Research Seminar, 11 November: Division and isolation following the tornado effect of the economic slump

October 30th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Research Seminar: ‘Findings from the “Hard Times” project: division and isolation following the tornado effect of the economic slump’

Dr Gabriella Elgenius, University of Gothenburg

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 11 November 2014, Room 639, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

 Abstract

Hard Times was a research collaboration between the University of Manchester and Harvard University, including a number of scholars linked to Professor Anthony Heath and Professor Robert Putnam, with the support of Tom Clark at The Guardian. The book – Hard Times – was published by Yale University Press in 2014.

The authors examined the effects of the recent economic downturn, which they label as the ‘nastiest’ recession, as opposed to the deepest or biggest, because of the inequality and social damage it has caused and because it is the worst slump since the Second World War. Moreover, the recession has hit vulnerable groups disproportionately: we are not “all in it together” as claimed by some politicians. The Hard Times Project builds on the social capital discourse as it investigates the effect of the economic crisis and its implications for communities in Britain.

This talk will address the main findings of the Hard Times project, focusing on the destructive effects on individuals and communities, and on the patterns of experiences of vulnerable groups (including the young, unemployed, ethnic minorities, single mothers, disabled, and groups with no secondary education) who have been hit hardest by the recession; and will demonstrate that the most vulnerable have taken the hardest hit – as if a tornado had swept through Britain.

Gabriella Elgenius is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, and Associate Member, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. Her research interests include Nationalism, Diasporas, Citizenship, Ethnicity and Identity Politics. She is working currently on research projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, the John Fell Fund, and by a Marie Curie Fellowship.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

Research Seminar: ‘The UK Productivity Puzzle’, 4 November

October 22nd, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Dr Alex Bryson, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 4 November 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

Abstract

The era of sustained economic growth enjoyed in the UK for nearly two decades was reversed almost overnight with the 2008 banking crisis.  Stock market crashes throughout the world were precipitated by investor uncertainty, firms suffered from sudden credit tightening, and demand for goods and services started falling.  Whilst many of these immediate responses to the banking crisis were common across the world, each country faced specific difficulties due to differences in the nature of their economies and institutions and the position they were in when the crisis hit.  The UK economy has performed particularly poorly in the intervening six years.  Output per head remains below its pre-recession peak due to a combination of remarkably sluggish GDP growth and higher-than-anticipated employment levels. This presentation reviews the literature on the UK’s productivity “puzzle”, examining some of the main culprits or suspects that may explain recent trends.  The second section contributes to the empirical literature by testing some hypotheses in new ways, in order to shed further light on patterns of productivity growth among British workplaces over the period 2004-2011. The third and final section looks to the future and comments on the prospects for UK productivity growth over the next decade or so.

Alex Bryson is Head of the Employment Group at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he has been working since October 2008.  He was previously Research Director at the Policy Studies Institute where he has worked for nineteen years.  He is also a Research Fellow at IZA, at Rutgers and at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.  His research focuses on industrial relations, labour economics and programme evaluation.  He is on the editorial board of the NIESR Economic Review and was previously an editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations.   In 2005-2006 he was the Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

Research Seminar: ‘The UK’s Productivity Puzzle: what do Workplace Data tell us?’, 4 November 2014

October 15th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments


Dr Alex Bryson, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 4 November 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

Abstract

The era of sustained economic growth enjoyed in the UK for nearly two decades was reversed almost overnight with the 2008 banking crisis.  Stock market crashes throughout the world were precipitated by investor uncertainty, firms suffered from sudden credit tightening, and demand for goods and services started falling.  Whilst many of these immediate responses to the banking crisis were common across the world, each country faced specific difficulties due to differences in the nature of their economies and institutions and the position they were in when the crisis hit.  The UK economy has performed particularly poorly in the intervening six years.  Output per head remains below its pre-recession peak due to a combination of remarkably sluggish GDP growth and higher-than-anticipated employment levels. This presentation reviews the literature on the UK’s productivity “puzzle”, examining some of the main culprits or suspects that may explain recent trends.  The second section contributes to the empirical literature by testing some hypotheses in new ways, in order to shed further light on patterns of productivity growth among British workplaces over the period 2004-2011. The third and final section looks to the future and comments on the prospects for UK productivity growth over the next decade or so.

Alex Bryson is Head of the Employment Group at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he has been working since October 2008.  He was previously Research Director at the Policy Studies Institute where he has worked for nineteen years.  He is also a Research Fellow at IZA, at Rutgers and at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.  His research focuses on industrial relations, labour economics and programme evaluation.  He is on the editorial board of the NIESR Economic Review and was previously an editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations.   In 2005-2006 he was the Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

Research Seminar: ‘Higher Education Reform under the Coalition’, 14 October 2014

October 1st, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Professor Andy Westwood, Guild HE

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 14 October 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

In this seminar, Andy will look at the main areas of Higher Education reform enacted by the Coalition government since 2010; their impact; and what it means for the future. He will also look at prospects for further reform after the 2015 General Election as well as which political party – or combination of parties – may be in Government at that time.

Andy Westwood is the Chief Executive at GuildHE, one of two formal representative bodies for Higher Education in the UK. He came to GuildHE from Whitehall where he spent five years as a special adviser to ministers in the Treasury, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Andy is a Professor of Politics and Policy at Winchester University, President of the OECD forum for Social Innovation, and Chair of the LLAKES Advisory Board.

Attendance at the seminar is free, but prior registration would be helpful; to register, please contact  llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

LLAKES Research Seminar, 30 September 2014

September 13th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

‘The Role of Education in Shaping the Disability-Wealth Penalty’

Dr Abigail McKnight, London School of Economics

2.30 to 4.00 pm, Tuesday 30 September 2014, Room 826, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

Abstract

This seminar will draw on the findings from a recently published working paper comparing the private wealth holdings of disabled people with their non-disabled peers -  ‘Disabled People’s Financial Histories: Uncovering the disability wealth-penalty’ (CASE paper 181).  This paper identifies a “disability wealth gap” but also shows how differences in wealth accumulation between these two groups need to be understood from a lifecycle perspective that takes into account the dynamics and persistence of disability.  The seminar will focus on understanding the role education plays in contributing to divergent patterns of wealth accumulation over the lifecycle.

Dr Abigail McKnight is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics.  She has researched many aspects of inequality and disadvantage, mainly related to the labour market.  This has spanned research on low wage employment, evaluation of active labour market programmes, earnings inequality and mobility through to the graduate labour market and household wealth.  She recently published, with her co-authors, the findings from a major international study of inequality, examining trends, impacts and policy effectiveness across thirty countries spanning a period of thirty years Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries and Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries; both published by OUP 2014.

CASE paper 181 is available at http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/casepaper181.pdf

To register for this event, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

LLAKES Autumn Research Seminars – Outline Programme

August 26th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

The outline autumn programme for the Autumn 2014 LLAKES Research Seminar series is now available:

30 September 2014: “The role of education in shaping the wealth-disability penalty”, Abigail McKnight, LSE. Room 834, 14.30-16.00.

14 October 2014: “Higher Education Reform under the Coalition”, Andy Westwood, GuildHE. Room 709a, 15.00-16.30

4 November 2014: “The UK’s Productivity Puzzle: What do Workplace Data tell us?”, Alex Bryson, NIESR. Room 709a, 15.00-16.30

11 November 2014: “Findings from the ‘Hard Times’ project: division and isolation following the tornado effect of the economic slump”, Gabriella Elgenius, SOAS. Room 639, 15.00-16.30.

25 November 2014: “The Challenges of a Knowledge Economy”, David Soskice, LSE. Room 728, 15.00-16.30.

2 December 2014: “Skills beyond School: The OECD review of postsecondary vocational education and training”, Simon Field, OECD. Room 784, 15.00-16.30

9 December 2014: “Conducting in-depth interviews with hard-to-reach youth: the benefits and challenges of peer-to-peer interviewing”, Avril Keating, IOE. Room 784, 15.00-16.30

Further details about each event will be posted closer to the respective dates. All seminars will be held at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0ALTo book a place at any seminar, please e-mail llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk.

 

 

 

 

Free schools opening in poor neighbourhoods but not reaching the poorest children

August 7th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

PRESS RELEASE: INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, LONDON

Free schools are failing to serve the neediest children in their areas, according to a new study from the Institute of Education (IOE), London.

It shows that schools in this flagship Government programme are opening in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but are taking fewer poor children (those receiving free meals) than the other local schools.

“The net effect is that the free secondary school pupils themselves are close to average for all English secondary schools, and the free primary school pupils very slightly better off,” says the study, published by the ESRC-funded Centre for Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES) and led by Francis Green, Professor of Labour Economics and Skills Development.

In addition, primary children who enter free schools are academically ahead of their peers. They have significantly higher levels of attainment than the average not only for their neighbourhoods, but for the country as a whole. “When it comes to evaluating the performance of primary free schools, it will be important to examine their value added, rather than their academic outcomes, which are likely to be better than average because of their intakes,” the researchers advise.

“It appears that, so far, the places in Reception at free primary schools are being filled by children who are somewhat less disadvantaged and more advanced in their development than the average. This outcome may be disappointing for the government, which had hopes that its free schools policy would be a vehicle for delivering social justice,” says Professor Green.

The report, published today, is the first academic study analysing the social composition of all the primary and secondary free schools over the first three years of the Government’s controversial programme. “By cumulating three years’ worth of intakes, we are now in a position to obtain robust findings. Using the National Pupil Database we examine available data for 88 primary and 63 secondary free schools that had opened by September 2013,” the paper explains.

Key findings are:

  • The government’s anticipation that free schools would emerge in disadvantaged neighbourhoods is, on average, vindicated: looking at the neighbourhoods of free schools, one can see that there is a slightly higher proportion of children entitled to free school meals (FSM) when compared to the rest of England: 22% compared with 17% at secondary level, and 18% compared with 16% at primary level.
  • However, critics’ concerns that the schools might become socially selective are also supported. Within the neighbourhood, fewer pupils actually attending the free schools were eligible for FSM – only 17.5% for secondary schools and 13.5% in primary schools. The net effect is that the free secondary school pupils themselves are close to average for all secondary schools, and the free primary school pupils very slightly better off.
  • In terms of prior achievement, there is a marked difference at primary level: the free schools children have a distinctly higher Foundation Stage Profile mean score (0.33) than elsewhere in the neighbourhood and the rest of England where it is close to zero. The difference is statistically significant at a high level.

A research briefing on The Social Composition of Free Schools after Three Years by Francis Green, Rebecca Allen and Andrew Jenkins is available here.

To speak to Professor Green contact him on f.green@ioe.ac.uk / 020 7911 5530.

Or contact Diane Hofkins, d.hofkins@ioe.ac.uk / 07976 703455

Or contact the IOE Press Office: j.russell@ioe.ac.uk / 020 7911 5556

Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES): This Economic and Social Research Council-funded research centre investigates the role of lifelong learning in promoting economic competitiveness and social cohesion, and in mediating the interactions between the two. Key areas of research include: i) the social and cultural foundations of learning, knowledge production and transfer, and innovation, within the context of a changing economy, and ii) the effects of knowledge and skill distribution on income equality, social cohesion and competitiveness. It has a programme of multi-disciplinary and mixed method research, which addresses these issues at the level of the individual life course, through studies of city-regions and sectors in the UK, and through comparative analysis across OECD countries. More at www.llakes.org

Economic and Social Research Council: The ESRC funds research into the big social and economic questions facing us today. We also develop and train the UK’s future social scientists. Our research informs public policies and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. Most importantly, it makes a real difference to all our lives. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.

Institute of Education

The IOE is a world-leading university specialising in education and the social sciences. Founded in 1902, the Institute currently has more than 7,000 students and 800 staff. In January 2014, the Institute was recognised by Ofsted for its ‘Outstanding’ initial teacher training across primary, secondary and further education. In the 2014 QS World University Rankings, the Institute was ranked number one for education worldwide. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the publications that the IOE submitted were judged to be internationally significant and over a third were judged to be “world leading”. The Institute is part of the University of London. www.ioe.ac.uk

Professor Lorna Unwin awarded OBE

July 25th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

The LLAKES Centre congratulates Professor Lorna Unwin – formerly Deputy Director of the Centre, and currently Honorary LLAKES Professor – on her award of an OBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to vocational education and training.

Workshop on OECD Survey of Adult Skills

June 6th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Tuesday 17 June 2014, 12.00 noon to 3.30 pm

Room 642, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

This event, organized by the Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES) draws on inputs from experienced researchers with a shared interest in enhancing the levels of knowledge and skills of the adult population.

The OECD Survey of Adult Skills (SAS), carried out as part of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assesses levels of competence of over 160,000 people in 24 countries across three main domains: literacy, numeracy and problem solving. While the strengths and weakness of the methodology are open to discussion, the results provide a useful baseline for comparative analysis and policy development. This workshop will address several aspects of the SAS results, and will attempt to develop conclusions for policy recommendations.

Programme

 12.00 noon – 12.45 pm              Buffet Lunch

12.45 pm – 1.00 pm                    Welcome and Introduction

1.00 pm – 1.45 pm                      John Field

Understanding lifelong learning: the case for a generational approach

 1.45 pm – 2.30 pm                     Andy Green and Nicola Pensiero

Adult Skills Inequality Compared across Countries: The Evidence from the OECD Survey of
Adult Skills and other International Surveys.

 2.30 pm – 3.15 pm                    David Mallows and JD Carpentieri

                                                       Using PIAAC for policy: do the numbers add up?

3.15 pm – 3.30 pm                    Summary discussion and close

Please register for the event by e-mailing llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

 

Pre-Election discussion contributions by LLAKES Professors

May 29th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

The Institute of Education has published a collection of think pieces from leading experts at the IOE, putting forward
in the run-up to the 2015 General Election. Two of these items are written by members of LLAKES: collection of think pieces from leading experts at the IOE, putting forward
their views

Professor Karen Evans – Safeguarding adult learning at the local level

Professor Alison Fuller – Towards expansive apprenticeships for youth transition.

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