The UK Social Mobility Commission’s annual State of the Nation report published on 16 November 2016 concluded that Britain had a “deep social mobility problem which is getting worse”. The report describes an “unfair education system” as one of the “fundamental barriers” to social mobility and announced that it has a number of policies it says will tackle educational disadvantage and ensure social mobility at all stages of education. These include the creation of new grammar schools, alongside support for non-selective schools; support for character education in schools; and various programmes and policies to support widening participation in further and higher education.
It’s grammar school proposals are highly controversial even though the Government believes grammar schools can be engines of social mobility that can drive up standards in neighbouring non-selective schools. Oppositions to this argue that increased selection will further disadvantage poorer children.
Key findings included:
• In the last decade 500,000 poorer children were not school-ready by age five
• Poorer children, who stand to gain most from high-quality childcare, are least likely to receive it
• Just 5% of children eligible for free school meals gain 5 A’ grades at GCSE
• A child living in one of England’s most disadvantaged areas is 27 times more likely to go to an inadequate school than a child living in one of the least disadvantaged.
• Funding is being diverted from second chance education in further education (FE) colleges to apprenticeships, which are often of low quality, in low-skill