Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday unveiled the coalition Government’s social mobility strategy, which aims to create a society where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
The strategy acknowledges the contributions of the British Cohort Studies in identifying the factors affecting life chances, such as smoking in pregnancy. It also recognises that the cohort studies have produced important evidence on the origins and consequences of child poverty, the evolution of attainment gaps between rich and poor children and trends in social mobility over time. The Government says it will continue to use these findings to enable its performance in improving social mobility to be judged over the long term.
The strategy outlines the steps the Government will take to improve social mobility. These include:
A new Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission will monitor the strategy’s progress, and departmental business plans will include seven new indicators to ensure new policies take account of impact on social mobility. The Government regards the recently announced 2012 birth cohort study as one of the key tools in building the evidence base for social mobility.
For more information, see the full strategy paper, Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility.
Alongside the Social Mobility Strategy, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education also published the new child poverty strategy, A New Approach to Child Poverty: Tackling the Causes of Disadvantage and Transforming Families’ Lives. This document also draws on research based on the British Cohort Studies, particularly relating to the role of early intervention in improving how children do at school.