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We examine the key factors required to promote financial security for children and their parents. Sir Julian Legrand of the London School of Economics will deliver a keynote speech, which will be followed by a debate. Speakers include:
Professor Sir Julian Le Grand has been the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics since 1993. From 2003 to 2005 he was seconded to No 10 Downing Street to serve as Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He has served as Chair of a number of government groups, including: the Social Work Practices Working Group for the UK Department for Children, Families and Schools; Chair of Health England: the National Reference Group for Health and Well Being for the UK Department of Health; Chair of the UK Cabinet Office's Mutuals TaskForce; and Chair of the UK Education Department's Panels reviewing Doncaster's and Birmingham's Children's Services.
As well as these positions, he has acted as an adviser to the President of the European Commission, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, the OECD, HM Treasury, the UK Department of Work and Pensions and the BBC. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Founding Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Trustee of the Kings Fund. He is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books and was listed as one of the Guardian's and Prospect’s top British public intellectuals. He was awarded a knighthood for services to social science and public service in the 2015 New Year Honours.
Zoe Williams writes for the Guardian and the New Statesman. She writes political commentary, interviews and reviews. Her work has also appeared in other publications, including The Spectator, the London Cyclist and the Evening Standard where she contributed columns on a variety of subjects, and a diary about being a single woman in London.
Sharon Collard joined the Open University Business School in May 2014 as Professor of Personal Finance Capability in the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin). Her background is social policy. She brings 16 years’ experience of policy-focused social research on personal finance conducted for funders including the financial services industry, government departments, and charitable foundations.
From 1998 to 2014, Sharon worked at the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre, from 2010 to 2014 as its Director. Sharon’s recent research includes understanding motivations and barriers to engagement in the consumer debt marketplace (for Arrow Global); the work decisions of low-income two-parent households (for the Child Poverty Unit); working households’ experiences of debt problems (for StepChange Debt Charity); the impact of a cap on the total cost of high-cost credit (for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills); and the financial dimensions of wellbeing in older age (for the Economic and Social Research Council).
Dr Sonya Krutikova joined the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in February 2014 as Programme Director of the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (EDePo). Her main research interests are in the determinants of skill acquisition among children and young people living in poverty, as well as more broadly the mechanisms through which childhood conditions manifest in child development and outcomes.
Her recent work focuses on the role of home and school factors in explaining the evolution of gaps in cognitive skills and school attainment among children from poorer and better off backgrounds in developing countries. Sonya is additionally involved with on-going research in the following areas: the effects of early childhood health, poverty and maternal well-being on health and cognitive development; measurement of development in specific cognitive domains in large-scale surveys; and evaluation of nutrition supplementation and cognitive stimulation programs targeting young children and/or their mothers in a number of contexts including Colombia and Nepal.
Jonathan Derbyshire is Executive Comment Editor at the Financial Times. He was previously Managing Editor of Prospect, and Culture Editor of the New Statesman. Jonathan has also written for a number of other publications, including the Guardian, the Observer and the Times Literary Supplement.