A blog post by Jon Rainford

Jon Rainford

Jon Rainbird was inspired to write a guest post for the blog.

Jon spent five years at the coalface in education, formerly as a member of support staff in a school for children with special educational needs and latterly as a teacher in a large secondary school specializing in Art and Design. He now works in the field of widening participation to higher education.

As part of their education reforms, the government introduced the Pupil Premium, which is, in their words ‘additional funding given to schools so that they can support their disadvantaged pupils and close the attainment gap between them and their peers’. What I would suggest, however, is that better understanding of how inequality affects young people is the answer to this issue and not funding.

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Kim Allen

Kim Allen presented at the Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class event Kingston University on 22nd November 2013.

A keynote presentation by Kim Allen

Kim’s keynote slides can be accessed by clicking on the pdf icon below. Thanks for sharing these, Kim!

pdficonAspiration as a cruel attachment? (pdf)


Vicky is a member of the BERA Social Justice SIG.

A blog post by Vicky Duckworth

Vicky Duckworth is Senior Lecturer, MA Co-ordinator in PCET and Schools’ University Lead.

Stella spoke of feeling like an outsider because of where she lived, and remembers the teachers having no time for kids from the estate:

They’d ’ave yer address in the mark book, sometimes they’d call out yer name and where yer lived. From Holts Estate, I’ll ’ave to keep me eye on you the teacher’d say. Yer knew then that you were being told yer were bad, the estate had, still has a rotten reputation. I wished they just had me Read More

Janet Batsleer

Janet Batsleer is on the organising committee for the Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class Project.

A blog post by Janet Batsleer

Janet Batsleer is Principal Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at ESRI, Manchester Metropolitan University. She is also convenor of the BERA Youth SIG.

This weekend  I was with youth workers who are part of the Federation of Detached Youth Workers who had gathered for their national Conference.  This is an open network which links people who work in spaces outside of buildings for the purpose of building relationships with young people and creating supportive, engaging and courageous conversations. Read More

Valerie Coultas

Valerie is an active member of the BERA Social Justice SIG and has been working on the Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class project.

A blog post by Valerie Coultas

Valerie Coultas is a Senior Lecturer in English: Teacher Education at Kingston University.

There is nothing very new in Michael Gove’s culturally elitist attitudes to English teaching and the comprehensive ideal. He joins a long line of those who have always been opposed to the basic principles of comprehensive education and democratic ideas about language and learning.

As Akpenye (2013) makes clear the campaign against the comprehensive ideal has always been virulent. The ‘child centred approach’ to English teaching in Comprehensive schools Read More

A blog post by Kim Allen

Kim Allen

Kim was an invited speaker at the ‘Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class’ event at Kingston University, 22 November 2013

Kim Allen is a Research Fellow at ESRI, Manchester Metropolitan University and part of the research team on the ESRC funded research project, ‘Celebrity Culture and Young People’s Classed and Gendered Aspirations’ (@CelebYouth) with Heather Mendick and Laura Harvey.

The mission for this government is to build an aspiration nation. . . . It’s what’s always made our hearts beat faster – aspiration; people rising from the bottom to the top . . . Line one, rule one of being a Conservative is that it’s not where you’ve come from that counts, it’s where you’re going. . . . We just get behind people who want to get on in life. The doers. The risk takers…. We are the party of the want to be better-off, those who strive to make a better life for themselves and their families (David Cameron, 2012). Read More

Patrick was an invited speaker, with Martin Allen, at the ‘Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class’ event at Kingston University.

Patrick was an invited speaker, with Martin Allen, at the ‘Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class’ event at Kingston University.

A blog post by Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley

Patrick Ainley is Professor of Training and Education at the University of Greenwich.

Dr Martin Allen was Vice Chair of the National Union of Teachers Secondary Advisory Committee (2002-2010) and taught economics in a London sixth-form.

Forty-Five years after Basil Bernstein remarked that ‘education cannot compensate for society’ (Bernstein 1970) many continue to believe that it can do just that and to have too great expectations of education (Allen and Ainley 2013a). Read More


Rob was an invited speaker at the ‘Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class’ event at Kingston University, 22 November 2013

A blog post by Rob MacDonald 

Professor of Sociology/ Deputy Director – Social Futures Institute, Teesside University

Behind the statistics lie households where three generations have never had a job (Tony Blair, 1997).

…on some estates… often three generations of the same family have never worked… (Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, 2009).

In 2012, with colleagues, I completed a study – a critical test – of the idea that ‘cultures of worklessness’ are passed down the generations Read More