Social mobility plan launched by the Department of Education
December 22, 2017
On Thursday 14 December, the Department for Education (DfE) released its plan for “improving social mobility through education”. Acknowledging that there is no “silver bullet” to improving social mobility, the purpose of the plan is to “bring together and give coherence to the steps we are taking and … provide a platform for further action”.
The plan looks to achieve four ambitions for “tackling the injustices that hold people back at each life stage”. These are:
“Close the word gap in the early years” (this refers to the difference in the number of words in the vocabulary of disadvantaged pupils compared to others);
“Close the attainment gap in school while raising standards for all” (this refers to the difference in outcomes for disadvantaged pupils compared to others);
“High quality post-16 education choices for all young people” (including high quality technical education, investing in further education, and ensuring higher education);
“Everyone achieving their full potential in rewarding careers” (including opportunities to build a career, retrain or change career and an end to discrimination of all types).
This plan will sit alongside the “opportunity areas programme” designed to support certain communities with “entrenched challenges”. As a result, the government have also released separate delivery plans for Blackpool, Derby, North Yorkshire, Norwich, Oldham and West Somerset.