Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lords' concern over inequality

The subject of inequality of opportunity is one I'd expect to hear about from Labour Party politicians, not the House of Lords. How do we explain this?

Social mobility hindered by ‘culture of inequality’ in school system – peers
Social mobility in Britain is hampered by a “culture of inequality” that penalises school leavers who enter the workforce rather than higher education, according to a parliamentary report.

An investigation by the House of Lords committee on social mobility called for radical revisions to the content of schooling from the age of 14, to better prepare teenagers who do not go on to university for the world of work…

Young people were in danger of being trapped in low-skilled, low-paid work, with little chance of a rewarding career… said Lady Corston, who chaired the committee…

The report… concludes: “The expansion of higher education has served some groups well. It has, however, disadvantaged those already underserved by the education system and inhibited upwards social mobility for those in the middle.

“Non-academic routes to employment are complex, confusing and incoherent. The qualifications system is similarly confused and has been subjected to continual change.”

Instead, the final four years of schooling should be redesigned so that more pupils can pass recognised vocational qualifications on a par with A-levels…

The report also wants a new “gold standard” in independent careers advice and guidance for state school pupils, with the government consulting local employers on the skills needed in regional labour markets.

The Department of Education also said it was planning to invest £70m in its careers programme over the next parliament, and had set up structures to develop closer links between young people and employers.

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