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Education policy guide: a guide to what works in policy and practice

Research report

Written by Andrew Shepherd

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Chronic poverty is a durable set of social and economic deprivations that parents sometimes pass onto their children. Education policies attuned to how chronic poverty endures offer some of the best means of cutting the chances that children will ultimately inherit their parents’ poverty.

At the same time, children from chronically poor families are typically among the hardest to reach and to teach. The policy concerns of education and chronic poverty overlap at several key stages in the life cycle, and a growing body of evidence shows how, why and where action at these strategic points succeeds.

This policy guide aims to steer educational policy-makers and practitioners through recent evidence about the relationship between education and chronic poverty. Specifically, it draws out practical lessons about the related issues of what works to educate the chronically poor, and about where and how chronic poverty is successfully being tackled through education.

Chronically poor backgrounds are associated with faster and more equitable economic growth, more inclusive and cohesive societies, and social transformations, including greater gender equity. The combined policy stakes of education policy and chronic poverty reduction may be high, yet well-designed education interventions can also be strategic, cost-effective and sustainable.

Naomi Hossain, Lucy Scott and Andrew Shepherd