15th March is International School Meals Day
this new day was launched in 2018 with the aim of raising awareness of good nutrition for all children regardless of their circumstances.It is managed by Children in Scotland with the support of the Scottish Government and other partners national and international.
UK has school food standards which came into force in 2015. They can be read on the School Food Plans website.they include check lists and portion sizes
In 2015 this thesis by Suzanne Spence evaluated their impact.
The UK government supplies data on school meals take up rates and free school meals in its statistical bulletins
for information on children's diet read the state of the nation report from the Children's Food Trust
one of the findings on favourite meals in 2016 was pizza and pasta!
they also have findings that if children eat better at school they do better at school.
This echoes findings from the British government on the positive impact of free school meals on children's attainment
For international information see the World Food Programme
It includes annual reports on the state of school food and feeding worldwide.
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
This year the traditional March budget has been replaced with the Spring statement.
Office for Budget Responsibility- Economic and fiscal outlook
See the useful background briefing from the House of Commons Library.
Read the full speech on the Treasury website
Friday, 9 March 2018
"We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men or hints on making ottomans out of egg-boxes’ - international womens day
International Women Day is celebrated on the 8th March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
This year the theme is press for progress.
So here are some free examples of women’s writings which pressed for progress as selected by the LSE Library.
"We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men or hints on making ottomans out of egg-boxes’
Wrote the editor of the Vote
December 2nd 1909 (page 67) She argues that the ordinary women’s newspapers are based on false boundaries of what men think is women’s role – housekeeping, clothes, and cookery
Instead the Vote aimed to offer stimulating writing on a wider range of topics. Certainly in this issue the largest article is coverage of the old Bailey trial of two suffragettes Mrs Chapin and Miss Neilans who were accused of tampering with a ballot box
The Vote was published by the Women's Freedom League from 1909-33.
The Women's Freedom League was formed in 1907 by former members of the Women's Social and Political Union who sought to create an activist organisation militating for change but without advocating violence. The WFL favoured peaceful lawbreaking such as demonstration, disruption, and refusal to pay taxes and complete the census.. Archival papers are held at the Women’s Library@LSE. You can explore the issues free on the Google website
‘We are not attempting the impossible. To try to explain Women's Liberation in one quick, easy lesson would be both ludicrous and wrong.’
Wrote the editor in the first issue of Spare Rib
Spare Rib was a leading women’s liberation periodicals of the 1970s. You can view the full archive online via the British Library website. Paper issues are held by the Women’s Library@LSE
The first issue cost 17.5 pence . It asked what is a feminist? And had an interview with footballer George Best plus a cookery feature where (pre microwave) you could mix up a chicken casserole in a pan with draught cider (page 36) or save time by making a banana and raw cabbage salad!
Find more about the women’s Library@LSE. It includes books, magazines and archives from UK and some overseas women. In terms of the latter it incorporates the Sadd-Brown Library with books and periodicals by and about women of the Commonwealth nations.
Explore contemporary 19th/ early 20th century women’s writings in the online .these resources are offered to visitors
The Gerritsen collection - an international women's history resource containing rare books and journals.
Independent voices: a collection of the alternative press. Which has great examples of women’s liberation organisations from the USA from the 1970s online
Communication and Mass Media complete – has journal articles covering women’s journalism and use of the media.
Explore our Gender Subject Guide.
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
As the winners of the Academy awards were announced this week
Here are some social science sites for locating materials on the economics of the Oscars.
The Independent has an interesting section of facts on impacts on careers which was published in 2016
Statista has a fact file of data on the awards. which subscribers can download.
2001 academic paper simply titled “what’s an Oscar worth?”. According to the authors, led by Prof. Randy A. Nelson of Colby College, winning the Oscar for Best Picture on average boosted box office sales by $18.1 million.
Box office mojo compares income of box office hits with winners 2010-2016.
The highest grosser of 2016 was "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", which generated box office revenue of over 532 million U.S. dollars. The Oscar winner in that year, "Moonlight", generated 27.85 million U.S. dollars at the domestic box office. Colombia Economics review discussed this and other sources in a useful article in 2017
Film Industry data in terms of the general contribution of the film industry as a whole to the economy.
BFI has some data on contribution to GDP. The creative industries website also has data on TV and film production companies in the UK
the ONS has a good visualisation about the increasing strength of the UK film industry.
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Today is World Book day- here are some recomemnded resources for social scientists on literacy and reading. The official website has some resources for colouring and reading if you are snowed in!
for social scientists here are some academic resources.
UNESCO has data on literacy rates by country.
It also monitors progress in International Reading LiteracyStudy (PIRLS)
In 2016, female students outperformed their male counterparts in 48 countries and dependent territories by an average of 19 points
If you search the website you will also find other documents about reading programmes and the impact of mobile technology on reading in developing countries
The OECD Measures reading perfomance of children via the International PISA study. Find out where children read the best
How many books do people read?
Statista quotes an example from a survey of UK adults (methodology provided) that 22% of those who read in their spare time read up to 10 books per year.
A survey by the Reading Agency found that many UK adults felt they were too busy to read
The Pew research centre published a report in 2016 on adults who didnt read. Find out what percentage of people had not read a book in the last 12 months.They also have some interesting reports on ebooks and the use of technology and reading in the USA
In 2012 the Department for Education published a research study on reading for pleasure in children which highlighted trends and benefits.
The National Literacy Trust has published some reports on acces to books, school libraries and their impact on reading in children.
The Reading Agency quotes a number of studies on economic, health and well-being and educational impacts on children
The National Literacy Trust - interesting study on the link between literacy and life expectancy- eg.
'A boy born in Stockton Town Centre (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country) has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy born in North Oxford (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges) '
Many other research reports on literacy levels and reading skills can also be downloaded from their website
Search for more articles and books on literacy unsing the UNESDOC database
The IOE UK Digital Education Repository Archive (DERA) is a digital archive of documents published electronically by government and other relevant bodies in the areas of education, training, children and families.
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Recently KFC has suffered a chicken shortage . Here are some recommended links for finding out more about fried chicken and takeways in the UK.
How much is the market for KFC?
Statista quotes figures that the number of KFC shops grew from 2010-2017.
In 2017, there were 21,487 KFC restaurants worldwide.
According to Scarborough Research, over 35 million people visited a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the spring of 2016. The average sales per system unit in the U.S. was 1,060 thousand U.S. dollars
in the UK BBC quoted data from Mintel - In 2017, UK customers spent an estimated £2.2bn in chicken restaurants
Family Food statistics give annual data on food purchased by households
National Diet and Nutrition survey examines types of food eaten by nutritional value eg levels of salt, sugar and fat.
Researchers in Cambridge found the number of fast food outlets rising rapidly. in Norfolk from the 1990s - 2008 Over the 18 year period, the number of takeaway food outlets rose by 45%, from 265 to 385 outlets.
How many fast food outlets are in your area?
use the Cedar assessment tool. developed by the University of Cambridge. It allows for detailed exploration of the geography of food retail access across England.
It calculated that The number of fast food shops close to schools is increasing in all English regions. In June 2014 the average English school had 2.3 takeaways within 400 metres. By September 2017 it had risen to 2.6.
Alternatively look at the map on the guardian from July 2017. There were more takeways in poorer areas. at that time there were 56,638 fast food shops in England, occupying more than a quarter of all food outlets
Ofcom has explored the impact of advertising for fast food on children
NHS evidence has reviewed the evidence that easy access to takeways increases the risk of obesity
Public Health Matters from the UK government.in March 2017 examined the link between the food enviornment and public health.
Thursday, 22 February 2018
The 20th February was World Day of social Justice. the 2018 theme was workers on the Move
ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization was adopted on on 10 June 2008
The official website has related United Nations documents and declarations as well as details of the 2018 events.
For further information on migrant labour try these recommended academic resources.
How many migrant workers are there?
Try the global estimates from the ILO
IOM Migration data portal has good visualizations and recent data
The World Bank has data on labour migration and remittances.
OECD International Migration outlook includes movements and trends.
The UK national statistics office has data on the impact of international migration on the UK labour market. There is also some research on the impact of migrant workers on UK businesses
Standards and regulation.
ILO has international standards on migration.
The UNESCO website has information on the International Migration Convention.