Episode 3: A new dawn, the 1990s and skills for life

In this third episode, we move into the 1990s to find out how BCS70 and its staff survived the lean years of the 80s and early 90s, and managed to get back in contact with study members after a 10 year gap. We learn about the study’s stark findings on adults’ numeracy and literacy, which led to the government’s Skills for Life adult learning programme. We also ask study members what it was like to join the study again as adults and find out how they were getting on in the big wide world after the boom and bust years.

Guests include:

  • Kate Smith, longitudinal survey manager for more than three decades, discusses how the BCS70 team kept the study going while on monthly contracts.
  • Professor Heather Joshi, former director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS, home to BCS70), reflects on the successful Age 26 Survey.
  • Dr Sam Parsons, CLS research officer, and Professor John Bynner, former CLS director, who conducted the literacy and numeracy research.
  • Dr Sue Pember, former government policymaker, who was given responsibility for rolling out the Skills for Life education initiative in the new millennium.
  • Study members who share their recollections of the 1990s and rejoining the study after a 10 year gap.

View and download the transcript for episode 3


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