England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland Economy and regeneration, Education and children's services, Welfare and equalities

Closing the gap: regional disparities in social mobility


New research from the Social Mobility Commission can track social mobility from secondary school to adulthood. It highlights that there are parts of England where a lack of social mobility can’t be fully explained.

This event brings together SMC researchers and local government leaders and practitioners to explore what’s holding us back and how local government can support both childhood and employment opportunities that help us close the gap. The aim of this session is to share practice on what works and help guide the next stage of research.

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A socially mobile country provides equal opportunities for everyone, no matter who your parents are or where you are from – whether in a large city or a small town, a rural hamlet or a coastal village. Yet we know that opportunities for good life outcomes are not equal across the country. This jointly hosted online event with the Local Government Information Unit and the Social Mobility Commission, will present findings from a new report on regional inequalities and provide the opportunity to discuss how we can better understand how we reach this goal. The Long Shadow of Deprivation: Differences in Opportunities.

The new report looked for the first time at social mobility outcomes (by earnings) for men across England. The report finds differences between local authorities in the earnings prospects for sons growing up in disadvantaged families, for the first time looking at earnings at age 28 based on where these sons grew up when they were age 16. It finds that whilst educational attainment is important for later earnings, the way these qualifications are translated into good jobs is vital – especially in the least socially mobile areas.

The event will give you the opportunity to hear about the report findings from the author: Professor Lindsey Macmillan from Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunity (CEPEO) at UCL. You will learn what these outcomes may mean for equalising opportunities for social mobility across the country and find out how this evidence can assist you to ask the right questions about the barriers to social mobility in your areas.


14:00 Welcome and introduction from LGIU

Jonathan Carr-West
Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)

14:10 The Social Mobility Commission

Saeed Atcha MBE
Commissioner, Social Mobility Commission

14:20 Report Findings: The Long Shadow of Deprivation: Differences in

Professor Lindsey Macmillan
Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunity (CEPEO) at UCL

14:50 What should you be asking?

Erin Hawkins
Analyst, Social Mobility Commission

15:05 Interactive audience Q&A with panel speakers
– Professor Lindsey Macmillan – CEPEO at UCL
– Erin Hawkins – Analyst, SMC
– Jonathan Carr-West – Chief Executive, LGIU
– Sasha Morgan, Director, SMC

– Saeed Atcha MBE – Commissioner, SMC

15:20 Webinar wrap up
Jonathan Carr-West
Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)

15:30 Close

Book for this online event via Eventbrite

Members can read our latest social mobility briefings:

Bundle: Social Mobility

Social Mobility: What’s been achieved in the last seven years?

Who should attend?

Local government leaders and practitioners engaged in opportunity creation through education and employment.