What links oxbow lakes, metacognition and employability skills? We’ll get to that shortly.  But first, if you want to know what works in creating social opportunity through education, you’d be hard pressed to find a better expert than Lee Elliot Major, former chief executive of The Sutton Trust and now Exeter University’s professor of social mobility. Yesterday he gave a lecture at the Institute of Education (well, virtually) in which one slide pretty much summed up the toolkit produced by the Education Endowment Foundation and the content of his own book (with co-author Steve Higgins) What Works.  (Thanks to Lee for permission to use the slideRead More →

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I’d got into a correspondence with teacher and author Matt Pinkett about whether young people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – should aspire to university. Matt suggested that perhaps young people should set their sights on the career they want and, if they can’t make serious progress towards it as they leave school, then they should consider university as a back-up – a ‘failsafe’, as he called it.  After our previous discussions, he asked what I thought about this. This was my response (with a few edits to make it a blog more than a emailRead More →

Read Fairer funding: the case for a graduate levy (HEPI Policy Note) and, exclusively on this site, Fairer funding: the case for a graduate levy (full proposal). What I’d like for Christmas: We should abolish tuition fees. We should fund English universities well enough that they can continue to be among the best in the world. We should match graduates and jobs so that they have the right skills to get jobs they want and succeed in them. We should ensure that the nation’s skills gaps are plugged.  We shouldn’t ask the taxpayer to pay for more than the public benefit of higher education.  IsRead More →