The Sutton Trust’s Mobility Manifesto sets out ten practical policy steps to put social mobility at the heart of the 2017 election campaign.
From early years education through to fair and transparent employment practices, social mobility must be a key consideration for the new government in education and employment policy and practice. The manifesto urges better provision for disadvantaged pupils in early years and school settings, alongside dedicated funding for the highly able and fairer admissions to comprehensives, grammar schools and independent schools. It also urges a ban on unpaid internships, along with more advanced and higher apprenticeships, as well as best practice in widening access in employment.
- Guarantee that all disadvantaged children have access to the best early years education by protecting educational funding and resources at this vital stage, ensuring that it is being provided by well qualified staff.
- Make improving the quality of classroom teaching the top priority in schools, with effective appraisals and a guaranteed entitlement to good quality training for all teachers.
- Ensure that disadvantaged pupils in schools are properly funded through the Pupil Premium and proper weighting through the new national funding formula, making sure that funds are more effectively targeted with greater use of evidence provided by the Education Endowment Foundation.
- Ensure that grammar schools provide fair access to disadvantaged pupils, while tackling ‘selection by house price’ at comprehensives by creating fairer school admissions through the increased use of ballots and banding.
- Develop an effective national programme for highly able state school pupils, with ring-fenced funding to support evidence based activities and tracking of pupils’ progress.
- Help transform social mobility at the top by opening leading independent day schools to all based on ability rather than ability to pay and promoting more partnership working between sectors.
- Provide opportunities for young people to develop essential life skills beyond their core curriculum, including access to enrichment activities. Back this with good quality careers guidance by strengthening the Careers and Enterprise Company.
- Keep the case for means-tested tuition fees under review and ensure the new Office for Students places improved access into universities at the core of its mission, with better evidenced access and outreach programmes, including the use of contextual admissions.
- Ensure that there are more advanced and higher apprenticeships, with a focus on quality, so that young people have real opportunities for progression and employers can develop the skilled workforce they need.
- Ensure that employers’ recruitment practices are fair and transparent with more use of best practice to widen access, including banning unpaid internships over four weeks and making sure that they are publicly advertised and awarded on merit.