Social Mobility

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of policies and programmes to tackle social inequality in the UK; and what evidence exists to demonstrate that children and young people living in poverty and low-income households have been enabled by those policies and programmes to overcome the barriers to social mobility.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Social mobility is a top priority, and the department is taking action to remove barriers to opportunity at every stage of the education system. The department has set out a 10 year ambition to boost children’s early reading and communication skills. We have invested more than £15 billion in the pupil premium to support the most disadvantaged pupils and we are reforming technical education. The evidence shows we are closing the educational attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and others, as measured by the disadvantage gap index, by around 13 % at key stage 2 and 9.5 % at key stage 4 since 2011. As well as increasing the proportion of disadvantaged 18 year olds entering full-time higher education from 13.3% in 2009 to 20.2% in 2018.

The department has invested over £137 million in the Education Endowment Foundation to help schools use the pupil premium in ways that are proven to have a positive impact.

We are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and we are making good progress. Nationally, there are now over a million fewer workless households, and around 665,000 fewer children living in such households compared with 2010.

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