A think-tank report called for changes in the education system to improve social mobility. Their ten key recommendations included: for fairer admissions to comprehensives, grammar schools, and independent schools; to improve access to high quality early years education and care for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; to improve the quality of classroom teaching; for a national programme for highly able state school pupils; for high quality, personalized education and careers guidance; and for expansion in the number of good apprenticeships.
Source: Mobility Manifesto, Sutton Trust
An article examined how educational attitudes and aspirations among 11- to 15-year-olds varied with the local unemployment rate, drawing on data from the British Household Panel Survey. It said that children of highly educated parents with positive educational attitudes reacted more positively to low labour demand than those from less educated families with negative educational attitudes. It discussed the implications for social mobility and educational inequality during recessions.
Source: Mark Taylor and Tina Rampino, 'Educational aspirations and attitudes over the business cycle', Economica, Volume 81 Issue 324
A report examined the extent to which childhood circumstances affected future life-chances, drawing on data from the United Kingdom and other European Union countries.
Source: Paola Serafino and Richard Tonkin, Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage in the UK & EU, Office for National Statistics
An article examined the relationships underlying estimates of relative inter-generational mobility in the United States and Great Britain, focusing on men. It explored several pathways by which parental status was related to offspring status, including education, labour market attachment, occupation, marital status, and health. It said that the relationships underlying inter-generational linkages differed in systematic ways between the two countries. In the United States, primarily because of the higher returns to education and skills, the pathway through offspring education was relatively more important than it was in Great Britain. By contrast, in Great Britain the occupation pathway formed the primary channel of inter-generational persistence.
Source: Jo Blanden, Robert Haveman, Timothy Smeeding, and Kathryn Wilson, 'Intergenerational mobility in the United States and Great Britain: a comparative study of parent-child pathways', Review of Income and Wealth, Volume 60 Issue 3
An article examined class and gender inequalities in the choices and decisions made by young people in their final year of compulsory schooling.
Source: Helene Snee and Fiona Devine, 'Taking the next step: class, resources and educational choice across the generations', Journal of Youth Studies, Volume 17 Number 8
A new book examined the impact of social class and inequality on educational outcomes, and the interplay between risk and protective factors that affected educational experiences. Drawing on evidence from the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education longitudinal study of children in the United Kingdom, the book examined the roles that people and experiences (at home, in schools, and in the wider community) played in children's learning, how these factors affected their achievement, and the explanations and meanings given by respondents to aspects of their lives.
Source: Iram Siraj and Aziza Mayo, Social Class and Educational Inequality: The impact of parents and schools, Cambridge University Press
An article examined the relation between intra-generational social class mobility of parents and the educational qualifications of their children. The article noted methodological implications for measuring the social class gradient in attainment and qualifications.
Source: Ian Plewis and Mel Bartley, 'Intra-generational social mobility and educational qualifications', Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 36
A new book examined employer engagement in education in the United Kingdom, how it was delivered, and its differentiated impact on young people as they progressed through schooling and higher education into the labour market. The book also explored the ways in which education supported or constrained social mobility and, in particular, how employer engagement in education could have both positive and negative impacts upon social mobility.
Source: Anthony Mann, Julian Stanley, and Louise Archer (eds), Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and evidence, Routledge
A report examined reasons why disadvantaged pupils performed better in inner London than in other regions (often referred to as the 'London effect'). It said there were three key lessons for policymakers in seeking to narrow the achievement gaps: that early achievement in primary schools was important, particularly in English, and that this was consistent with a case for early intervention, although secondary schools also had a role in keeping students on track; that any improvements would take a long time to become visible in national results; and that recent improvements should be attributed to policies much further back in time, such as the national strategies of the late 1990s and early 2000s, rather than from recent policy initiatives such as the London Challenge or the Academies Programme.
Source: Ellen Greaves, Lindsey Macmillan, and Luke Sibieta, Lessons from London Schools for Attainment Gaps and Social Mobility, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
A report by a committee of MPs said that educational underachievement among white working class children was 'real and persistent', with gaps visible at age five and widening as children got older. The report said that white children who were eligible for free school meals were consistently the lowest performing group in the country, and the difference between their educational performance and that of their less deprived white peers was larger than for any other ethnic group. The report welcomed policies such as the pupil premium, but said that schools needed to work together to address problems in their local context, and should be encouraged to share good practice. It said that the department should maintain its focus on employing the best teachers in areas of greatest need, and should consider what incentives might drive teachers' decisions on where they would work.
Source: Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children, First Report (Session 201415), HC 142, House of Commons Education Select Committee, TSO
A report examined the educational trajectories of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. It said children in this group were far less likely to become 'high achievers' at any stage, and that any early promise shown by higher achieving students could be lost as they progressed through school, particularly at secondary school level. The report said that the period between ages 11 and 16 was therefore a key time for intervention by policymakers. The report also discussed choice of university and said that the system must provide potential applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds with advice, in order to encourage greater numbers of applications to elite institutions.
Source: Claire Crawford, Lindsey Macmillan, and Anna Vignoles, Progress Made by High-Attaining Children from Disadvantaged Backgrounds, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
A paper examined social mobility, its definition, and how it had changed in the United Kingdom over time. It said that the growth of inequality meant that the consequences of social mobility had become more significant than in the past, and the paper looked at the international evidence, which types of economy tended to have more social mobility, and what policy responses might aid greater mobility in the UK.
Source: Declan Gaffney and Ben Baumberg, Dismantling the Barriers to Social Mobility, Trades Union Congress
A think-tank report examined the role of higher education in facilitating social mobility in the United Kingdom. It argued that government policy had led to a focus on recruiting more students from disadvantaged backgrounds, rather than on the outcomes they achieved. It said that students from areas of high disadvantage had a relatively lower level of success in degree performance and employment outcomes, and that better outcomes could be achieved by adding systematically delivered and assessed skills training to the academic programme. The report proposed an additional, new measure of graduation and employment outcome (the Social Mobility Graduate Index) for use alongside other policy mechanisms such as control of student numbers or levels of tuition fees.
Source: Michael Brown, Higher Education as a Tool of Social Mobility: Reforming the delivery of HE and measuring professional graduate output success, CentreForum
A report examined the impact of child-targeted interventions in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and initiatives to widen access to higher education in Europe, and their impact on social mobility in later years. It said that, in the context of economic uncertainty, high-quality ECEC appeared to be an effective evidence-based social policy tool, but was not a panacea. The report recommended the development of indicators and policy goals that linked ECEC provision for underrepresented groups with access to higher education.
Source: Benoit Guerin, Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage: Early childhood interventions and progression to higher education in Europe, RAND Europe
A paper examined the literature on income mobility within and between generations, considering mobility concepts, descriptive devices, measurement methods, data sources, and recent empirical evidence.
Source: Markus Jantti and Stephen Jenkins, Income Mobility, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality
An article questioned assumptions about social mobility in Britain, calling for a new research agenda in mobility studies and, in particular, the consideration of how mobility was experienced and understood.
Source: Sam Friedman, 'The price of the ticket: rethinking the experience of social mobility', Sociology, Volume 48 Issue 2
A paper examined new estimates of intergenerational mobility. It concluded that educational inequality had declined for cohorts born after 1980, and that this was associated with rising average educational achievement, but evidence on high attainment did not indicate that educational inequality had declined.
Source: Jo Blanden and Lindsey Macmillan, Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or hindrance?, CASE WP 8, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (London School of Economics)
The government published its response to the annual report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
Source: Government's Response to the Annual Report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Cm 8827, Department for Education, TSO
An article examined the associations between social mobility, income inequality, and socio-economic differences in mortality in European countries. Both income equality and social mobility were found to be associated with larger socio-economic differences in mortality, particularly in women. These findings suggested that although social mobility and income equality might improve population health, they might also increase socio-economic health inequalities.
Source: Audrey Simons, Danielle Groffen, and Hans Bosma, 'Socio-economic inequalities in all-cause mortality in Europe: an exploration of the role of heightened social mobility', European Journal of Public Health, Volume 23 Issue 6
An article examined the relationship between social class and attainment in the early years of schooling, drawing on the Millennium Cohort Study. It investigated the extent to which social class inequalities in early cognitive scores could be accounted for by parental education, income, family social resources, and parental behaviours. Social class remained an important concept for both researchers and policy-makers, and the link between structural inequalities and inequalities in children's cognitive scores could not be readily accounted for in terms of individual parenting behaviours.
Source: Alice Sullivan, Sosthenes Ketende, and Heather Joshi, 'Social class and inequalities in early cognitive scores', Sociology, Volume 47 Issue 6
A paper examined occupational mobility between 1991 and 2001 for those employed in Scotland in 1991, using data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study. The paper said that 'neighbourhood effects' were strongest for home owners, as compared with those in the social or private rented sector. It said that the correlation between occupational mobility and residential environment could be explained by selection effects, whereby home-owners with least resources were least likely to experience upward mobility and were most likely to sort into the most deprived neighbourhoods, whereas the neighbourhood sorting mechanism in the social rented sector was influenced by factors other than market forces.
Source: Maarten van Ham and David Manley, Occupational Mobility and Living in Deprived Neighbourhoods: Housing tenure differences in ï¿½neighbourhood effectsï¿½, Discussion paper 7815, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
A report outlined research on staffing in the banking sector. It detailed a new scheme, created by the Sutton Trust and banking organisations, to promote social mobility through identifying, and nurturing the careers of, young people from low and middle income backgrounds.
Source: Boston Consulting Group, Pathways to Banking: Improving access for students from non-privileged backgrounds, Sutton Trust