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By Kate Bowen-Viner

Kate has been working in education since she left university. She began her career in North Liverpool and went on to teach English in West London and Bristol. She also has experience of delivering central government policies through her role at the Office for the South West Regional Schools Commissioner (Department for Education). Here, she worked with Local Authorities and education providers to deliver free schools. Kate has also supported Ambitious about Autism with their campaign ‘When Will we Learn?’ Kate is undertaking a MSc in Policy Research from the University of Bristol and is interested in the relationship between education policy and social mobility.

‘Evidence-based’ education policy – aspiration or fantasy?

Despite widespread calls for more ‘evidence-based’ education policy, I’m not entirely convinced – either by its possibility or desirability. Given that I work for an organisation that conducts research to help shape education policy, this might seem surprising. However, it’s about time we moved away from New Labour’s “what counts is what works” mantra. Instead, …

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Will the Homelessness Reduction Act solve youth homelessness?

Not quite. The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into force in April 2018. For the most part, this is welcome news. Local authorities now have increased responsibility for supporting young homeless people who come to them seeking help. However, there is more to be done. Here is an overview of the HRA’s benefits and key …

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Why I needed #DisabilityEd…

Ruth Golding recently announced #DisabilityEd’s launch in TES. This much needed organisation will raise awareness for teachers with invisible and physical disabilities, psychological conditions, autism, chronic diseases and cancer. As an ex-teacher and Type 1 diabetic, I welcome this news. Teaching whilst also managing a chronic disease can be tough. Like 37% of diabetics, diabetes …

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Period poverty: do DfE statistics speak for themselves?

The Department for Education’s recent report presents school absence statistics to investigate whether “disadvantaged girls are not attending school due to not being able to afford” menstruation products. However, we must avoid downplaying the reality of period poverty like the Department’s report appears to. DfE absence statistics don’t tell the whole story. What do DfE statistics …

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Discussing young people’s mental health: Schools’ Week highlights our roundtable

We recently worked with Minds Ahead to host a much-needed roundtable in Parliament to discuss the gaps in mental health support for young people. Schools’ Week’s recent report draws attention to sector experts’ comments about a lack of sufficient professional expertise in regards to young people’s mental health, meaning that schools and young people are …

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