Monday 23 March 18:00 - 19:15

Room W3.01
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

Tickets Unavailable
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In defence of social mobility and education

Family & Education

In defence of social mobility and education

About the lecture

What can and can’t schools do to improve social mobility?

Why should we focus on social mobility when many of society’s problems are the result of inequality? And how can we enable education to be the great social leveller, when it has been commandeered by the middle-classes to cement their status in society? Britain’s first Professor of Social Mobility argues we need a rethink on education as we face a ‘dark age of declining opportunity'.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

About the speaker

Lee Elliot Major is Britain’s first Professor of Social Mobility. Appointed by the University of Exeter to be a global leader in the field, his work is dedicated to improving the prospects of disadvantaged young people. Lee was awarded an OBE in the 2019 Queen’s Honours for services to social mobility.

His recent report Social mobility and elite universities for the Higher Education Policy Institute argued that radical reforms are needed for universities to meet official access targets.

His Penguin book Social Mobility and Its Enemies, co-authored with Stephen Machin, has attracted attention across the world. His Bloomsbury book What Works?, co-authored with Steve Higgins, summarises thousands of education studies to offer best bets to teachers for improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

He was formerly Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust the UK’s leading social mobility foundation. Lee was a founding trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation which has carried out 100s of major research trials in England’s schools.

He is an Associate Member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford, an Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute of Education and a senior visiting fellow at the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute. He commissioned and co-authored the Sutton Trust-EEF toolkit, a guide used by 100,000s of school leaders and replicated across the world.

He is a Trustee of the Ted Wragg multi academy trust and a Governor at William Ellis School in London.

Lee regularly appears in national broadcast and print media, commenting on education and social mobility issues. He has served on several Government advisory bodies and presented several times to the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

He has a PhD in theoretical physics and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield for services to education.  He was previously an education journalist working for the Guardian and the Times Higher Education Supplement. He is the first in his family to attend university.

Access Profile

  • There is step free access into the lecture theatre.
  • Wheelchair accessible toilets can be found on Level 3 & 4.
  • There is not fixed furniture within the lecture theatre.
  • This venue does not have a working hearing loop facility available.
  • BSL interpreters and lecture captioning can be organised with advance notice.

We aim to make our events as inclusive as possible so if you have any accessibility requirements or enquiries that are not covered in the above access profile please contact the events team at [email protected] If you could contact us allowing for as much time as possible before the event we will be able to ensure where required the appropriate measures are taken. More information about the venues accessibility can be found on the AccessAble website.

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