You have javascript disabled in your browser. We recommend turning it on for a better experience on this site.

Experts to tackle social mobility in Westminster

Experts to tackle social mobility in Westminster

Labour MP Frank Field is to join forces with academics and experts in the field of child welfare and social mobility to discuss ways in which young people from poor backgrounds can be supported.

Field, Labour's Minister for Welfare between 1997 to 1998 and current 'Poverty Czar' for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, will be among those presenting papers at 'Understanding and supporting families over time', a large scale conference organised by researchers at the University of Leeds.

The conference will bring together academics, practitioners and third sector organisations to establish recommendations for ensuring that children from the poorest backgrounds get equal access to education and career opportunities.

Leading charity Barnados, policymakers from the Department of Health and Graham Allan MP, who recently authored a report on early years intervention, will also give their views at the conference. All invited participants will pool knowledge and expertise gained from decades of first-hand experience working closely with young people from low income backgrounds.

With members of the policy, third sector and academic communities making up the audience the conference is hoping to have a big impact. It is being arranged by Timescapes, a large scale research project which is based at the University of Leeds, the Social Policy Association and the Family and Parenting Institute.

Professor Bren Neale, from the University of Leeds, said: ''This exciting conference will bring together leading researchers, policy makers and practitioners to explore how we may better understand and support families over time. We are very happy to have Frank Field on board who is leading the way in the social mobility debate.

For families coping with complex needs, social exclusion or with other kinds of disadvantage, there are particular challenges for policy and professional practice that this conference will seek to address.''

The conference will take place in Westminster in the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, 13th - 14th June 2011.

In the run up to the conference a series of Timescapes policy briefing papers will be released detailing policy recommendations on a variety of pertinent social issues, such as teen dads, young people's experiences of the recession, families' work-life balance and social exclusion.

Conference details & booking

Understanding and Supporting families over time: Research, Policy and Practice
13th - 14th June 2011
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre,
Broad Sanctuary

For further information please view the Timescapes conference link or visit

To book a place on the conference visit the website

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email

Notes to editors

  1. Timescapes is directed by Bren Neale, Professor of Life Course and Family Research, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Professor Janet Holland is co-director for Timescapes based at London South Bank University.

  2. Timescapes is documenting people's experiences of growing up, relationships, having children, living in families and growing older through carrying out seven different research projects based at five different University institutions across the UK - Leeds, London South Bank, Cardiff, Edinburgh and the Open University. More at

  3. The coalition government recently released a response to Frank Field's independent poverty review in April 2011. The coalition government had commissioned Frank Field to write a report on the life chances of children from poorer backgrounds. Read more about the independent poverty review

  4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2010/11 is £218 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.  More at

  5. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.

  6. The Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law brings together internationally-renowned expertise in these key areas of human interaction. Its four schools - education; sociology and social policy; politics and international studies; law - embed world-leading research into a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development courses.

Back to the top