Disadvantaged young people living in the constituency of Westminster North are the most likely to get ahead in life whilst their peers in South Derbyshire are the least, according to new research published by the Sutton Trust today.
The Social Mobility Index ranks all 533 parliamentary constituencies in England according to five measures of social mobility through education. Looking at outcomes from the early years through to professional life, the data shows how well each constituency is doing in improving prospects for their most disadvantaged young people.
Despite having a high proportion of young people from disadvantaged homes, the capital can claim high levels of social mobility with 30 of the top 50 constituencies in Greater London. Three out of five young people in Westminster North are classed as disadvantaged, making it the fourth most deprived area in England.
All the top ten constituencies are in London and the South with Chipping Barnet and Leyton and Wanstead taking second and third place after Westminster North. The ten constituencies with the lowest levels of social mobility are in the Midlands or North of England. Low-income pupils in Barnsley Central and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford are the least likely to do well along with their peers in South Derbyshire.
By measuring indicators from the early years through school and university access to professional life, today’s Index warns us that geographical inequalities exist at every stage of the educational process. Even before primary school, 72% of disadvantaged toddlers in Lewisham Deptford achieve a good level of development compared to only 19% in Kenilworth and Southam. At GCSE, a child from a low-income household in Bethnal Green and Bow, the constituency with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils (65.5%), is almost four times as likely to get five or more A*-C grades than their peer living in Barnsley Central.
Of the major party leaders, Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency is the most socially mobile, coming in at number 15. Witney, David Cameron’s constituency, comes in at 475th, only slightly ahead of Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North (528).
Dr Lee Elliot Major, Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust said today:
“Today’s new social mobility index tells us that your chances of getting good GCSEs, attending a good university and accessing a professional job aren’t just a matter of ability, but are linked to where you live. We know talented children are born in every area of the country, yet these findings reveal stark differences in their educational and life prospects
“The fact that schools in some parts of the country do much better for their disadvantaged students than those in other parts of the country shows how important it is that the next Government redoubles the national drive to improve social mobility and reduce educational inequalities.
“Whoever is in Government after May has a major task ahead if they want to ensure young people can succeed regardless of their background and where they grow up. They need to make sure that all pupils have access to great teaching as well as the chance to go to the best schools and universities.”
A new interactive map on the Sutton Trust website will allow people to see how their constituency compares.
NOTES TO EDITORS: