At this year’s Labour Conference, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has partnered with The Royal Society to hold an open fringe panel discussion: How a broader approach to education can achieve social equity.
England has one of the narrowest education systems in the world, with few other countries forcing learners to specialise in a small set of subjects in their final phase of schooling. Our current system does not offer young people the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge base, which is vital for the 21st century. This means that many young people miss out on the wide range of skills needed not only to enter the rapidly changing workforce, but also to ensure emotional and mental wellbeing, and to equip them to be active participants in democracy and society.
Recent EPI research, commissioned by the Royal Society, finds that those who have greater diversity in their A level subjects are likely to see a small boost to their earnings during their mid-twenties, while also revealing that disadvantaged students are much more likely to narrow their choices. This suggests that a broader education up to the end of a child’s time in school could have implications for closing the disadvantage gap. Conversely, by continuing to promote a narrow education, are we missing an opportunity to achieve equity?
This event will bring together policy makers, school leaders and education stakeholders to discuss how a broad and balanced education up to age 19 could open up opportunities for young people. It will consider what impact a broader education system may have on social equity and finally, beyond earnings, what a new system can offer in terms of providing young people with essential problem-solving, collaboration and critical thinking skills.
We are delighted to confirm a stellar line-up of panellists, including Natalie Perera, EPI and Peter Finegold, The Royal Society. With invited speakers Jill Davies, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC; Frances O’Grady, TUC and Kim Johnson MP.
** Note: This event will take place in the conference secure zone. To access the secure zone you will need to obtain a pass directly from the Labour Party.**