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Do Key Stage 2 tests negatively affect children’s wellbeing?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital24 September 2021

John Jerrim.

Over the last couple of years, Key Stage 2 tests have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are, however, due to come back with a vengeance in 2022 – most likely to the delight of some, but to the despair of others.

The return of the Key Stage 2 tests is likely to be met with renewed accusations that they cause children a huge amount of stress along with calls from organisations such as More Than a Score that they should be scrapped.

But is there really good evidence that the Key Stage 2 tests negatively affect children’s wellbeing? Actually, the existing quantitative evidence on this matter remains pretty scant.

In my new paper published today I hence undertake (more…)

 Social inequalities – the report card

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 January 2017

Heather Joshi and Emla Fitzsimons .
In his speech to the 1999 Labour Party conference Tony Blair compared two babies in adjacent beds on a maternity ward, delivered by the same doctors and midwives but with two ‘totally different lives ahead of them’. One returns to a poor home where life is a struggle and potential ‘hangs by a thread’. The other returns to a prosperous home where ‘potential and individuality can sparkle’.
New Labour rhetoric was accompanied by a strong push to understand better both the reasons for such disparity in life chances and how they might unfold. Blair’s government backed the Millennium Cohort Study, which the Economic and Social Research Council commissioned.
With further support from government we were able to sample some 19,000 families with a baby born in 2000-1 and have (more…)

Children’s mental wellbeing and ill-health: not two sides of the same coin

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 October 2016

Praveetha Patalay. 
If I asked you what makes a child happy, one possible answer would be the opposite of what makes them sad. This would be considered a non-controversial response. The intuitive assumption when considering subjective wellbeing and psychological distress is that factors associated with one are associated with the other – albeit in the opposite direction. But what if we’re wrong? What if wellbeing and mental illness, or happy and sad, are not two sides of the same mental health coin?
ucl_children-mental-illness_wellbeing_blog_image_4b
We set out to investigate this question using data from more than 12,000 children born across the UK in 2000-01 who are taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). Our (more…)

Children of the new century: mental health at age 11

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 November 2015

Andy Bell
This week Centre for Mental Health and the University College London Institute of Education published new data showing that children from the lowest income families are four times more likely to have mental health problems than those from the highest earning backgrounds.
With funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Institute and the Centre have been studying data on the mental health of children born in 2000 and 2001 up to the age of 11. The children are all part of the Millennium Cohort Study, which collects anonymised information over a number of years about children born at the turn of the century.
Using reports from both parents and teachers, we now have information about the mental health of children (more…)