George Smith

george smith

George Smith was until December 2008 a University Reader in Social Policy, and Research Fellow at Green College, Oxford. He was Head of Department 2005-2007 and previously the Department's research coordinator and course director for the Comparative Social Policy graduate degrees. He co-directed the Social Disadvantage Research Centre with Professor Michael Noble from its foundation in the 1990s to 2005.


His fields of interest include urban disadvantage, social security, poverty/low income and education, the measurement of deprivation at local and national level, and large scale programme evaluation. He worked on the Educational Priority Areas Project and the Community Development Projects in the 1970s; he conducted  OECD studies on educational disadvantage in the US (1971) and on disadvantaged youth in urban areas of Europe and the US (1989). Until April 1996 he was adviser/research consultant to the British Government's Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), London and before that to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools (HMI) over a fifteen year period. From the mid 1990s to 2015 he took part in a series of  major national evaluations of early education programmes in the UK. The Stop Start report (2018)  for the Sutton Trust spelled out what had happened to Children’s Centres over the last ten years. With Michael Noble and colleagues from the 1990s he developed the national indices of deprivation (ID and IMD) covering England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. These drew on wholly new datasets based on national administrative systems, analysed at individual level. These indices have now been continuously used by national and local governments and other bodies across the UK since 2000 (with five updates) to allocate very  significant funds, based on the level of social and economic deprivation measured at a local level.

  • Smith, George, Sylva, Kathy, Sammons, Pam & Omonigho, Aghogho (2018) STOP START: Survival, decline or closure? Children’s Centres in England, Sutton Trust. Online
  •  Sammons, P, Hall, J, Smees, R, Goff, J, Sylva, K, Smith, T, Evangelou, M, Eisenstadt, N, Smith, G (2015) The impact of children’s centres: studying the effects of children's centres in promoting better outcomes for young children and their families: evaluation of Children’s Centres in England (ECCE, Strand 4): research report. London: DfE.
  • Smith, George, Peretz, Liz & Smith, Teresa (2014) Social Enquiry, Social Reform and Social Action: One Hundred Years of Barnett House, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Oxford.
  • Smith, George & Smith, Teresa (2014) Targeting educational disadvantage by area: continuity and change in urban areas in England,1968–2014, Oxford Review of Education Special Issue 40:6, 715-738,
  • Noble, Michael, McLennan, David, Wilkinson, Katharine, Whitworth, Adam, Barnes, Helen and Dibben, Christopher (2008)The English Indices of Deprivation 2007. London: Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Smith, George, Pellissery, Sony, Rajan, Sweta and Dubuc, Sylvie (2007) Indian Microdata Scoping Study.
  • Smith, George, Smith, Teresa & Smith, Tom (2007) "Whatever Happened to EPAs?", Part 2: Educational Priority Areas - 40 years on. FORUM 48: 1 & 2 141-156. URL:
  • Smith, Teresa., Sylva, Kathy., La Valle, Ivana., Dearden, Lorraine., Smith, George., Coxon, Kate., Sigala, Maria., Mathers, Sandra., Smith, Ruth., Purdon, Susan., Shaw, Jonathan., & Sibieta, Luke (2007)National Evaluation of the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative: Integrated Report. DFES
  • Sigala, Maria & Smith, George (2007) "National Evaluation of the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative: Tracking and Neighbourhood Change", Research Report SSU/2007/FR/023  
  • Noble, M., Wright, G., Smith, G.A.N and Dibben, C. (2006) "Measuring Multiple Deprivation at the Small-Area Level", Environment and Planning A 38: 1 169-185
  • Smith, George & Smith, Teresa (2006) "A. H. Halsey: Oxford as a base for social research and educational reform", Oxford Review of Education 32: 1 105-126
  • Smith, George & Exley, Sonia (2006) "The influence of overseas examples on DES policy-making for the school system in England", Oxford Review of Education 32: 5 575-597
  • Noble, Michael, Barnes, Helen, Smith, George, McLennan, David, Dibben, Chris Avenell, David, Smith, Tom, Anttila, Chelsie, and Sigala, Maria  (2005) Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measures, 2005. Belfast: NISRA
  • Smith, George, Smith, Teresa, Wilkinson, Kate, and Sigala, Maria (2005) "National Evaluation of the New Deal for Communities Programme: Education and skills", New Deal for Communities National Evaluation  
  • Buchanan, Ann, Bennett, Fran, Ritchie, Charlotte, Smith, Teresa, Smith, George, Harker, Lisa & Vitali-Ebers, Sharon (2004)The impact of government policy on social exclusion among children aged 0-13 and their families: A review of the literature for the Social Exclusion Unit in Breaking the Cycle series. London: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Social Exclusion Unit.)
  • Smith, George, Noble, Michael, Anttilla, Chelsie, Gill, Leicester, Zaidi, Asghar, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris and Barnes, Helen (2004) The Value of Linked Administrative Records for Longitudinal Analysis
  • Noble, Michael, Wright, Gemma Lloyd, Myfawny Dibben, Chris Smith, George Ratcliffe, Andrew McLennan, David Sigala, Maria & Anttila, Chelsie (2003.) Scottish Index of Deprivation 2003: Summary Report Scottish Executive. Edinburgh:
  • Noble, Michael, Wright, Gemma, Lloyd, Myfwany, Dibben, Chris, Smith, George (2003) "Scottish Indices of Deprivation 2003", Full Report Scottish Executive  . URL:
  • Evans, Marti, Noble, Michael, Wright, Gemma, Smith, George Lloyd, Myfwany & Dibben, Chris (2002)Growing Together or Growing Apart? Geographic Patterns of Change in IS and JSA-IB Claimants in England 1995-2000 . The Policy Press
  • Smith, George & Smith, Teresa (2001) Excellence, diversity and inequality in education. London: Child Poverty Action Group
  • Smith, George, Noble, Michael & Wright, Gemma (2001) "Do we care about area effects?", Environment and Planning A 33 1341-1344
  • Plewis, Ian, Smith, George, Wright, Gemma, & Cullis, Andrew (2001) Linking Child Poverty and Child Outcomes: Exploring Data and Research Strategies ASD Research Branch Working Papers No 1. Department for Work and Pensions
  • Noble, Michael, Smith, George, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris & Lloyd, Myfanwy (2001) "The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure", Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) : 16
  • Noble, Michael, Lloyd, Myfanwy, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris and Smith, George (2001) "Developing deprivation measures for Northern Ireland", Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland 31 
  • Smith, George (2000) "Schools", Halsey, Albert H & Webb, Josephine ed.,Twentieth-Century British Social Trends. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 179-220
  • Noble, Michael, Smith, George, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris, Lloyd, Myfanwy & Penhale, Bruce (2000) Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation: 2000 Edition. The National Assembly for Wales
  • Noble, Michael, Penhale, Bruce, Smith, George, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris, Owen, Tom & Lloyd, Myfanwy (2000) "Indices of Deprivation 2000 Regeneration Research Summary", Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions (DETR) 21 
  • Smith, George & Noble, Michael (2000) "Developing the use of administrative data to study poverty", Bradshaw, Jonathon & Sainsbury, Roy ed.,Researching Poverty, Studies in Cash & Care. Ashgate, 77-97
  • Smith, George (2000) "Research and Inspection: HMI and OFSTED, 1981-1996 - A Commentary", Oxford Review of Education 26: 3 & 4 
  • Noble, Michael, Smith, George .A.N., Penhale, Bridget, Wright, Gemma, Dibben, Chris & Lloyd, Myfanwy (2000) "Measuring Multiple Deprivation at the Small Area Level: The Indices of Deprivation 2000 DETR", Regeneration Research Summary  37 
  • Noble, Michael., Smith, George., Cheung, Sin Yi. with de Moor, Desmond., Smith, Teresa., & Whitlock, Sandra (1998) Lone Mothers Moving In and Out of Benefit. York: York Publishing Services for Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Noble, Michael, Cheung, Sin Yi, & Smith, George (1998) "Origins and Destinations: Social Security Claimant Dynamics", Journal of Social Policy  27: 3 
  • Smith, George, Smith, Teresa, & Wright, Gemma (1997) "Choice, diversity or division? Poverty and schooling 1979-1997", Walker, Alan & Walker, Carol ed.,Britain Divided: the Growth of Social Exclusion.
  • Smith, George (1996) "Urban Education: Current Position and Future Possibilities: Some Evidence from Research ", Barber, Michael & Dann, Ruth ed., Raising Standards in the Inner Cities. Cassell
  • Smith, George Williamson, Howard Platt, Lucinda (1996) "Youth in an Age of Uncertainty: A Review of Recent Research", The Carnegie Young People Initiative Years of Decision  19-85
  • Noble, Michael & Smith, George (1996) "Two nations? Changing patterns of income and wealth in two contrasting areas", Hills, John ed.,New Inequalities. Cambridge University Press
  • Smith, Teresa., & Noble, Michael., with Barlow, Jane., Sharland, Elaine., & Smith, George (1995) Education Divides: Poverty and Schooling in the 1990s. London: Child Poverty Action Group