Social mobility “cold spots” in England are likely to get colder if action is not taken, a cross-party group of MPs and peers warn, Independent is reporting.
There could be serious repercussions for children’s achievement in these areas, such as Norfolk, Somerset and Blackpool, if the government does not offer more support, a report on social mobility says.
The all-party parliamentary group on social mobility is calling for ring-fenced funding for children’s centres and for high-quality early years provision to be offered to the poorest children.
The progress of disadvantaged pupils in England lags behind their classmates by around half a grade per subject at GCSE. But the attainment gap is much worse in certain areas of the country.
The report calls for a “social mobility premium” – a fund to help the most disadvantaged pupils – to pay for teacher development in deprived areas.
It also suggests more generous financial incentives for teachers who take up posts in challenging schools.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, added: “The government must live up to its rhetoric on social mobility by giving [schools and colleges] the money they need to support these young people.”
Another report from University College London (UCL) released on Thursday reveals that early schooling can substantially reduce the attainment gap between poorer boys and their more affluent peers.
Responding to the report, education secretary Damian Hinds said: “Social mobility is, ultimately, why I’m in politics. Everyone should have the chance to fulfil that spark of potential which exists in all of us and it a fundamental part of the Department for Education’s purpose.
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