Posted by & filed under Author Q & A, News.

According to The Department of Education, current statistics show that only 15% of primary school teachers in the UK are male.

Dr David Brody, chair of the Early Childhood Department and Academic Dean of the Efrata College of Education in Jerusalem, Israel, is the author of Men Who Teach Young Children: An international perspective. David reveals that the percentage of male teachers in Early Education ranges from 0.0043% in Israel to 11% in Norway.












Men Who Teach Young Children presents biographies of six talented men from Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel and the United States, who have all been working with the youngest children for many years. A cultural lens is used to understand their motivations and reveal the difficulties they faced in choosing the profession, getting trained, working with young children and their parents, and opting to remain in the field.

In an interview for the early childhood website, Storypark, David tells Megan from Mat Time why male teachers are needed in Early Education.

You can watch the interview here:

The role of men in teaching | Dr. David Brody

Posted by & filed under News.

Launch of Voices in the Air: Making sense of policy and practice in education by Chris Husbands

UCL IOE Press hosted a book launch party last Monday, celebrating the publication of Chris Husbands’ new book, Voices in the Air.

This dynamic new collection of journalism and policy commentary was written during Professor Husbands’ directorship at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). Friends, colleagues and journalists turned up to the launch held at Blackwell’s Bookshop at the IOE.

The evening began with a warm welcome Chris Husbands Book Launchfrom Laura McInerney, the editor of Schools Week. Laura talked about how she picked up the book on her first day of holiday and was in ‘tears – and hysterics’ by the time she got to page 3. A wave of glee rose from the guests as Laura remarked on blog posts covering topics ranging from a 1940s Meccano manual to the case against grammar schools.

Laura concluded by asking, ‘What do school exams and phone hacking have in common?’ She advised the audience to read page 81 to find out.

Following Laura’s amusing presentation, Professor Husbands stepped forward to reflect on the art of blogging and his thoughts and experiences as Director.

Other guests at the launch included Becky Francis, new Director of the UCL Institute of Education, Mary Stiasny, Geoff Whitty, Titus Alexander and Hugh Starkey.


Professor Chris Husbands has been Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University since January 2016. He was Director of the Institute of Education between 2011 and 2015, leading the merger of the IOE with UCL.

Buy now: Voices in the Air

Posted by & filed under Author blogs.

How do we teach children about modern day issues such as fear of immigrants and terrorism?

By Marie Parker-Jenkins

New arrivals from the Syrian War have placed the footlight on key issues of immigration and identity. For many, identity is multi-faceted but religion can be a key factor. After fleeing war-torn countries, people may wish to unite around their religious community – particularly if the reason for leaving is connected to freedom from religious persecution. This has been the experience of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the recent Middle East conflict.

Reaching In, Reaching Out discusses how parents are attracted by the opportunity for their children to attend a religious school which reflects the values of the home. Dating back to the 19th Century, there has traditionally been state-funded support for Christian schools in the country – later extended to those established by Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. In such institutions there tends to be more consensus about religious instruction, pupil uniform and school curriculum, which serves as a uniting force.

Added to this, the experience of hostility and discrimination from the wider society can reinforce a decision for people to reach in, as the religious school community is seen as a safe haven from racism. Some institutions may be seen as ‘fortress schools’ in terms of needing a high level of security from this external hostility. Although religious communities have different capacities in terms of financial and social capital to mobilize, crucially they aim to provide a secure environment for their pupils. Only from a position of security is a faith school likely to feel comfortable in reaching out to the external community.

Developing mutual respect and tolerance have been strained recently, in part due to the ongoing fear of terrorism. In the UK, Germany and elsewhere there are calls for more national unity as a reaction to these events. Multiculturalism has been judged to have failed and to have encouraged tolerance of the intolerant.

The move to the political right

Far Right politics show a backlash to the recent flow of migrants entering Europe and a fear of immigrants. In the USA, Donald Trump has capitalized on this, expressing what others may be too fearful to say in a ‘politically correct’ society. So dislike of gays, Muslims, women, disabled and Black communities have all featured in his political statements. Such discourse is said to help legitimize violence, a suggested motive in the death of MP Jo Cox prior to the Brexit vote to leave the European Union.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, which was significantly influenced by issues of immigration and prejudice, how should we move forward?

We are now confronted by the ‘Prevent’ strategy, designed to stop people become or support terrorists, and the promotion of fundamental ‘British Values in Schools’ as part of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. These policies have replaced the community cohesion and ‘Big Society’ agenda. While the early initiatives focused on all communities, the Prevent and BVS strategies seem to be targeting immigrants and Muslim children in particular, along with a shifting emphasis from learning to live together to preventing and combatting radicalization.

From the Bataclan to the burkini

This sense of unease is felt elsewhere. France particularly has been caught up in debates of immigration, racism and the extent of tolerance towards those who are different. Under French law (1905), the separation of state and religion has led to the development of a secular state which has influence over all aspects of life including choice of dress by religious groups.

If a French House of Fashion introduced beach wear akin to a wetsuit to protect against the elements, it is not likely to be seen as a symbol of terrorism. Yet the use of the burkini or full-cover swimwear has recently led to this allegation, raising issues of gender and choice of dress in the public domain. Ordering Muslim women to take off their clothes at French beaches demonstrates increasing fear, particularly since the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Bataclan attack. People are understandably concerned about national security, but the misguided attempt to ban the burkini was not the way forward.

Unwillingness to integrate in a new society and a desire to have facial covering is perceived as failing to interact and being divisive. This is played out in the media on a daily basis. Muslim women who choose to wear the ‘hijab’ head covering, the ‘niqab’ veil or full gown ‘burqa’ are perceived by some sections of the media as symbolizing terrorism in our midst.

So what is the role of schools in this culture of fear?

Schools are the space where children and young people learn about others; they are not neutral places. Religious school communities claim they do not preach intolerance and that violence and terrorism is antithetical to their beliefs. Yet faith schools and particularly those based on Islamic principles have been singled out as allegedly preaching intolerance.

What should be the position and role of religious schools? Some advocate their abolition, citing them as responsible for the present state of affairs. That is unlikely to happen, not just as a result of a potential backlash from the 11 state-funded Muslim schools in the country, but from Christian and other religious communities which operate nearly six and a half thousand schools.

There is a shift from welcoming minority groups and religious communities to viewing them with suspicion. One of the things we know about young people attracted to terror groups is the lack of belonging. Bridging the gulf between people is through embedded and sophisticated forms of engagement as part of the way forward.

There is responsibility on all sides. Faith schools aim to provide children with a roadmap for their lives but they should not have a license to deny their pupils access to knowledge and appropriate links to the wider society. All schools regardless of their religious character need to make efforts to connect with and engage on behalf of their pupils.  There are a range of possibilities as shown in the book: not for pupils to be in competition, like at sports events, but in cooperation, to work with and learn from each other.

In our lifetime this has never been more vital as we help support young people’s fear of others, played out in the media – and at times expressed in the schoolyard.

Importantly, fear should be dealt with by talk, opening up age-appropriate dialogue and providing opportunities to learn positively about people outside your own religious or non-religious group.

Marie Parker-Jenkins is Professor of Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, researching issues of social justice with particular reference to ‘race’ and ethnicity. Before having an academic career in the UK, she lectured in Bermuda, Canada and Australia where she obtained practical knowledge of children from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is the author of over 100 publications including books, reports, conference and journal articles. Her research has included study of the expansion of religious schools, particularly those based on an Islamic ethos; and in her consultancy capacity, she has provided workshops on such subjects as citizenship, community and social identity. She has taught in five universities before coming to Limerick, and her current research is concerned with responding to diversity within the Irish context.

Buy Reaching In, Reaching Out: Faith schools, community engagement, and 21st-century skills for intercultural understanding









Posted by & filed under News.

By Michael White (Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster) and Alex Bryson (University College London,

Has the employment of non-UK workers – particularly those from the European Union – reduced wages in Britain, and if so, by how much? Could restrictions on the employment of EU workers benefit British employees by driving their wages up?

Our research shows that:

  • The reduction in wages when using EEA workers (most of whom are from the EU) is quite small
  • Any wage rise from a restriction on EU workers could be cancelled out by using the same numbers of temporary or agency workers. These have virtually the same small effect in reducing wages as does the use of EU workers.
  • Wage reductions are considerably greater where employers use workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), than when they use EEA workers. Substitution of EEA workers by non-EEA workers, if allowed by future UK governments, could drive wages down.

The background

One of the arguments put forward on the Brexit side of the Referendum debate is that the current employment of EU nationals, who have the right of free movement in the EU, pushes down wages. So by restricting the employment of workers from the EU, workers’ wages can be increased.

The economic argument is straightforward: with fewer people available for jobs, firms have to increase their wage offers to get workers (at least in the short run).

The evidence

We use information about workplace employment and wages provided by managers responsible for personnel, as part of the Workplace Employment Relations Survey of 2011. This survey is representative of British workplaces with at least 5 employees.

We analyse information from 2100 workplaces, both private sector and public sector.

From the information supplied, we calculate the median average wage for each workplace. This is the ‘middle’ wage that has half the employees earning more and half earning less.

We also have information about the numbers of EEA workers and other non-UK workers who were employed at each workplace. (The EEA comprises all the EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.)

The analysis

We analyse how much the average workplace wage varies depending on the proportion of total workplace jobs filled by EEA and by non-EEA workers from outside the UK.

We take account of many other factors that influence the average wage, using standard statistical methods to adjust the figures appropriately.  Details are given in our technical note appended.

Key results

Employers drawing 10% of their employees from the EEA pay an average wage that is 0.75% less than a similar employer with no EEA workers. This estimate includes both the private and public sectors.

  • The estimate of the wage reduction could arise by chance 1 in 16 times and so is not fully reliable.
  • Taking it at face value, however, the difference amounts to about £3.90 per week for a full-time employee at the present average wage level (which is about £530 per week).
  • There is a larger difference in the wage when an employer employs workers from outside the EEA. Filling 10% of jobs with these non-EEA workers, the employer can expect the average wage to be 1.9% lower compared with a similar employer having no non-EEA workers.
  • The estimate for the non-EEA effect on the average wage is highly reliable, as it would arise by chance less than 1 in 100 times.

The results in perspective

If it was made difficult to employ overseas EU workers, employers would look elsewhere to fill the gap. One obvious way of doing so would be to employ people on temporary or agency contracts.

The effect of EEA employment in reducing average wages is virtually identical to the effect of employing people on temporary or agency contracts.

If the reduction in EEA employment was matched by a corresponding increase in temporary or agency contracts, the net effect on wages would be nil.

Another option for employers facing reduced opportunities to recruit from the EU/EEA would be to increase recruitment from non-EEA countries. Our results indicate that this would lead to a larger reduction in average wages.

Where cuts in EU employment would bite

Cuts in EU or EEA employment would disproportionately affect those workplaces currently employing them in large numbers.

In 2011, only 15% of workplaces had EEA workers filling 10% or more of their jobs.

So the majority of workplaces would feel little pressure to increase wages if the recruitment of EEA workers was limited, because they already do not rely on this source.

The workplace average of EEA employment, as a proportion of total jobs, is 19% for hotels and catering, for manufacturing 8%, for business services 7% and for health 7%. These are the industries that would feel most pressure if EEA recruitment was restricted.

But hotels and catering, business services and health already get substantial proportions of their workforce from overseas non-EEA countries, and are therefore well-placed to increase recruitment from those sources (unless restricted by government).


The contention that employment of EU workers pushes down British wages substantially is not supported. Instead, the effect is rather small and weak – especially if compared with the effect of employing non-EEA workers.

Restricting the employment of EU workers would raise British wages only if employers could not find equally inexpensive recruitment sources. But British employers already use temporary and agency contracts to fill workforce gaps, and in some industries they already use many non-EEA overseas workers as well. These sources provide alternatives to employing EU workers and could lead to still lower average wages for British workers.

A technical note providing further details of the analysis is available to download.

Posted by & filed under News.

Launch of Learning in Womanist Ways by Jan Etienne

Trentham Books at UCL IOE Press hosted a packed seminar and book launch party recently with around 200 movers and shakers from the African Caribbean community and beyond.

Learning in Womanist Ways presents theatrical scenes telling the true stories of first-generation African Caribbean women and their experiences of lifelong learning. The launch kicked off with a seminar at Birkbeck discussing themes of the book. On the discussion panel were Heidi Safia Mirza, an internationally renowned professor of race, faith and culture, and Dr Roz Dixon, Assistant Dean and Pro-Vice-Master at Birkbeck.

After the seminar, there was a launch party at the UCL Institute of Education featuring introductions from writer Fyna Dowe, Trentham publisher Gillian Klein and Dawn Butler, MP Brent Central. This was followed with readings from Dawn Joseph, Hurmine Dormer Dobson, Palmela Witter and Ninia Benjamin.

A comedian and actress best known for her role in hit TV show 3 Non-Blondes, Ninia Benjamin read an excerpt from the book of an interview with Alphena, a 61-year-old community volunteer tutor passionate about teaching French Creole patois:

You know it’s never too late to learn. We have a language which is slowly dying because our parents failed to see its significance, especially those misguided parents who come to build up this big country … My father is a Dominican and my mother was from St Lucia and she would Mamaguise me all the time to turn me away from speaking patois. But growing up I know it was part of my identity and made sure patois was part of my vocabulary. It never left me. (p. 136)

After the readings, author Jan Etienne spoke of her experiences interviewing over 100 women across 11 UK cities for the book, and her efforts to capture the nature of Caribbean womanist learning, a black feminist perspective where women provoke, coerce and challenge each other in a way that generates confidences and inspires others. Her work reveals the social and cultural identities brought to lifelong learning, illustrating solidarity in Caribbean sisterhood as black women find ways to rise above the challenges presented by learning in a climate of uncertainty in which cuts to public services impact on their daily lives.

The party continued as queues to buy copies of the book and have it signed by Jan Etienne snaked round the room, while other guests enjoyed rum punch and Jamaican patties.

[Videography by Wood Green Films]

Posted by & filed under Author blogs.

by Geoff Whitty

In 2005 it was my turn to deliver the British Educational Research Association (BERA) presidential address, typically a ‘state of the nation’ review for education research. I considered many topics, but an overwhelming issue for the education research community at the time was the ‘what works’ agenda and its implications for the kinds of research that would continue to command funding. After consultation with colleagues, that is what I chose to focus on. Our concern was that this agenda would narrow the discipline of education, on a false prospectus of determining policy. Actually, in our political system research evidence is just one factor among many in policy decisions – and often a relatively insignificant one at that.

At the time, the address received a mixed reception: many welcomed my defence of the breadth of our discipline, but some colleagues working in the ‘what works’ mould rejected what they saw as its premise that researchers and policymakers were necessarily on ‘different sides’. But that reading was not my intention. I simply wanted to highlight the messy and often indirect relationship between research and policy and the way in which all kinds of research could usefully input to public and policy debate about our education system – and the need for this to be reflected in research funding policy.

Ten years on, my UCL Institute of Education colleague Emma Wisby and I have revisited the BERA address as part of my new publication, Research and Policy in Education: Evidence, ideology and impact. In policy circles the cause – certainly the rhetoric – of ‘evidence-based policy’ and the corollary of ‘research for use’ has risen in prominence over the past decade. In higher education the mantra is now that of ‘research impact’. Together, they have generated a lot of noise – as well as the ‘assessment driven hyperactivity’ that Alis Oancea has written of, not least in the form of the REF impact case studies and the related industries they have spawned. Yet, many of the issues I discussed in 2005 remain unresolved. Indeed, over-claiming about the potential for evidence-based policy seems more pronounced than ever, supported by the growth of ‘what works’ advocacy.

The contribution of the Alliance for Useful Evidence and its constituent organisations has been considerable in removing the obvious barriers to bringing research, policy and practice communities closer together – including in terms of how research agendas are set and how the findings are presented. Such advocacy, however, has not typically engaged with the limitations of the research-policy relationship, other than to decry examples of ‘policy-based evidence’. As a result we have no idea of what success would look like for them; in the meantime, this shapes a particular environment for research funding policy.

To take another very practical and symbolic example of how this debate has evolved: our education system certainly needs the Education Endowment Foundation, and I welcome the part it is playing in strengthening quantitative research in education. Yet it has sometimes given the impression that all policy and practice in education needs is findings from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). It is important for education research to be able to ask other questions as well as ‘what works’, including (as is increasingly being recognised) why something works and why it works in some contexts and not in others. But it is also entirely appropriate that policy and practice should be informed by the sort of research that asks more fundamental questions or questions prevailing assumptions, including those about what a ‘just’ education involves. It seems that the argument still needs to be made for a broad church of education research and research funding that reflects this.

Research and Policy in Education examines these debates using case studies of a range of policy areas in education – initial teacher education, closing the attainment gap, widening participation and fair access in higher education, and the growing phenomenon of international policy borrowing. They show the complex ways in which evidence and ideology have interacted in English education policymaking over the past 30 years, as well as what research can tell us about the impact of some of the most important education policies of that period.

I conclude the book with a renewed plea for maintaining a broad conception of education research, including discipline-based research on education. And in the final chapter I reassert the importance of my own discipline, the sociology of education, as an essential resource for making sense of contemporary education policy and informing the public mind on education. We need a more sophisticated debate about the relationship between research and policy and I hope this book provides a catalyst for just that.

Research and Policy in Education: Evidence, ideology and impact, by Geoff Whitty with Jake Anders, Annette Hayton, Sarah Tang and Emma Wisby, is published by UCL IOE Press.

We held a successful book launch with Blackwell’s at the IOE Bookshop on Monday 7th March, 2016 along with the launch of Equity, Trust and the Self-improving Schools System by Richard Riddell, published by Trentham Books at UCL IOE Press. We were delighted that Professor Becky Francis, Director Designate of the UCL Institute of Education and Professor Tim Brighouse, former Commissioner for London Schools, both spoke warmly about our books at this event. This blog was first published on the 24th February 2016 on the IOE London blog.

Posted by & filed under Events.


Geoff Whitty and Richard Riddell cordially invite you to their joint book launch of:

Research and Policy in Education: Evidence, ideology and impact


Equity, Trust and the Self-improving Schools System

Speakers: Tim Brighouse and Becky Francis

 5.00 pm, Monday, 7 March 2016

Blackwell’s Bookshop, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Drinks and nibbles provided

Please rsvp by Monday, 29 February 2016 to

Download invitation and book flyer

Posted by & filed under Advice columns.

As an editor for an academic publisher, I spend a lot of time working with authors to ensure all of their references and bibliographies in their publications are correct, complete and consistent. Even the most experienced academics find that they’ve spelled an author’s name inconsistently or that they’ve forgotten to add a page reference for a direct quotation.

There was a time when missing one of these tiny details involved a dispiriting trip to a library to dig out a book or article and check one little thing. But times have changed. These days, you can find almost any bibliographic detail without ever leaving your desk. Here I’ve compiled a list of common problems with referencing and how to solve them using the Internet.

Problem: I’ve spelled an author’s name two different ways and I don’t know which is correct.

Solution: This is usually as simple as googling the title of the book or article. Type the entire name of the publication into your search box and enclose it in double quotation marks. Use a colon between titles and subtitles. Your first search results will probably be from Amazon or, for a journal article, that journal publisher’s website. These will usually be reliable sources for the information you need.

Problem: I’m missing key bibliographic details from a book, such as the publication year, place of publication or publisher.

Solution: Go to the British Library’s website at Search their main catalogue for your book. All of these details will be on the book’s catalogue record.

Problem: I have a direct quotation and I have no idea where I got it from!

Solution: Take one sentence from the direct quotation and copy it into your Google search box, being sure to enclose it in double quotation marks. Your search results will show you anywhere else on the Internet that that sentence has been written. If it’s been quoted by someone else in an online article, you can check their bibliography to find your reference. Or sometimes, actual excerpts from a book will be available on Google Scholar, and the book’s bibliographic details will be available there.

Problem: I’m not sure if I’ve quoted this source correctly or I don’t know the page number.

Solution: Use the method above, but also add the title of the source to your search in a separate set of quotation marks. If the quote is from a journal, you will usually be able to access the full text of the article online if you’re logged on to your university’s network.

Problem: I’ve quoted from an online source, but now the URL (web address) I got it from no longer works!

Solution: Once again, googling a unique sentence from your quote, or the title of the page or article you are citing, in double quote marks, should help you find the source if it still remains anywhere on the Internet. You can also try using the Wayback Machine, an internet archive which aims to save all web pages ever, at Always record your access date for webpages. That way, if the source is really gone for good, it is acceptable to affirm that the source was there when you used it.

To find out more about publishing with us, visit our Information for Authors page.


Nicole Edmondson is Managing Editor at IOE Press. She has worked in academic publishing for 8 years and has a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London.