Leaving and learning: should we raise the school leaving age?

Sarah Womack 150Sarah Womack is a former political and social affairs correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. Here she asks – should pupils stay in school until the age of 19?

This month (April 2017) marks the 70th anniversary of one of the UK’s most significant social reforms, but you probably couldn’t guess what it is. In 1947, when the school leaving age was raised from 14 to 15 – and, for the first time, there was secondary education for all – critics claimed there were not enough buildings or teachers to cope, and pupils would truant, leading to a crime wave. But serious revolt didn’t happen, and, 25 years later, the leaving age rose again to 16 – and, in 2013-15, participation in education or training was raised to 17, then 18. Continue reading

Planning for impact: helping universities make the most of their research

Louise Shaxson is manager of the Evidence & Policy Group (EPG) of the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme.  She is also a research fellow in the Overseas Development Institute‘s (ODI) Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme, which focuses on improving public sector policy and strategy within the broad framework of evidence-based policy making.
Louise Shaxson

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) continues to spark debate, with some fascinating work by public policy research organisation RAND on how universities submitted their impact case studies and how they were assessed, and by King’s College London on the nature, scale and beneficiaries of research impact.  We don’t know what exactly will happen next time, but assuming impact remains important, should universities begin to prepare now?

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After ‘posh and white’: the 50-year slog towards achieving educational equality

Elizabeth Houghton is a PhD student at Lancaster University.

Her research aims to address a gap in the literature on ‘marketised’ higher education  by examining students’ experiences of universities operating under neoliberal policies.

Elizabeth Houghton

Her piece ‘After “posh and white”: the 50-year slog towards achieving educational equality’ finished in the top 10 of the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065– in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE.  You can read it below:

On a summer’s day in 2015, in a small lecture theatre in London, a primary school student turned to his audience and said: “When we watch the news we’ve seen how university fees have risen so people from state schools feel like they can’t afford to go. All we see in the media is poshwhite kids going to university.”
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