Start with women and girls

Claire Leigh  |  12 July 2016

When the United Nations General Assembly agreed the Sustainable Development Goals last September, it replaced a famously ambitious agenda – the Millennium Development Goals – with an agenda so far-reaching that critics immediately set about dismissing it as the stuff of fairytales. The 17 ‘Global Goals’, as they are better known, set out stretching development …

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The BAME employment crisis

Samantha Jury-Dada  |  25 April 2016

Last week the Trades Union Congress released research that showed that BAME workers with degrees are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed. This is at the same time as the government pats itself on the back for falling unemployment numbers, while simultaneously failing to acknowledge that the last parliament saw a …

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We need space for new ideas on schools

Frazer Loveman  |  20 April 2016

Ever since last month’s budget, criticism of the Tories’ plans to force all schools to become academies has been unrelenting, with a wide and sometimes unlikely array of forces coming together to oppose the plans, from Labour critics and trade unions to Conservative councillors. The Labour party’s response that suggested the entire scheme could put …

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The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality

Nida Broughton  |  19 April 2016

The central argument of The Welfare Trait by Adam Perkins, an expert in the neurobiology of personality, is that the welfare state causes a proliferation of adults with ‘employment-resistant’ personalities, at great cost to society and the economy. The logic goes like this: People who claim welfare score lower on measures of personality like agreeableness …

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Standards, not standardise

Mark Rusling  |  7 April 2016

Big changes are not always wrong – but they require big justifications. England has never had a national school system. This government is proposing to create one for the first time, mandating that all 25,000 English schools will become academies by 2022, and that they will join multi-academy trusts. This is not just a big …

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We must devolve to tackle the Tories’ school places crisis

Lucy Powell MP  |  29 February 2016

As offers for secondary school places go out in the post today, parents of 10- and 11-year-olds will be bracing themselves. They will be hoping they will not be like one of the 84,000 families that did not get their preferred choice secondary school last year – a figure that could well rise again this …

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Lifting the socio-economic glass ceiling

Lee Elliot Major  |  24 February 2016

The Sutton Trust pioneered research into the educational backgrounds of those at the top of the United Kingdom’s professions when our first report, on the legal profession, was published a decade ago. Since then, we have studied a variety of fields: from members of the House of Commons, to leading news journalists, to those most …

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Entrenched inequality starts at birth

Wes Streeting MP  |  2 February 2016

England is becoming an increasingly divided nation where life chances are determined by postcode, rather than potential. The latest report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission lays bare the opportunity gulf between different parts of the country and, as the commission’s chair Alan Milburn puts it, ‘the gulf between the ambition of a …

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Being in government matters

Jacqui Smith  |  18 January 2016

I was a teacher for 11 years before I went into parliament in 1997. In Worcestershire, we had the dubious distinction in those Tory years of having the worst nursery education provision in the United Kingdom, which made us the worst in Europe. A Labour government changed that. I was fortunate to teach in one …

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What matters is what works. But what if we can’t figure that out?

Matthew Hood  |  18 January 2016

In almost all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries kids educated in the capital do worse than those educated outside of it. London bucks that trend. A number of studies are underway, each trying to discover the recipe for the magic sauce that has made it all happen. Even Nicola Sturgeon has put her …

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