Commenting on Justine Greening’s plans to improve social mobility and a new action plan launched today, Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“We welcome today’s social mobility action plan. It will play an important role in enabling less advantaged young people to get on in life. We particularly welcome the Future Talent Fund, which will enable bright young people to fulfil their potential. We also welcome the new role for the Education Endowment Foundation to evaluate early years practice.”
“We welcome support for the Sutton Trust recommendation that universities should be more transparent on contextual admissions. We also support the need to encourage more disadvantaged young people to take academic subjects at GCSE for the English Baccalaureate. Both measures are important to widening university access.
“It is good that there is a focus on identifying ‘what works’, especially through working with the Education Endowment Foundation, and spreading best practice from high performing Local Authorities to underperforming areas.
“However, there are areas where more should be done. We need to be sure that the resources are there to match the ambitions of the new plan, particularly to support good teaching in disadvantaged areas. Admissions policy seems to have put in the ‘too difficult’ box yet without reforming admissions poorer pupils will continue to miss out on the best schools.
“We would like to see more done to ensure that disadvantaged young people progress to the best apprenticeships and that they don’t graduate with the highest debt. Internships should not be a barrier to social mobility – those over four weeks should be paid and advertised.”
NOTES TO EDITORS