The Deputy Prime Minister launched the Coalition’s annual progress check on social mobility this week.
The document tracks the UK’s progress against a set of indicators mapping social mobility from birth into adulthood. The findings reveal stark gaps at all life stages between the poorest and richest in society.
Centre for Cities research reveals how these inequalities play out across the country:
- 54% of children in Rochdale achieve a ‘good level of development’ in Early Years Foundation Stage compared to 69% in Richmond-upon-Thames in London (Source: Neighbourhood Statistics)
- 74% of children in Middlesbrough achieve a level 4 in Maths at the end of Key Stage 2 compared to 89% in Trafford in Manchester
- A 7% point gap remains between buoyant and struggling cities in GCSE Maths and English attainment (Source: Learning Curve, Centre for Cities)
- 44% of children in Barnsley achieve five good GCSEs including Maths and English compared to 66% in Gloucester
- Pupils eligible for free school meals are 3 times more likely to get five good GCSEs in Tower Hamlets in London compared to Milton Keynes
- There is a 16% point gap between buoyant and struggling cities in the number of pupils going on to study A-levels (Source: Learning Curve, Centre for Cities)
- A young person living in Warrington is twice as likely to go to university compared to Grimsby and nearly four times more likely to go to a Russell Group university or Oxbridge (Source: HESA)
- Job-related training improves individuals’ chances of progressing in work. People in Derby are three times more likely to access job-related training than people in Bradford (Source: Learning Curve, Centre for Cities)
*Unless otherwise stated data is sourced from the Department for Education
The emphasis in the government’s strategy for social mobility is on ‘joined-up’ government with departments working together across policy areas. This makes a lot of sense given that individuals’ social mobility is influenced by multiple factors. Yet departmental silos have historically been difficult to break down. Cities can lead the way here, bringing together partners at the local level to tailor interventions around individuals, to maximise the impact of national initiatives and to minimise duplication.
The Centre for Cities will be exploring some of these issues at a roundtable with key Whitehall officials with leading voices from cities and business next month. If you are interested in attending or want to find out more, please contact Niamh Sands.