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13 June 2019 | City, University of London

Sir Roger Jowell Memorial Lecture 2019

Roger Jowell V01 S

An uneven playing field: the causes and consequences of social inequalities in education.

Register here.

Professor Alissa Goodman and Rt Hon David Laws will deliver the sixth annual lecture in memory of NatCen’s co-founder Professor Sir Roger Jowell.

In this lecture Professor Alissa Goodman will talk about her research on inequalities, showing how longitudinal data is being used to understand both the causes and consequences of educational disadvantage in the UK. She'll present findings on social inequalities in education today using new data from Millennium Cohort Study, linked for the first time to GCSE outcomes.  She will also show some of the longer-term effects of educational inequalities, drawing on an innovative project using the age 11 essays in the 1958 National Child Development Study, looking at how language differences at age 11 have long-term predictive power for the future.

Speaking to the policy implications of educational disadvantage, Rt Hon David Laws will present findings from the Education Policy Institutes’ research on the evolution of the disadvantaged gap, by phase, pupil type and area over the last decade. He will examine what the evidence suggests may be behind the trends in the gap, where policy suggests we should focus next to maintain the pressure to narrow gaps and what the political context is. Mr Laws will also make suggestions on how policy makers can be encouraged to continue to support this agenda.

Sir Roger Jowell, CBE (26 March 1942 - 25 December 2011), was an outstanding British social statistician and academic. He founded Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR) - now NatCen Social Research - and established the European Social Survey (ESS) at City, University of London. He played a leading role in the establishment of several of the UK's leading social surveys, most famously the British Social Attitudes and the British Election Study. Sir Roger also made a major contribution to the development of robust comparative research, through both the International Social Survey Programme and the ESS.


Professor Alissa Goodman, University College London Institute of Education Alissa Goodman

Alissa is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the University of College London Institute of Education's Department of Social Science.

She is the Principal Investigator of the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and is currently leading the team responsible for the design and content of the study's major new age 62 sweep.

Professor Goodman's main research interests relate to income inequality, poverty, education policy, and the transmission of wellbeing between generations. She previously served as Deputy Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, Britain's leading independent microeconomics research institute.

Rt Hon David Laws, Executive Chairman, Education Policy Institute David Laws

David joined the Education Policy Institute as Executive Chairman in September 2015.

Between 2010 and 2015, David served in the Coalition Government as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Schools Minister, and Cabinet Office Minister. Whilst Schools Minister he was responsible for policy areas including all capital and revenue funding, the Pupil Premium, accountability and policy on teachers and leadership.

David was Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 2001 until 2015. David graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, with a double first-class honours degree in economics and worked at J.P. Morgan and Barclays de Zoete Wedd.

Chair: Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education, University of CambridgeAnna Vignoles 

Professor Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on widening participation in higher education, social mobility, the impact of school resources on pupil achievement and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement.

Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance and the economic value of schooling.

Anna has advised numerous government departments, including the Department for Education, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and HM Treasury. She provided advice to the Browne Review of Higher Education Funding, the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee investigation of higher education funding, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee, as part of their inquiry into education and training opportunities for young people, and Lord Leitch's Review of Skills.

Event details

Date: Thursday 13th June

Time: 18:00 - 19:30

Location: Oliver Thompson Theatre, Tait Building, City, University of London, Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB

The event will be followed by a drinks reception

NatCen Social Research, City University of London and The Social Research Association are organising this sixth annual memorial lecture in recognition of the outstanding contribution that Sir Roger Jowell made to social science. ​

Register here.

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