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Published: 15 March 2021

Focus on Dr Jo Blanden, ESRC IAA Co-Director

Meet Dr Jo Blanden, the University of Surrey's ESRC IAA Co-Director

Dr Jo Blanden is a Reader in the School of Economics at the University of Surrey and also Co-Director of the Surrey ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

Jo's research on social mobility and the evaluation of education policy has had wide-ranging impact on Government and other stakeholders.

This may seem slightly unlikely ground for an economic analysis but economics provides many useful tools that can be used to understand the difference that policies make.

Her continuing work on changes in social mobility is highly cited and received a lot of attention in Government, leading to a meeting at No 10 and evidence presented at the Education Select Committee. 

Her work on Early Years, and specifically the evaluation of the impact of free part-time nursery care and education on children’s outcomes has also been presented in Government and to sector stakeholders. 

Her REF Impact Case Study on this topic outlines how her work has contributed to developing the evidence base on this topic. 

Jo is currently working on how Covid-related school closures have affected family life, looking at both children and parents’ mental wellbeing and parents ability to work. Covid-19 and School Availability: Impact on Parental Labour Supply and Well-Being.

As part of this she has been in discussion with Government officials about how policy can best mitigate the problems caused by covid-related school closures. 

Jo has been actively blogging about her work, and these links can be found below:

COVID-19 and educational losses: the case for sending the youngest back to school

Schools and England’s second lockdown: further closures would have adverse effects on children and a wider effect on family life.

How has the Covid-19 crisis affected pre-school childcare?