London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

CEE in the News 2018


The Irish News
High costs of just missing out on a grade C in GCSE English

Pupils who narrowly fail to achieve a grade C in their GCSE English exam pay a high price, according to new research. A study from the Centre for Vocational Education Research explored what happened to young people who took the exam in 2013. Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams, was led by Stephen Machin, Sandra McNally and Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela. It used data to show that pupils of the same ability had significantly different educational trajectories depending on whether or not they just passed or failed.

 


China Daily
App to reward non-use of phone

Smartphone disruption is an issue in schools too. A study by the University of Texas has suggested that just having a smartphone within eyeshot can reduce productivity, slow down response speed and reduce grades, as the eyes of the students keep being drawn away from their work. A second, related study by the London School of Economics has found that students who did not use their smartphones on school grounds saw an increase of 6.4% in test scores. 


TES
‘High price’ paid for narrowly missing C grade spelled out

If teachers and pupils weren’t under enough pressure in the run-up to GCSEs, new research has quantified the potentially life-changing impact missing a grade can have on a young person. According to a study by the Centre for Vocational Education Research, narrowly failing to achieve a grade C in English language decreases the probability of enrolling on a higher-level qualification by at least 9 percentage points by age 19.


TES
Students paying a high price for failing their English GCSE, warns report

Pupils who narrowly fail their English GCSE exams pay a high price, according to a new study by the Centre for Vocational Education Research at the London School of Economics. Researchers at the centre, which is funded by the Department for Education, tracked the progress of more than 49,000 pupils who took their English GCSE in 2013 and got a grade C or D. They looked at how the group fared over the next three years. Those who narrowly missed out on a pass by up to 10 points were more likely to end up dropping out of education and, therefore, at increased risk of poorer prospects in the long term, according to the report. 


Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) blog
Missing the mark at GCSE English: the costly consequences of just failing to get a grade C

Article by Stephen Machin, Sandra McNally and Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela. New research by the Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) [CVER Discussion Paper 014] analyses the benefits (or costs) for students who just pass (or fail) to meet a key threshold in these exams. More specifically, evidence is presented on the importance of just obtaining a grade C in GCSE English Language (which is the form of English exam undertaken by 72% of students in the cohort under study).  


Pro Bono Economics via YouTube
Nudge-u-cation: can behavioural science boost education and social mobility

Nudge-u-cation: Can behavioural science boost education and social mobility? Pro Bono Economics' Annual Lecture featuring Dr David Halpern, Professor Sandra McNally and Chris Brown. Over the last decade, governments across the world have begun to revise policy on the basis of more realistic and empirical models of human behaviour. This has led to improvements in employment, public health, tax collection, savings, energy conservation, giving, and reoffending outcomes. Often these improvements have been achieved at dramatically lower cost than through conventional policy levers. Behavioural approaches have also helped encourage the much wider use of experimental methods – notably the randomised control trial – in routine policymaking. In the UK, this empiricism has found expression in the ‘What Works’ movement and network, including the creation of independent What Works centres covering education, crime, early intervention, local economic growth, well-being, better ageing and, most recently, youth social work. This talk will explore the breadth, depth and potential of this movement. It will dig into the area of education and social mobility as an example of the power and cutting edge of this approach, as well as rehearsing some of the key barriers that remain to its even greater impact. We are delighted to feature David Halpern, CEO of the Behavioural Insights Team as well as prominent figures from the education sphere to discuss the rise of behavioural and experimental techniques in education policy.


LSE Business Review blog
Do apprenticeships increase earnings?

Research finds that there's a strong case for providing apprenticeship to young people, write Chiara Cavaglia, Sandra McNally and Guglielmo Ventura.  Is there an earnings differential for starting an apprenticeship over and above the pay of young people who have already had a full-time school or college-based education? Our research looks at people who finished their GCSE exams in 2003 and who were therefore 28 years of age in 2015. We use administrative data to follow them from 2003 through their education and into the labour market.

Related publications

‘Apprenticeships for Young People in England: Is there a Payoff?’, Chiara Cavaglia, Sandra McNally and Guglielmo Ventura, Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) Discussion Paper No. 10, November 2017

http://cver.lse.ac.uk/textonly/cver/pubs/cverdp010.pdf


Campus Review (Australia)
Student smartphone obsession? There’s an app for even that

A 2017 University of Texas study found that simply having a smartphone within one’s view can reduce productivity, response speeds and grades. The results of another study , by the London School of Economics, inferred that the g...


CCR Magazine
New research findings on apprenticeships

New research reports from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics are highlighted in the Spring 2018 CentrePiece magazine.   Among the findings:  APPRENTICESHIPS: High potential payoffs but variation by subject specialism; BREXIT: Leave vote benefited from feelings of social and economic exclusion ; HOUSING: Planning policy creates more empty homes and longer commutes; FAMILY FIRMS: The weak management practices of second-generation bosses; PRE-SCHOOL: Free entitlement to early education has failed to deliver benefits; ITALIAN PRODUCTIVITY: Long-lasting stagnation in Europe’s ‘sleeping beauty’; LOCAL LABOUR MARKETS: Tools for analysing effects of place-based policies; LOST EINSTEINS: American evidence on who grows up to be an inventor.

Related publications

‘Apprenticeships for Young People in England: Is there a Payoff?’, Chiara Cavaglia, Sandra McNally and Guglielmo Ventura, Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) Discussion Paper No. 10, November 2017

http://cver.lse.ac.uk/textonly/cver/pubs/cverdp010.pdf 


Telegraph
App tackles digital addiction by rewarding users for avoiding their phone

Researchers at University of Texas last year claimed that smartphones could negatively affect attention span by just being in someone’s line of sight. Another study, conducted by the London School of Economics, found that students who did not use their phones at school found their grades improved by 6.5 per cent.


Herald Scotland
Education experts say ''ban phones in school as they damage learning''

MOBILE phones in schools should be banned because they pose a much graver risk to children's education than previously considered, the author of a flagship report on their use says.  Increasing phone ownership is causing unprecedented classroom distractions, academic Richard Murphy said. An outright ban on their use in schools is needed more than ever, said Murphy, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.  Murphy previously co-authored a study that claimed banning phones from schools gives pupils an extra week's education during an academic year.


Economia
Londres acull un debat impossible a Madrid o Barcelona/London welcomes an impossible debate in Madrid or Barcelona

Scene of the meeting, the London School of Economics, in the center of the British capital, in the third session of a cycle of debates centered on the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. In London, not in Barcelona or in Madrid, as if sitting in the same table, the economics consultant Andreu Mas-Colell and prominent economists, colleagues Jordi Galí, Ángel de la Fuente, Ramon Marimon and Antonio Cabrales in one of the Two cities of the State were impossible. Almost a metaphor for the lack of dialogue not between the five academics present at the event, but between the leading Spanish class and the one that led the Process in Catalonia.


El Pais
Direct: The economic dimension of the Catalan crisis

The London School of Economics hosts a new debate of the series that is celebrating, in collaboration with Politikon, about the future of Spain and Catalonia. On this occasion, with the moderation of Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela, of the LSE, Antonio Cabrales, Ángel de la Fuente, Jordi Galí, Ramon Marimon and Andreu Mas-Colell talk about the economic dimension of the Catalan crisis.


The Times
Phone home

Other studies have come to similar conclusions. In 2015 researchers at the London School of Economics studied results at 91 secondary schools in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester that banned mobile phones. They found a rise in results in schools where the ban was tightly enforced, but none where it was flouted.


Centre for Cities – blog
Aberdeen’s economic slowdown highlights the dangers of being a one-sector city

Moreover, when we consider these findings in light of research published last July by Centre for Cities and the Centre for Economic Performance, which suggested that Aberdeen’s economy would be hit harder than that of any other city by either a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit, it all adds up to a worrying picture for Aberdeen.


The Times
Children of positive mothers get better GCSE grades

Findings suggest that a mother’s personality has a big impact on the academic performance of teenagers, regardless of other factors. Academics assessed women’s “internal locus of control”, how much they believed that they controlled their own lives rather than having good or bad luck. Babies born to mothers with a strong belief in their own power did better in GCSEs, even when the family background, mother’s education and her IQ and the locus of control of the child were taken into account. The findings by the Centre for Economic Performance, at the London School of Economics, are published in The Economic Journal. The study analysed data from the Children of the 90s project, which tracks the lives of more than 10,000 people born in Bristol.

Related publications

Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation (pages 298-329)

The Economic Journal Volume 128, Issue 608, February 2018

Warn N. Lekfuangfu, Nattavudh Powdthavee, Nele Warrinnier, Francesca Cornaglia

DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12414

 


Guardian
Research every teacher should know: self-control and learning

With technology such as mobile phones in some classrooms increasing distractions, the ability to improve self-control and delayed gratification has become a particularly important skill. Perhaps it’s not surprising that recent research by the London School of Economics found that banning mobiles phones in schools can help improve students’ test scores.


The Economic Journal, Volume 128, Issue 608, February 2018
Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation (pages 298-329)

Related publications

Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation (pages 298-329)

The Economic Journal Volume 128, Issue 608, February 2018

Warn N. Lekfuangfu, Nattavudh Powdthavee, Nele Warrinnier, Francesca Cornaglia

DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12414


Irish Daily Mail
Teachers: get phones out of our schools

Snippet: ... to answer Facebook calls, to answer Facebook messages.' She added that the gadgets are having a negative impact on the children's ability to concentrate in class, a key finding of recent research published by the London School of Economics. 'They're not even …


Macleans (Canada)
Editorial: MPs should put down their phones and get back to governing

 

A recent British study by the Centre for Economic Performance compared student results across schools based on cellphone-use policies and concluded, "Schools that restrict access to mobile phones subsequently experience an improvement in text scores."


Kaplan Herald (USA)
Rockland: cellphones at school? The principles differ

Students scored almost seven percent higher following strict phone bans at school, according to a 2015 study published by the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.


Financial Times
More grammar schools and lower tuition fees are not the answer – the reshuffle at education could mean taking another wrong turn on social mobility

The first criticism of Ms Greening was that she was insufficiently radical in pursuing structural reform — more academies, free schools and grammar schools. Research by the LSE, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and others has demonstrated that the early academies set up in the Blair era were notably successful in raising attainment in some of the most challenging and disadvantaged schools in the country. But analysis of recent reforms tends to support the cautious Greening approach. LSE research finds little or no significant attainment effects from the more recent academies programme, while an EPI study indicates that claims about the impacts of the free schools programme are exaggerated.


European Union News
New education secretary must focus on improving quality of early childhood education

Guildford: University of Surrey, of United Kingdom has issued the following news release: Researchers from the University of Surrey, Dr Jo Blanden and Professor Sandra McNally, and University College London, Dr Kirstine Hansen, have completed a comprehensive five-year study on ECEC, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Using administrative data on all children in preschools and the first years of schooling they found that the policy, introduced by the Labour government in 1998, has had little impact on the educational outcomes of children who have participated


European Union News
New education secretary must focus on improving quality of early childhood education

Guildford: University of Surrey, of United Kingdom has issued the following news release: Researchers from the University of Surrey, Dr Jo Blanden and Professor Sandra McNally, and University College London, Dr Kirstine Hansen, have completed a comprehensive five-year study on ECEC, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Using administrative data on all children in preschools and the first years of schooling they found that the policy, introduced by the Labour government in 1998, has had little impact on the educational outcomes of children who have participated.


The Times
Letter to the Editors - Suggestions for the new education secretary

A 2016 analysis by Stephen Machin and his colleagues at the London School of Economics found that the new phonics mandates were associated with only modest improvements in reading scores by the age of 5, and that those gains disappeared entirely by age 11. If Damian Hinds really wants to make a difference in schools he should instead invest money into the one activity that has been consistently proven to boost reading achievement: putting more books into the school library.

http://cep.lse.ac.uk/textonly/_NEW2014/news/Times11Jan2018_Letter.pdf


Nuffield Foundation
Early childhood education has had little impact on outcomes since the inception of the free entitlement and politicians must now focus efforts on quality

Authors of a comprehensive study on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) funded by the Nuffield Foundation have called on the Secretary of State for Education to focus on improving the quality of the free entitlement to part time nursery care for 3-year-olds.

Researchers from the University of Surrey, Dr Jo Blanden and Professor Sandra McNally, and University College London, Dr Kirstine Hansen, have completed a comprehensive five-year study on ECEC, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Using administrative data on all children in preschools and the first years of schooling they found that the policy, introduced by the Labour government in 1998, has had little impact on the educational outcomes of children who have participated.


BBC Radio Kent
(1/11/2018 6:50:11 AM)

Snippet... there has been a study by the London School of Economics which found where mobiles were banned test scores improved. Richard Murphy, one of the authors, is interviewed o...