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LSE Housing and Communities Research
Sustainable Homes Blog: High Rise Hope Revisited

In October 2014, LSE Housing & Communities carried out a detailed study of the Edward Woods High Rise estate in Hammersmith & Fulham to find out how major retrofit of tower blocks affected the community. The report provoked a lot of interest and estate retrofits elsewhere - now Sustainable Homes have blogged about the report here.
News Posted: 28 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the 'glass floor'
Abigail McKnight's new report for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

new report Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor by Abigail McKnight has been published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. It examines the evidence for a cohort of British children born in 1970 in terms of the relationship between family background, childhood cognitive skills and adult success in the labour market. In particular it considers the role of parents’ education, later childhood performance in reading and maths, social and emotional skills in childhood, type of secondary school attended and whether or not individuals go on to attain a degree.

The research finds that, on average, children from lower income families or those with less advantaged social class backgrounds do not perform as well in a series of cognitive tests taken at age 5 as children from higher income families or those from advantaged social class backgrounds. Children from more advantaged family backgrounds are more likely to have high earnings in later adult life and are more likely to be in a “top job”. This is not simply due to different levels of cognitive ability as it holds within attainment groups as well as over the complete distribution. Analysis is focused on a group of initially high attaining children and a group of initially low attaining children and follows their progress through to labour market outcomes at age 42.

The research identifies a number of factors that account for the fact that children from more affluent family backgrounds are more likely to be highly successful in the labour market as adults:  highly educated parents; higher maths skills age 10; stronger social and emotional skills age 10; greater likelihood of attending a Grammar or a Private secondary school; more likely to attain a degree level qualification.  The hoarding of opportunities by better-off families is likely to contribute to the reduced success of initially high attaining children from less advantaged families converting early potential into later labour market success.

Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institute, whose own research focusing on American social mobility has been influential, has written an interesting blog about this report.

As part of our Social Policy in a Cold Climate programme (SPCC) we have produced a summary of recent research on social mobility and education attainment based on research by Jo Blanden, Claire Crawford, Ellen Greaves, Paul Gregg, Lindsey Macmillan, Abigail McKnight, Luke Sibieta and Anna Vignoles.

A new working paper in this theme from the SPCC programme is now available: When and Why do Initially High Attaining Poor Children Fall Behind? by Claire Crawford, Lindsey Macmillan and Anna Vignoles.

More research on this theme is forthcoming in Autumn 2015. If you’d like to receive email updates sign up here.

News Posted: 17 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

New child poverty measures could allow government to shirk its responsibilities
British politics and policy at LSE blog


Abandoning the child poverty targets will damage the interests of disadvantaged children, and represents a significant step back in attempts to make Britain a fairer society, argue Kitty Stewart, Tania Burchardt, John Hills and Polly Vizard.

Last week the Conservative Government announced that it would be abandoning the indicators and targets in the Child Poverty Act (passed with cross-party support in 2010), and replacing them with a set of broader measures of life chances. It will introduce a statutory duty to report on measures of worklessness and GCSE attainment, and it will develop a range of other indicators “to measure progress against the root causes of poverty” – which it identifies as family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency. Income based poverty measures are not merely being downgraded within this new approach; they are being dropped entirely. Crucially, the relevant data will still be published (at least for now). It is vital that the data continue to be published – and on time – so that others can hold government accountable. But the Conservatives have made it clear that they no longer consider income poverty part of their concern.
Continue reading here

News Posted: 06 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

Special Event
Changing London: The Rough Guide for the next London Mayor Book Launch

Monday 6
th July 4.30-6pm, followed by an informal reception

32L 1.04 1st Floor Conference Room, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Chair: Professor Anne Power

Speakers: David Robinson, Changing London; Tony Travers, LSE London


CASE are delighted to invite you to the launch of a new book Changing London, a rough guide for the next Mayor, which captures the radical but practical ideas of the people of London with a pioneering and collaborative approach to politics. Author David Robinson will present and discuss the main themes that came out of hundreds of suggestions from Londoners on how their city should look, plus experiences learnt from cities around the world. Tony Travers will respond to the proposals and speak about the coming mayoral election.  The book brings together these ideas under five big visions for London:

  • What would the city look like if we determined to make it the best place on earth to raise a child? Or if it was a friendly city, where neighbourhoods thrived and everybody mattered?
  • How could we build a fair city where lavish wealth  and  abject poverty and both have been much reduced? Or maybe a healthy city, that did no harm and tackled sickness at source?

  •  And, to lead it all, how should we revitalise and retool a  democracy which saw only 38% vote in the last mayoral election.
Ideas range from play streets to plotting sheds, London Sundays to a Have-a-Go Festival, a permanent Fair Pay Commission, a Children’s Trust Fund and a cultural guarantee for every child, citizens budgets, a Mayor’s Share in the biggest businesses and the April Vote – an annual London referendum.


Booking information:

The event is free but booking is essential. Please RSVP to Places are limited so please reply as soon as possible. For more information contact Cheryl Conner at LSE ( If you are not able to attend but would like more details of the book please let us know.

The book can be ordered direct from the publishers: the paperback is £9.99 including free P&P; and the ebook is £4.50.
News Posted: 06 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

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Site updated 01 September 2015