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12:30 - 16:00 9 May 2017

International symposium on ability grouping and inequity


Room 642 | UCL Institute of Education (link Map)
20 Bedford Way | London | WC1H 0AL | United Kingdom

Open to: Public | Academic
Admission: 0
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Professor Becky Francis, Director, UCL Institute of Education, Becky is Director of the UCL Institute of Education. She has followed a research career focusing on education and social justice, but has also incorporated education policy work, for example in her previous role as Director of Education at the RSA, and in her current Advisory role to the Education Select Committee. Becky's policy research and analysis includes her influential work on ‘Satisfactory’ schools in relation to social disadvantage, work for ASCL and the Sutton Trust on education and social mobility, and her direction of the Academies Commission. Her academic expertise and extensive publications centre on social identities in educational contexts, social im/mobility, social identity and educational achievement, and gender theory.
Professor Louise Archer, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, UCL Institute of Education, Louise is Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL Institute of Education. She was previously Professor of Sociology of Education at King's College London. Her research focuses on educational identities and inequalities of 'race'/ethnicity, social class and gender. She is director of the longitudinal ASPIRES/ASPIRES2 projects (on children's science and career aspirations, age 10-19), the Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education (TISME) and the also leading on the Enterprising Science project.
Professor Piia Seppänen, Professor, University of Turku, Piia Seppänen is a Professor at Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education (CELE) at the University of Turku, Finland. Her research interests lie in the fields of educational policy and politics, comparative education, sociology of education and urban schooling. She is interested in studies on education and its and its policies focusing on social class, ethnicity and/or gender and their interplay as well as those on different capitals in relation to schooling in various social, cultural, historical, and international contexts of education. She is a member of the Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) Justice through Education in the Nordic Countries (JustEd).
Dr Sonja Kosunen, Senior university lecturer, University of Helsinki, Sonja is a Senior University Lecturer at University of Helsinki, Finland and Associate researcher at SciencesPo Paris (France). She is a member of the Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) Justice through Education in the Nordic Countries (JustEd).
Professor Pascal Bressoux, Professor, Grenoble Alpes University, Pascal Bressoux is a Professor at Grenoble Alpes University, France. His research focuses on determining the effects of factors of the scholastic environment on students' achievement. He is particularly interested in studying what are the teaching devices and practices that are likely to improve students' acquisitions.

‘Ability’ or attainment groupings are a common approach to segregating students in education systems. ‘Ability’ groupings can operate within-schools (e.g. streaming or setting), within-class (e.g. table groups) or across institutions (e.g. academic-track institutions vs vocational-track institutions. Such groupings can also operate indirectly in education systems where ‘ability’ groupings have been formally abolished. This international symposium explores inequity in schools enacted through in-school and between-school segregation by attainment, and how placement in specific groupings can impact on student outcomes and their experiences. Best Practice in Grouping Students, an award-winning research project based at UCL Institute of Education is hosting this half-day event to provide an important comparative European perspective on English schools from Finland and France.


Dr Anna Mazenod
+44 (0) 207 9115477 | a.mazenod@ucl.ac.uk