Social Mobility

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 10th February 2021.

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Photo of David Johnston David Johnston Conservative, Wantage

What steps the Government is taking to increase social mobility.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

Our focus is on levelling up and ensuring that no one is left behind. During the pandemic, we are ensuring that all children get the chance to succeed through a further £300 million to schools for tutoring, new summer school initiatives and the covid premium.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston Conservative, Wantage

Last month, it was reported that the civil service fast stream is no longer publishing data on the social backgrounds of the people it hires, which came with information obtained by a freedom of information request showing that the success of those from private schools entering the fast stream is double that of those from comprehensive schools. Can I therefore ask my right hon. Friend to push the civil service fast stream to publish that data regularly, so that it leads by example and demonstrates its commitment to social mobility?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

My hon. Friend is correct to say that the civil service should be recruiting the best people, regardless of their background, and that it should be open to all. We will be publishing the data that he asks for by April of this year, and the Government will have more to say shortly on widening opportunity in the civil service.