21 February 2019
Commenting on the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on social mobility, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“The report makes several good recommendations which merit detailed consideration, including the idea of encouraging schools to spend the pupil premium on teacher development, and better incentives for teachers in challenging schools.
“It highlights the success of London schools and this is a great example of what can be achieved. But we must also recognise that circumstances differ from one area to another, and that solutions can only be found by understanding local context and factors and delivering targeted support.
“If we are to truly tackle the attainment gap between rich and poor, we need to address the factors beyond the school gates, the impact of entrenched, generational disadvantage on the lives and aspirations of many families. We need joined-up social and economic policies which restore hope to blighted communities.
“Schools and colleges must also be funded properly. Over the past few years they have suffered real-terms cuts which have made it increasingly difficult to provide the additional support their most vulnerable learners require. The government must live up to its rhetoric on social mobility by giving them the money they need to support these young people.”