Parliamentarians report publishes a guide to help policymakers support social mobility


The All-Party group on Social Mobility was formed to “discuss and promote the cause of social mobility;  to raise issues of concern and help inform policy makers and opinion formers”. Social mobility in the UK has, we know, stalled, as the Sutton Trust confirms  in its  research. The Coalition government is committed to improving social mobility. The All Party Parliamentary group  has just published an interim report, which flags up some truths about social mobility and some possible  policy responses and options. Although much of what it concludes might seem obvious its seventh truth ‘ Personal resilience and emotional well-being are the missing link in the chain’ is striking and reinforces the case being put by reformers that better  support for  character development , positive thinking and resilience among pupils is both  possible and desirable.

The Chairman of the Group is Damian Hinds MP, and one of the Vice-Chairs is Baroness Morris of Yardley, the former Education Secretary.

The Seven Truths and the Policy responses according required:


1.The point of greatest leverage for social   mobility is what happens between ages

0 and 3, primarily in the home

Policy Challenge

A massive premium on ‘parenting’ skills


2. You can also break the cycle through education…

Policy Challenge

Children must be able to access learning (school readiness; reading ability)


3. …the most important controllable factor being the quality of your teaching

Policy Challenge

Focus first on quality of teachers & teaching


4. But it’s also about what happens after the school bell rings

Policy Challenge

Find ways to level the playing field on out-of school opportunities, and participation


5. University is the top determinant of later opportunities – so pre-18 attainment is key

Policy Challenge

Reinforces importance of school years – but also raises questions about university admissions


6. But later pathways to mobility are possible, given the will and support

Policy Challenge

Find the exemplar programmes, analyse and demonstrate impact


7. Personal resilience and emotional well-being are the missing link in the chain

Policy Challenge

Recognise that social/emotional ‘skills’ underpin academic and other success – and can be taught

Link to All Party Group Report

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