Social mobility at the heart of education

The Department for Education on Thursday published two reports which aim to put social mobility at the heart of education policy: “Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential: A plan for improving social mobility through education” and its single departmental plan. Both reports share four ambitions:

  • Ambition 1: Closing the word gap – Boosting access to high quality early language and literacy to ensure more disadvantaged young people leave school having mastered the basic of literacy.
  • Ambition 2: Closing the attainment gap – Raising standards for every pupil. Ambition 3: Real choice at post-16 – Creating world-class technical education, backed by a half a billion pounds in investment, and increasing the options for all young people regardless of their background.
  • Ambition 4: Rewarding careers for all – Boosting skills and confidence to navigate the change from education into work and raising their career aspirations. Building a new type of partnership with businesses to improve advice, information and work experiences for young people.

The reports form part of the governments social mobility plan which calls for universities to do “more to support the state sector, in particular by formally sponsoring academies and setting up free schools.” The plan will deliver targeted action where it is needed most, will provide £800 million of government investment on overcoming these challenges and supports evidence and impact exchange for widening participation.

In a speech at the inaugural Reform social mobility conference, Justine Greening, Education Secretary, said “We need to unlock Britain’s hidden talent… When it comes to post-16 choices, I’m determined to help more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds attend the best universities but I also want to make sure the half of all young people who do not go down an academic route have the skills and qualifications to get on and be every bit as successful.”  


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