Ali Jaffer and Lindsay Turner Trammell, Heads of Policy and Innovation at the Social Mobility Commission did a short presentation recapping the recent State of the Nation report, which was followed by a question and answer session that touched on some common threads:
- Cross party and cross departmental co-operation
- Local, regional and national perspectives
- Early years and parenting
- Digital revolution and skills education
- The role of employers
This inquiry looked at the gap in attainment between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from more affluent backgrounds and why this gap is more pronounced in different parts of the country.
The inquiry ran from November 2017 – June 2018, encompassing three evidence sessions held in Parliament and a call for written submissions. ‘Closing the regional attainment gap‘ summarises the evidence submitted to the report in both written and oral form, and makes a series of practical policy recommendations to tackle the issues highlighted.
Following the publication of our report Leading People 2016, the Sutton Trust worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility to lead a parliamentary inquiry into access into leading professions. The inquiry explored what is being done to increase access for those from disadvantaged backgrounds into the leading professions such as law, finance, medicine, journalism and politics, and what more could be done.
This session explored the perception that law, finance and professional services are dominated by people from particular demographic backgrounds. The session asked whether this is the case, how we can address the issue if so, and what is being done by charities and the professions to widen access. Panelists included representatives from the charity sector, as well as senior representatives from the professions themselves.
This session investigated why the medical profession is recruiting such a disproportionate number of people educated in the independent sector. The issue of access into medicine emerged as one of particular interest following the publication of the Sutton Trust’s report Leading People 2016. This session included representatives from across the medical profession from organisations such as the Medical Schools Council, the Royal College of Nursing and a Junior Doctor.
This session of the Social Mobility APPG ‘s inquiry into access into leading professions explored how politics and the civil may be more representative of society so that people do not feel alienated from them, as recent developments suggest they could be. Panelists included Dan Jarvis MP (Parliamentary Champion of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme), beneficiaries of the scheme, and Cabinet Office Minister Ben Gummer MP.
This session of the Social Mobility APPG‘s inquiry into entertainment and media explored challenges for accessing the entertainment and media professions, with some discussion regarding unpaid internships, and an agreement that there was a need for a more diverse group of people producing the news that we consume. This session saw senior representatives from the media and arts sector including actor Michael Sheen, as well as representatives from National Council for the Training of Journalists, Sky News and ITV.