Two decades of government efforts to improve social mobility have failed to reduce divisions in Britain’s “us-and-them society”, a report says (writes BBC Education)
The Social Mobility Commission warns of a sour public mood and says the divides in British society are unsustainable socially, economically and politically.
The commission found failings at every key stage in people’s lives.
Chairman Alan Milburn said “whole tracts of Britain felt left behind” in “volatile and uncertain times”.
The commission used a traffic light system to assess progress in improving social mobility at:
- early years – amber
- school – amber
- training, further education or university – red
- work – red
Economic growth in London and other cities has left parts of England behind and at risk of being “hollowed out” as people leave in search of opportunities, according to the report.
The income and wealth divide has become “more acute” – between 1997 and 2017, the bottom fifth of households saw their incomes increase by just over £10 a week compared with £300 for the top fifth.