‘Closing the gap’—education and social mobility.

 The fight for ‘equal opportunities’ has been a  major aim of education reformers and campaigners. A fairer education system has also been considered integral if ‘social mobility’ is to be increased. But for years, researchers have reaffirmed the importance of social background and social origin on school performance, arguing that ‘education cannot compensate for society’. … Continue reading ‘Closing the gap’—education and social mobility.

The Tories have increased social mobility!

Patrick Ainley   Guardian Letter Contrary to the assertions of Alan Milburn (Observer 2 December*), the Tories have dramatically increased social mobility. However, it is general, absolute, DOWNWARD social mobility that has increased, whilst the limited, relative, upward social mobility of the post-war, welfare state period is nowadays so statistically insignificant as to be exceptional.  As … Continue reading The Tories have increased social mobility!

The only social mobility will be downwards?

The latest report from Alan Milburn’s Social Mobility Commission continues to misunderstand why social mobility rates have largely halted. It proposes several ‘educational’ solutions from extending school sixth form opportunities (nobody would disagree with this) to forcing schools in low-performing local authorities to take part in improvement programmes so that Ofsted targets can be met … Continue reading The only social mobility will be downwards?

Social mobility’s ups and downs

Sociologist John Goldthorpe’s  argument  that  decades of investment in education have not improved social mobility, deserves to be taken seriously, given his position as one of the leading authorities  (if not the leading authority)  in this area. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/13/decades-of-educational-reform-no-social-mobility Goldthorpe argues  that improvement in ‘relative’ social  mobility –an increase in the improvement in educational chances of … Continue reading Social mobility’s ups and downs

Now Milburn calls for more apprenticeships

The latest ONS labour market statistics show large falls in youth unemployment –down 89 000 for 16-24 year olds, but still 16% and nearly three times the adult rate (www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/october-2014/statistical-bulletin.html).  The 733 000 unemployed 16-24 year olds include 266 000 full-time students. A more accurate picture is provided by the number of 18-24 year olds … Continue reading Now Milburn calls for more apprenticeships

Guardian letter : response to Wilshaw

  19/06/13As youth unemployment rose in 1976, Arnold Weinstock, managing director of the General Electric Company, wrote a letter in the Times Education Supplement headed "I blame the teachers" for not preparing pupils for employment. Since then relentless repetition by other leading industrialists, politicians and now the chief inspector of schools, Michael Wilshaw, has deflected attention … Continue reading Guardian letter : response to Wilshaw

Alan Milburn,social mobility and education

Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley ‘Social mobility,’ Nick Clegg declared on 26th May, ‘is the central preoccupation of this government.’ His speech trailed a report by Alan Milburn, former New Labour Minister and now the Coalition’s ‘social mobility Tsar’, which attacked the professions for failing to be more socially inclusive. The Report (Fair Access to … Continue reading Alan Milburn,social mobility and education

‘Posh and posher’?

Patrick Ainley With tv programmes like Andrew Neil's 'posh and posher' (BBC2 26/1), the public is being fed the myth that a return to grammar schools will restart upward social mobility and is therefore progressive. However, the official introduction of comprehensive schools from 1965 was coincident with but not a cause of ending the limited … Continue reading ‘Posh and posher’?