Bundle: Social mobility


Social mobility

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Giving every child the chance to achieve to their talents and ability is the dream of social mobility. But recent UK government audits show we still have a long way to go. Children from deprived backgrounds have hurdles and boundaries to success that are sometimes well understood and addressed to varying degrees and there remain hidden barriers.

Local government has a huge role to play in supporting families, providing access to education and social networks and nurturing economic opportunity – major drivers in social mobility.  As with many issues of equity, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the cracks and widened others.

On this page we’ve collected some of our briefings, events and other materials which help us examine these issues across multiple dimensions.  Join us for a seminar conducted jointly with the Social Mobility Commission on 12 November as we hear from researchers about their groundbreaking new research and frame the questions for the next round.


An intergenerational audit

The coronavirus pandemic has had major impacts on health and living standards. Whilst everyone has been affected to some degree, experiences have differed significantly between the generations. A new intergeneration audit assesses the impact of the pandemic on different age groups and examines the issues for policy makers, which this briefing for Members and Followers covers.

Event: Closing the gap

12 November: 2-3:30 PM on Zoom

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.

Book for this online event via Eventbrite

Long shadow of deprivation

Place, education and family background – what difference does it make to life’s course? – ground-breaking report from the Social Mobility Commission. This Members’ only briefing provides the highlights and context for the Social Mobility Commission’s recent report The Long Shadow of Deprivation.


Social mobility: what's been achieved in the last 7 years?

The Social Mobility Commission has published a comprehensive audit highlighting what it claims as the “disappointing level of [UK] government action” on social mobility over the last seven years. (Member only briefing)

Opportunity Areas – social mobility through education

The Opportunity Areas programme is sponsored by the UK Department for Education (DfE) for England.  This briefing provides an overview of the programme, the interventions which are being made on the ground to tackle social immobility, the achievements to date, and finally considers the programme’s future.

Cultural Capital and early childhood education

Since September 2019, all settings now receive a judgement about the quality of education offered, determined by how well the curriculum provides children with ‘cultural capital’ – or the “essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for future success”.

This briefing explores the reasons why the new Ofsted judgement has been introduced, what it means and why it has caused much debate.

Child poverty in Scotland

This briefing summarises key policy progress updates delivered by Scottish Government towards achieving the aims set out in the ‘Every Child, Every Chance’ Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan published in June 2019. This briefing summarises key updates, actions taken and signposts to relevant resources and funds to provide senior leaders and members of local authorities with a clear understanding of the broad range of actions taken to eradicate child poverty in Scotland.

Child's centred policy

Choosing and implementing policies that are coherent with child health and environmental sustainability, rather than accelerated ecological decline, is necessary for a sustainable and fairer future. This briefing explains why, and how, embedding children’s rights in policy-making starts with one quite simple question: how do our policies affect young people’s life-chances now and in the future?

Health equity impacts of Covid-19

We’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat: the long-lasting health equity impacts of Covid-19

Covid-19 and social disadvantage is a ‘chicken and egg’ crisis for local government. As the latest Public Health England report starkly shows, more deprived communities face additional hazards that put them at risk of catching the virus or dying from the effects of the pandemic. The purpose of this briefing is to remind us that while we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat.