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Great Mistakes in Education Policy: And how to avoid them in the future



In their book, ‘Great Mistakes in Education Policy – And how to avoid them in the future’, Ruth Lupton (University of Manchester) and Debra Hayes (University of Sydney) argue that despite decades of repeated political claims that education policies will achieve greater equality of opportunity and greater social mobility, evidence is mounting that schooling systems in both England and Australia have become increasingly unfair in terms of access, opportunities, experiences and outcomes.

The authors throw down joint challenges to their educational researcher colleagues and policy makers to build a new consensus for real positive change by setting aside prejudices and longstanding antagonisms and build a common ground through shared collective aspirations for children’s and young people’s wellbeing and success.

The webinar provides a forum for educational researchers to debate strategies for influencing educational policy change in the post-pandemic context. The authors invite debate about their own strategy of dismantling oppositional critique and replacing it with an interdisciplinary synthesis of evidence aimed at speaking directly to policy makers and a general audience.

A panel of respected peers from England and Australia will assess the merits of this strategy and its potential to contribute to policy change, and stimulate discussion of other ways in which educational research could be brought more fully to bear in influencing policy decisions.

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Rowena Passy, Dr

Senior Research Fellow at Plymouth University

Rowena Passy is a research fellow at Plymouth University. She has worked at the National Foundation for Educational Research as well as at Exeter, Leicester, and De Montfort Universities. She has developed a wide range of research interests in...

Sarah Younie, Professor

Professor in Education Innovation at De Montfort University

Sarah Younie is a principal lecturer in Education at De Montfort University and a visiting Senior Research Fellow at University of Bedfordshire. She has been involved in international research on educational technologies and teaching for twenty...


Ruth Lupton

Honorary Professor at University of Manchester

Ruth Lupton is an honorary professor of education at the University of Manchester. She researches educational inequalities, policy and the role of place.

Debra Hayes, Professor

Head of School at The University of Sydney

Debra Hayes investigates the inequitable effects of schooling. She is committed to better and fairer education for all young people. Her co-authored books describe pedagogical, leadership and schooling practices that contribute to young...


Barbara Comber, Professor

Research Professor at University of South Australia

Barbara Comber is a Research Professor in the School of Education. Barbara has collaborated on and conducted a number of competitively funded research projects concerned with literacy development, teaching and socioeconomic disadvantage. She...

Sol Gamsu, Dr

Assistant Professor at Durham University

I am a sociologist and a geographer of education with a strong commitment to the politics of education and envisaging alternative futures for education and society more broadly. My interests lie at the intersection of sociology, geography and...

Gemma Moss, Professor

International Literacy Centre, UCL Institute of Education

Gemma Moss is professor of literacy and director of the International Literacy Centre at the UCL Institute of Education. Prior to that she was a professor at the University of Bristol. She is interested in the shifting relationships between...

Sam Sellar, Dr

Reader in Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Sam Sellar is Reader in Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sam’s research is located in sociology of education with a focus on global education policy, large-scale assessments and the digitalisation and datafication of...