Labour markets and trajectories of schools performance in england
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Labour Markets and Trajectories of Schools Performance in England. Ruth Lupton Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion London School of Economics. The data. State secondary schools : c3200 Construct trajectories for all schools present 1996 - 2009 even if:

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Labour markets and trajectories of schools performance in england

Labour Markets and Trajectories of Schools Performance in England

Ruth Lupton

Centre for Analysis of Social ExclusionLondon School of Economics


The data
The data England

  • State secondary schools : c3200

  • Construct trajectories for all schools present 1996 -2009 even if:

    • Closed and re-opened as new school/Academy

    • Moved to new buildings

    • Acquired specialism, changed gender etc

  • At this stage using single measure: 5 A*-C GCSE

    • Only measure consistently collected

  • More to be done with other measures over shorter periods, also rolls, SEN, history of school closures, and private schools

  • Matching to labour market data (TTWA)

    • 1971-1991 trends (with difficulty)

    • 2000s JSA claimant count – others to follow

  • Later also to neighbourhood characteristics


The context
The context England

  • Broad policy consensus (since late 1970s?) on labour market/education/equalities:

    • Competitive position in global knowledge economies requires high skills and knowledge: search whole pool to identify talent

    • Jobs and labour are increasingly mobile

    • Knowledge economies can give rise to increasingly unequal labour markets and to exclusion. Social mobility in this situation requires more and better jobs AND equal access. So do social cohesion and inclusion.

  • And the sociology of individualisation: learners create individual biographies through choices drawing on a wide range of global influences


Policy response
Policy Englandresponse

  • Focus on academic outcomes (in the absolute) rather than engagement or progress

  • Focus on ‘closing the gap’ although no consensus on what an acceptable gap could be or importance of gap relative to absolute levels

  • Individual school-based approach to raising standards:

    • Strong accountability regime

    • Re-provisioning in areas of ‘failure’ (threshold approach)

    • Marketisation to enhance competition

    • Generic school improvement measures

    • Some redistribution to schools poorer areas

    • Wider range of equivalent (vocational qualifications)

  • Social and economic influences addressed through early years provision, extended schools

  • More recently, focus on raising aspirations and on parenting. Getting people to exercise their agency for maximum individual benefit


Critiques
Critiques England

  • The goal is wrong: justice is about recognition as well as redistribution and/or recognition is a means to an end

  • Still more to do in contextualising school improvement strategies to recognise different circumstances

  • Marketisation leads to worse outcomes for the worst off

  • Patterning of attainment suggests strong structural forces remain influential.

    • Is it just a matter of time before people get the message?

    • Is it poverty that holds people back?

    • Do labour market realities look different to the people at the bottom?

  • Class cultural inheritances a) persist and b) have value


Gcse points by decile group of neighbourhood deprivation
GCSE points by EnglandDecile Group of Neighbourhood Deprivation

Source: National Equality Panel



Median school performance by 1996 quintile group schools
Median EnglandSchool Performance by 1996 Quintile Group (schools)


Labour markets and trajectories of schools performance in england

Median School EnglandPerfomanceby 1996 Quintile Group (TTWAs)


School trajectories are uneven number of ups 1996 2009
School trajectories are uneven: EnglandNumber of ‘Ups’ 1996-2009


Bumpy trajectories at the bottom
Bumpy trajectories at the bottom England

Bottom Decile Group

Top Decile Group


Big jumps
Big jumps England


Labour market links weaken
Labour market links weaken England

  • In 1996 half of the lowest performing fifth of schools in just 10 TTWAs

  • In 2009, spread across 24 TTWAs

  • No particular relationship to labour market characteristics (1991) or trends in 2000s


So can all schools do it agency not structure
So can all schools do it? EnglandAgency not structure

  • What is it?

    • Implausible that rapid year-on-year leaps are really about school quality

  • In any case

    • There are within labour market factors that structure performance – school markets, demographics, institutional contexts

    • Schools are in some cases in symbiotic relationship


A tale of two schools
A tale of two schools England

Attainment 5 A-C

Roll


Implications
Implications England

  • Labour market influences need to be understood at individual rather than school level

    • Need for a fresh debate about what constitutes success (supported by longitudinal research)

  • Abandon a threshold approach to school improvement and re-provisioning

  • Less focus on individual schools – more on areas as a whole (not necessarily local authorities)