Comment on December 2018 Barometer Report from the Social Mobility Commission


Tuesday 11 December 2018

Caroline Sharp, Research Director and lead on social mobility at NFER, commented: “NFER welcomes the 2018 Barometer Report published today by the relaunched Social Mobility Commission. The lives of children and young people are inextricably linked to the amount and quality of education they receive and this report  puts the spotlight on the continuing link between a child’s social background and their later outcomes. However as evidence shows, schools are currently experiencing some of the greatest challenges of recent times, with issues around recruiting and retaining enough teachers, ongoing funding pressures and the continuing impact of embedding curriculum, qualification and accountability reforms. This is why it is important for all areas of society to continue to seek to make an impact on social mobility and for central government to support this. It is therefore welcome and important to see the Social Mobility Commission continuing its work in this important area.

At NFER our mission is to improve outcomes for future generations and to support positive change across education systems and our research provides evidence on the factors affecting social mobility, educational outcomes, and later careers. We will be releasing a number of reports next year looking at the factors affecting social mobility, particularly looking at the life chances of the younger generation, who felt most acutely in this survey that background determines where you end up, and exploring routes to employment, T-levels and how education can help increase social mobility.

NFER is involved in evaluating the Government’s Opportunity Areas programme to help more children and young people achieve their full potential through targeted funding in 12 areas facing the biggest challenges to social mobility. An interim report is due to be published next year.