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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Education in the media: 14 December 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Social mobility, Universities, Vice chancellor pay

Today’s news review looks at the launch of the Social Mobility Action Plan and Minister Johnson on vice chancellor pay.

Social mobility

Today, Thursday 14 December, the Education Secretary Justine Greening launched the government’s Social Mobility Action Plan with a speech in the inaugural Reform social mobility conference.

The plan: “Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential” will deliver targeted action to deliver equality of opportunity for every child, regardless of where they live and focus £800 million of government investment on overcoming these challenges.

This has been widely covered by BBC Online, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, inews, TES, Schools Week and Buzzfeed. The Times Red Box also published an editorial piece by Justine Greening.

One overarching ambition will focus on places and communities across the country that feel they have been ‘left behind’, because they have not yet seen the improvement that other parts of the country have already benefited from.

A further four ambitions will cover the key life stages of people’s education:

  • Ambition 1: Closing the word gap: boosting access to high-quality early language and literacy both in the classroom and at home ensuring more disadvantaged children leave school having mastered the basic of literacy that many take for granted;
  • Ambition 2: Closing the attainment gap: raising standards for every pupil, supporting teachers early in their career as well as getting more great teachers in areas where there remain significant challenges;
  • Ambition 3: Real choice at post-16:  creating world-class technical education, backed by a half a billion pounds in investment, and increasing the options for all young people regardless of their background; and
  • Ambition 4: Rewarding careers for all: boosting skills and confidence to make the leap from education into work, raising their career aspirations. Building a new type of partnership with businesses to improve advice, information and experiences for young people.

 Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

In modern Britain, where you are born, where you live, where you go to school and where you work directly affects where you get to in life.

Talent is spread evenly across this country; the problem is that opportunity isn’t. We need systemic change and we need everyone – government, employers, education professionals and civil society - to work together – so that social mobility runs through everything we all do.

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation:

We welcome today’s social mobility action plan. It will play an important role in enabling less advantaged young people to get on in life. We particularly welcome the Future Talent Fund, which will support bright young people to fulfil their potential and the new role for the Education Endowment Foundation to evaluate early years practice.

Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair at KPMG UK said:

We have heard the Secretary of State's call to arms today for all sectors to work together to ensure future generations of young people have the skills, opportunity and support they deserve. We strongly support the Department's Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential" action plan; it is the right thing to do for the good of our society and it is also vital if the UK is to remain competitive on the global stage.

It will take the best efforts of all of us - working together - to stamp out the social immobility that currently stops too many people in this country from reaching their full potential.

Read the Education Secretary’s editorial in the Redbox here and the more about the plan to boost social mobility through education here.

Vice chancellor pay

Yesterday, Wednesday 13 December, Minister Johnson met with sector leads on senior university pay, reiterating his call that public confidence on this issue must to be restored.

This was covered this morning by BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. The Guardian, PA, the I and BBC Online also covered the stories and included supportive comments from UUK and the Russell Group who say that the new remuneration code from the Committee of University Chair would be a "welcome step".

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