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IFS at 50: The future of education

Little is more important to our society and economy than the effectiveness of our education system. The IFS has been working on all aspects of education spending and performance for more than half its 50 years. As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we held an event on 28 October 2019 where IFS Director Paul Johnson looked at how spending on and effectiveness of the different stages of education have changed over time, how well children from different social backgrounds do, and what the big challenges are for the future. Branwen Jeffreys (Education Editor, BBC) then chaired a conversation on the topic with Paul, David Laws (Executive Chairman, Education Policy Institute, and former Schools Minister) and Anna Vignoles (Professor of Education, Cambridge University).

Event resources

You can watch the full event below, or download Paul's slides here.

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Newspaper article: Education system is failing to equip people with skills they need to work

“Last week the Industrial Strategy Council published a report setting out the role and increasing prevalence of skills shortages in holding back growth. A large majority of employers report that a lack of access to the right skills is a big threat to UK competitiveness; England has a significant problem with basic literacy and numeracy skills among young people; digital skills are in short supply; and more than a quarter of workers lack the qualifications required by their job.”

Paul wrote an article in the Times that outlines his thoughts on why our education system is not working as well as it should be.

Read the article on our website.