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Who is included, who is excluded and what can we do to promote inclusion for all children?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 June 2021

Claire Cameron, Jo Van Herwegen, Mark Mon-Williams, Aase Villadsen.

“Covid 19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations,” says UNICEF in its recent analysis. And children “are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline”.

This, in turn, threatens to broaden the group of children at risk of exclusion – not just for misbehaviour, but because they have needs that are not being met. The danger is that, in the pandemic’s aftermath, we focus on ‘catch up’ learning for the relatively advantaged, and neglect the long-term health, wellbeing, and competency benefits of inclusive education for all students – especially those who are poor and ‘near poor’.

Now is the time to think how we can organise structures, services, and systems in every school so that all (more…)

Cutting through the noise: mobilising data and generating impact during a global pandemic

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 June 2021

A father, wearing a face mask, hugs his young daughterRob Davies.

In May 2020, I highlighted the need to harness the power of longitudinal population studies to help understand the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic on individuals, families and communities and called for the creation of a new national birth cohort study to ensure that valuable data from a generation born during a global pandemic is not lost.

As the UK moves into a new phase of its COVID-19 response I explore what happened over the past year and how our work ensured that longitudinal data and research will remain at the forefront of the country’s response (more…)

Inequalities in education and society: the home, the school and the power of reading

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 August 2019

This blog is based on Professor Alice Sullivan’s inaugural professorial lecture, presented at the UCL Institute of Education on 18 June 2019

Much of my work concerns the way that advantage and disadvantage are passed down from one generation to the next. So, for example, why do middle class kids do better in education than working class kids? And, why is there a link between social class origins in childhood and socioeconomic destinations in adulthood?

Sociologists sometimes call this relationship the OED triangle, where O stands for socioeconomic origins, E stands for Education and D stands for destinations in adult life. Social reproduction occurs when there is a close relationship between origins and destinations, and social mobility when that relationship is broken by a move up or down the social ladder.

During the course of my career I’ve worked on a set of interrelated questions regarding educational and social inequalities, and these are the questions I will address here:

(more…)

How well-off and healthy were my parents when I was little? Am I a hard-working high flier, or an advantaged one?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 August 2019

Gabriella Melis and Ingrid Schoon.

Our research looked at how inequalities amongst families in the 1970s in England have been passed on onto their offspring when they were adults themselves. We call the parent’s generation G1, and the offspring generation, born in 1970, G2.

Drawing on data from the British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70), we considered several measures of socio-economic and health-related risk factors for both the parents (G1) and their children (G2) ­at age 42. The data covered around 11,000 individuals and their families over a 42-year timespan, which makes our sample a very robust one for the study of transmission of inequality from one generation to the next.

We found that individuals who grew up in more disadvantaged families are significantly more likely to end up in disadvantaged socio-economic and health conditions by age 42 when compared to those from relatively more privileged families. This is true, in particular, for those from families where the parents were physically ill or depressed. There is however also a considerable degree of social mobility, for some (more…)

The UK’s unique scientific versions of the 7-Up series

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 June 2019

Alissa Goodman.

I first encountered the brilliant Michael Apted 7-Up TV series as a 9 year old (pictured) in primary school, back in 1981, not long after 21-Up had been made. Instead of lessons, our teacher Miss Price let us watch TV over several afternoons. I remember watching, captivated, as the lives of the children unfolded, from (as we saw it then) tiny little 7 year olds, through to awkward teenagers, and into late 1970s youth.

Some of the captivation was simple: the mystery of life, and what happens next, resolving before our very eyes. But there was also a more serious lesson: that our social and economic circumstances from birth and onwards fundamentally shape our lives, and who we become. (more…)

Generation Gifted: the statistical data behind the personal stories

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 February 2018

 
Heather Joshi
While personal stories contain a depth of detail that cannot be collected on a grand scale, statistical evidence provides the background against which exceptional cases can be seen in wider perspective. BBC2’s ‘Generation Gifted’ documentary series is following six teenagers, selected at age 13 as having exceptional promise despite exceptionally difficult home backgrounds. The intention is to follow them until they are at least 16 and take their GCSEs.
The series not only shines a spotlight on the obstacles to social mobility, but it also helps illustrate a reason for having large-scale longitudinal studies, such as those within the CLOSER consortium. These have been a major source of evidence on the inequality of life chances between children born to rich and poor parents. They put numbers to the extent of social mobility (more…)

Give it time

Blog Editor, IOE Digital31 October 2016

Alissa Goodman and Alice Sullivan.
Recent political events have focussed minds on society’s deeply rooted inequalities and their long-reaching consequences. The gap between the rich and poor is growing as is the gap between generations – a recent IFS report found that people born in the 1980s had only half the wealth by their early 30s that the generation born ten years earlier had had at the same age. Social mobility is stagnant at best, causing concern across the political spectrum. Problems such as depression and obesity grow apace. How can we best understand and solve these social challenges? (more…)

Our 6th form research analysts

Blog Editor, IOE Digital2 September 2016

 
The Nuffield Research Placement programme allows 1,000 students in the first year of post-16 education who want to go on to study Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths at university to gain some work experience in their field of interest. It’s (usually) done during the summer for around four weeks. Students who don’t have a family history of going to university or who attend schools in less well-off areas are encouraged to apply.
For the past three years, the IOE’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies has provided work placements to five Nuffield students. Over the course of their placements, the (more…)

Your vocabulary aged 40 depends on how much you read as a teenager

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 November 2014

Originally posted on The Conversation
Alice Sullivan
Reading for pleasure as a child has been powerfully linked in research to the development of vocabulary and maths skills up to the age of 16. But does reading still have a part to play in the breadth of our adult vocabulary? Does it matter what kind of books you read, or is it just the amount of reading that counts? (more…)

Boyhood: the first longitudinal movie?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 August 2014