the unique elements of Citizenship as a subject, including the Citizenship GCSE.

How does Citizenship promote Political Literacy?

The National Curriculum for Citizenship, along with extensive work by the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) comprehensively outlines an education framework more than fit to engage pupils in politics, but also enhance this political literacy through deliberation. Notably, the three strands of Citizenship as outlined by the ‘Crick Report’ – social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy exemplify the way pupils learn about critical media literacy, how Parliament and (more…)

Making time to care: parental leave today and tomorrow

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 September 2021

darkside-550 / Pixabay

Peter Moss and Alison Koslowski.

Work-life balance and gender equality are firmly on today’s political agenda, nationally and internationally. Key to achieving both is parenting leave, including maternity, paternity and parental leave, as well as leave for parents to care for sick children. Our new report, freely available online, provides an invaluable source of information about parenting leave, in the UK and 46 other countries.

The annual international review on leave policies is produced by a network of experts from many countries, across six continents including nearly all of Europe. As well as full details of parenting leaves in all 47 countries covered and cross-national tables, the review has information on recent developments in leave policy, take-up, the relationship between leave policies and early childhood services, plus a section on responses to Covid, covering early childhood services, schools, changes to leave policies and other support for parents.

At 645 pages, the 17th annual international review of the leave network is hard to summarise. Here are just a few tasters. What’s immediately striking is the great diversity in how countries design and implement leave policies – even between member states of the European Union, where directives set minimum standards for (more…)

The London riots ten years on: how a crackdown on protest became their main legacy

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 August 2021

Matteo Tiratelli.

In the summer of 2014, I was called for jury service at the Inner London Crown Court. At the time, trials relating to the 2011 riots in England were still working their way through the court system, and one of my first cases involved a man who had been arrested near the site of the riots in Croydon, south London.

The original trial had broken down when the last set of jurors were given the man’s rucksack to examine and promptly discovered that the items contained within it didn’t match the police’s inventory. At the retrial, the police skirted over these investigatory errors. The jury eventually reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty.

This is just one example of the 3,000 plus arrests made in the wake of the English riots of 2011. But, for those not personally involved, one of the most remarkable things about those events was how (more…)

Why do British Bangladeshis have some of the worst Covid outcomes in the UK?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital9 July 2021

geralt / Pixabay

Victoria Redclift and Kusha Anand.

As the Government lifts the remaining Covid restrictions, many scientists, politicians and commentators fear that this latest phase of the pandemic will again bring greater risk to those with insecure and public-facing jobs. Many of these people are from ethnic minorities, and our recent research helps explain why they have been disproportionately affected throughout the past 18 months. It suggests that racial discrimination in employment has played a part.

The pandemic has drawn our attention to pre-existing inequalities. In the Covid-19 crisis, ethnic inequalities show up in two fundamental ways: first, through exposure to infection, and second, through the impact of lockdown on income.

At the same time, the consequences of the crisis are not uniform across minority ethnic groups. Understanding why these variations exist is imperative for thinking about the role policy can play in tackling inequalities. According to Public Health England, the people most at risk of dying of Covid have been of Bangladeshi ethnicity. They have been twice as likely to die as white British people and, if treated in (more…)

Exactly what is social care and how can we solve the crisis?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 July 2021

annawaldl / Pixabay

Claire Cameron, Peter Moss and Pat Petrie

Social care has been in crisis for years, now made even worse by the pandemic. All agree something must be done, many ‘urging the Government to act now’ – but we are still waiting. What can be done? The problem with ‘social care’ and a promising solution are the subjects of a new article we have published in the International Journal of Social Pedagogy.

In it, we argue that ‘working with people’ should become a rewarding, well qualified and properly funded enterprise, with a highly skilled workforce, and ask why Britain has taken such a different path from much of Europe.

The social care crisis is driven by several factors. ‘Social care’ covers a plethora of services for children and adults including elderly people with additional needs; working-age adults with mental and physical disabilities; and children and adolescents unable to live with their birth parents, assessed as ‘in need’ or subject to child protection (more…)

Let’s talk! What support do people need to thrive and recover from the pandemic?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 June 2021

Kimberly Loke and Keri Wong.

Pandemic fatigue is now a global phenomenon. Close to a third of workers in the Asia-Pacific region and 75% in the US arereporting symptoms of burnout and a February Ipsos MORI survey found that 60% of people were finding it more difficult to stay positive every day compared to pre pandemic times. While news of effective vaccines brings hope, many people will continue to struggle in months to come.

The latest on-going wave of data collected by the UCL-Penn Global COVID Study helps us understand what support participants and their family members need to thrive and recover from the pandemic (n= 336). While a small minority (9%) reported needing “nothing in addition to what they already have” and “would love to contribute to the local community”, we identified five key areas where people need support. These are: (more…)

Mental Health Awareness Week: listening to young people’s voices

Blog Editor, IOE Digital13 May 2021

chezbeate / Pixabay

Bea Herbert, Chris Bagley, Vivian Hill, Jaspar Khawaja.

As part of Mental Health Awareness week, the Government has announced £17 million to increase training and resources in schools and colleges to support children and young people’s mental health. However, without addressing the broader social circumstances that cause poor mental health, it is unlikely that such policies will resolve the growing mental health crisis.

Furthermore, to be effective, these interventions must be informed by young people’s perspectives about issues affecting their mental health and well-being.

The mental health charity States of Mind and the IOE’s Doctoral programme in Educational Psychology (DEdPsy) have been working together to elicit the voices of children and young people about how their educational experiences influence their mental health and well-being in a project called Education Futures in Action. We believe that understanding the causes of psychological distress, rather than just treating their symptoms, requires much greater attention, and must include young people’s perspectives in order (more…)

Will we have a Beveridge Report for ending the attainment gap?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 May 2021

IOE Events.

Just as one can’t out-exercise a bad diet, education policy and the efforts of schools and teachers can’t out-run societal inequalities.  But they can serve to exacerbate or  alleviate those inequalities.

The socio-economic attainment gap has been a long-standing focal point of education policy and debate, albeit not as long-standing as the attainment gap itself. It’s a gap that seems in some respects inevitable and intractable (and on that point it is sobering to remind ourselves that 14m people in the UK, around a fifth, live in relative poverty; that’s a third of children).  It is an aspect of education systems that leaves optimists fatalistic, and new teachers surprised to find themselves defending elements they never thought they would, such as high-stakes exams.

For our debate What if… we really want to close the attainment gap ‘post-Covid’? we were (more…)

Social and emotional skills: how early childhood living conditions can support or undermine equality of opportunity

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 May 2021

Ingrid Schoon

Children need certain social and emotional skills in order to adapt well to school and later life. This has become increasingly recognised in recent years, most notably by policy-makers. They have focused growing attention on how potential ‘character’, ‘non-cognitive’, or ‘soft’ skills can be developed in children and young people.

Social and emotional competences refer to a set of attitudes and behaviours, including motivation, perseverance, self-control, social engagement and collaboration (See here for more details). There is however no consensus about a key set of core social and emotional competences, and how these are defined and operationalised. Nor is there sufficient understanding of how social and emotional competences develop over time and in context.

New research from the IOE’s Social Research Institute (SRI) published in the British Education Research Journal suggests that some children need more support than others in developing socio-emotional competences, and that they need it at a young age. The support they need (more…)