From education to employment

Association of Colleges supporting the government’s Social Mobility Commission

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Today, (11 Dec), the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) hosted its launch event to introduce the new Commissioners and to set out the vision for the organisation.

As part of this, the SMC announced a new £2 million research fund and also launched its latest Social Mobility Barometer to coincide with this event.

The £2 million fund has been secured from the Department, for the purpose of funding additional research and is in addition to the £72 million being put into the Opportunity Areas programme over three financial years (2017-2020) to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people.

The poll shows:

  • a worrying level of pessimism amongst young people who think they have little chance of moving up in society
  • that generally all people across the age ranges think it is getting harder for disadvantaged people to move up in society
  • there is an urgent need to ensure people can improve their social mobility

Social mobility is the link between a person’s occupation or income and the occupation or income of their parents. Where there is a strong link, there is a lower level of social mobility. Where there is a weak link, there is a higher level of social mobility.

The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has reduced across all stages of education and today’s announcement is part of our continuing mission to further improve and speed up the progress we are making.

damian hinds100x100Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

This Government strongly believes that everyone should have the chance to fulfil their potential, and where you start in life should not determine future success.

We have taken great strides to improve social mobility. The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has reduced across all stages of education, we’re targeting extra support at the poorest areas of the country to raise standards in schools and attract great teachers, and more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are going to university.

Whilst potential and talent is evenly spread, the opportunities to make the most of it sometimes aren’t, which is why the work the Social Mobility Commission do is so important and why we are investing £2million to expand its research and spread good practice. I look forward to working with Dame Martina and the commissioners as part of our shared vision to improve social mobility.

Association of Colleges is delighted to be an Ambassador Organisation for the government’s relaunched Social Mobility Commission.

As just one of 15 Ambassador Organisations, AoC will work closely with the 12 new commissioners to support the Commission’s work and thinking and co-develop and deliver projects and campaigns.

david hughes 100 x100David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges said:

I am delighted to be working with the Social Mobility Commission and championing the unique role of colleges. If we are seriously committed to creating an economically prosperous and socially just society, colleges have to be at the heart of government thinking.

From GCSEs to post doctorates, from English as an additional language to aeronautical engineering, colleges are the great equaliser. They are at the heart of every community, serving 2.2 million people each year, working to ensure real and meaningful opportunity for all.

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