Magazine article Public Finance

Critics Temper Government Optimism over Social Mobility

Magazine article Public Finance

Critics Temper Government Optimism over Social Mobility

Article excerpt

Government research suggesting that social mobility is beginning to Improve in the UK has been questioned by leading academics.

The Prime Minister's Strategy UnK published an analysis of the available evidence on social mobllHyi Getting on, getting ahead, on November 3, which suggested that 'positive changes' began to occur around the year 2000. This followed three decades when children failed to outdo their parents In academic achievement and Income - the two principal measures of upward social mobility.

A series of government Initiatives targeted at less well-off people, including the creation of academies, have been aimed at improving social mobility. Cabinet Office Minister LIam Byrne said: 'What seems clear Is that despite the huge social, economic and political changes between 1970 and 2000, social mobility didn't go up - it stayed the same. Now, things look like they're starting to Improve.'

Analysis of data based on GCSE results for children born in 1990 showed a 'statistically significant decline in the importance of family background on educational attainment compared to children born in 1970', the report suggested. …

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