FIVE FAVOURITE FACTS
Conor Ryan, who leaves the Sutton Trust today after nearly six years at the Trust, reflects on his favourite facts and findings from 100 pieces of research commissioned under his leadership.
Today is my last day at the Sutton Trust after nearly six years in post. It has been a privilege to be involved in commissioning and communicating 100 pieces of research over that time, and I will miss working with such great colleagues. It seems like a good time to take stock too. So, I thought I would share my five favourite facts and findings from those reports, facts chosen because of their symbolism and influence in different stages of the social mobility debate.
IFERI members are very sad to hear the news about Tessa Jowell's passing. In the UK, many members of parliament have shared very fond memories of her personal and professional contributions. Below, Conor Ryan starts with part of Tessa's important legacy:
Stop Start: The lost children's centres
In the week of Tessa Jowell’s sad passing, it is worth reflecting on an important part of her legacy – the Sure Start programme, which brought a range of children’s services, including childcare, education, health, family support and play together under a single roof. Professor Kathy Sylva and her team showed in our 2014 report, Sound Foundations, the importance of good quality early years provision to school readiness and giving disadvantaged children a decent start in life. Her research this year brought an auditor’s eye to what had happened to the children’s centres at the heart of Sure Start, and in Stop Start, showed that 1000 centres had effectively been lost, nearly a third of all those set up by 2009. While some had been amalgamated, others had been hollowed out. It highlighted the importance of a much clearer early years mission in all parties if we want to address social mobility at the time when the gaps start to widen for poorer children.