IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


What if… education policy was shaped by a commitment to social justice?

05 December 2019, 6:00 pm–7:15 pm

IOE debate on social justice. Image of scales (Mbiama CC BY 3.0)

Leading experts and commentators set out their understanding of what ‘social justice’ means, what the essential facets of education and related areas of public policy would be with the pursuit of social justice in mind, and whether or not it is an idea whose time has come.

This event is free.

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Kate Thomas


Jeffery Hall
UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
20 Bedford Way

Watch the debate

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For a long time, the ‘grand narrative’ in education and social policy has been the pursuit of social mobility – breaking the link between an individual’s background and where they get to in life. Over the past year, the political rhetoric has changed, with the emergence of the cause of social justice as the new proposed guiding principle for public policy choices.  

But there’s been a certain ‘fuzziness’ around what exactly is meant by each of the two projects – with little attention paid to downward mobility as an inherent part of social mobility, or to where precisely the line is to be drawn between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.


  • Louise Archer, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, UCL Institute of Education
  • Dan Morrow, CEO, Woodland Academy Trust
  • Dr Jason Arday, academic, Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, and School Governor at Shaftesbury Park Primary School
  • Iesha Small, Head of Strategy, Youth Hostels Association (England and Wales)

Chair: Professor Becky Francis, Director of UCL Institute of Education

Find out more about the speakers for our 2019-20 IOE Debates series. Join the conversation on Twitter at #IOEDebates

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In association with TES

Image: Mbiama via Wikicommons CC BY 3.0