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The Mobilise Podcast

Our Mobilise podcast is a mini-series in which Sally Hogg, Senior Policy Fellow in PEDAL, talks to leading policymakers and politicians from across the UK about how research can be used in policy to improve children's lives. We discuss what our guests have achieved for children and the challenges that arise when using research-based evidence in complex political environments.

A new episode will be released every week from 29th May 2024. You can find the podcast episodes below and it will be available wherever you get your podcasts.




Episode 1: Sir David Bell

Sir David Bell, Former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, talks to Sally about research, politics and the critical role that civil servants play in helping Ministers to navigate evidence. This is a journey through more than twenty years of children’s policy from Every Child Matters, through raising the school leaving age, the Academies act to Labour’s current thinking on early education.


Episode 2: Carey Oppenheim

Carey Oppenheim, Early Years and Child Poverty expert, talks to Sally about her time in Government, establishing the Early Intervention Foundation and the lessons she has learned through her career. We discuss the early development and expansion of Sure Start; what we’ve learned about using evidence-based programmes, and the need to combine local community insight with research expertise to find sustainable solutions for children and families.


Episode 3: Baroness Beverley Hughes

Baroness Beverley Hughes, Former Children’s Minister talks to Sally about the “what works” culture in the last Labour Government. We hear Beverley’s memories on the role of evidence in policies including Sure Start; tackling teenage pregnancy and the smoking ban; reflections on how evidence can help politicians make the case for change, and the challenges of balancing academic evidence, political views and the practicalities of delivering services at scale.


Episode 4: Sir Peter Wanless

Sir Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, talks to Sally about the role that charities can play in supporting research, development and innovation in public services. Peter also reflects on his time in the civil service, and the role of evidence, data and insight in driving up the quality of schools and children’s services. We discuss the importance of local services and systems understanding children and families and finding sustainable solutions that take account of different contexts (and there’s a good anecdote about Ed Balls and Dolly Parton).