Why do certain children manage to succeed ‘against the odds’?

Reducing educational inequality will be the focus of a free public talk hosted by the University of Bristol today [Wednesday 29 February].

Guest speaker Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford, from the Institute of Education at the University of London, will explore the child and family case studies that were conducted as part of a large-scale study that followed the progress of 3,000 children since 1997 from the age of 3- to 16-years-old.  

The ‘effective provision of pre-school, primary and secondary education research project’ aimed to investigate the relative influence of family background, home learning, pre-school, primary and secondary school experiences on young people’s cognitive and social/behavioural outcomes, and to understand how the relative importance of these influences has changed over time (from pre-school to age 16+).

During the event Professor Siraj-Blatchford will discuss some of the study’s key findings and explain how risks and protective factors in the lives of children shape their learning life-courses, and why they lead to academic resilience for some but not for others.

The event is chaired by Rosamund Sutherland, Professor of Education at the University of Bristol and founder of nexusbristol, a forum for for leaders from agencies and institutions across the city who are working to create better outcomes for children and young people in Bristol. 

Professor Sutherland said: “Closing the gap between those who are academically and socially advantaged and disadvantaged is a key challenge in Bristol. Professor Iram Siraj Blatchford’s research points to the ways in which pre-school, compulsory education and children’s home learning experiences can reduce inequality.”

The ‘learning life course of at ‘risk’ children aged 3-16: Perceptions of students and parents about ‘succeeding against the odds’ event is intended to provoke discussion of key ideas and contributions to the advancement of education. The talk will comprise a Graduate School of Education panel and opportunities for the audience to raise questions and discussion. The event is fully booked, however if you would like a copy of the presentation please contact Lucy Stephens in the Graduate School of Education.