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An analysis of 2 decades of efforts to improve social mobility – UK

Report shows that government policies over the last 20 years have delivered little progress on social mobility in Britain.

“Two decades of government efforts to improve social mobility have failed to deliver enough progress in reducing the gap between Britain’s ‘haves and have nots’, the Social Mobility Commission warns today (28 June 2017) in a hard-hitting new report. The commission, an independent body that monitors progress on social mobility, calls on current and future governments to learn 5 key lessons from the mistakes and successes of the past 20 years. It warns that without deep-seated reform, social and economic divisions in British society are set to widen with consequences for community cohesion and economic prosperity. The ‘Time for change’ report examines various public policies pursued over the last 20 years and assesses the impact they have had – for good or ill – on social mobility in Britain. The in-depth analysis, carried out for the first time, covers 4 life stages from the early years and school through to training and further/higher education and then into the world of work. It gives ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ ratings depending on how successful governments have been in translating policy into positive social outcomes. Damningly, the report is not able to give a single ‘green’ rating to any of the life stages. Both early years and schools are given an ‘amber’ rating, while young people and working lives receives a ‘red’. Overall, only 7 policies score a green while 14 score ‘amber’ and 16 ‘red’. While the report says that some policies – such as increasing employment and getting more working-class young people into university – have had a positive impact, overall the report concludes that ‘too little’ has been done to break the link between socio-economic background and social progress. It says that over 20 years new divides have opened up in Britain, across geographies, income groups and generations – and that many policies of the past are no longer ‘fit for purpose’. It comes up with 5 key lessons from the past and makes recommendations for government which includes…”

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