ASCL comment on Social Mobility Commission report

30 April 2019

Commenting on the Social Mobility Commission’s ‘State of the Nation’ report, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“Schools and colleges are doing their very best to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and other students, but they are doing so in incredibly difficult circumstances. These include totally inadequate levels of funding, rising levels of pupil poverty and cuts to local support services for vulnerable families.

“We welcome the Social Mobility Commission’s recommendation to extend free childcare and to improve funding for 16-19 education, which is an area that is chronically underfunded at present. It is a mystery why the government thinks it is okay to provide so little money for this vital sector when this phase of education is obviously crucial for onward progression to university courses, apprenticeships and careers.

“The government must also improve the level of funding for primary and secondary schools in general, and for high needs provision.

“And it needs to back up the work of schools with joined-up social and economic policies which restore hope to disadvantaged communities.”