Published on 12 December 2017
- Our Work
- The Reformer Blog
On the 14th December 2017, Reform held its inaugural social mobility conference, setting the agenda over the rest of this parliament for this cross-cutting issue. The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP delivered the keynote speech, announcing the new Department for Education social mobility strategy. There was also three panels looking at each phase of citizen’s lives.
Whether it is attainment, employment or income, on many measures the gaps between Britain’s richest and poorest only widen from birth. Some local areas are facing particular challenges, with twelve Opportunity Areas announced so far to help. The Secretary of State has made social mobility her number one priority for post-Brexit Britain, with support across Government including through the industrial and digital strategies. Reform is keen to bring together key voices to raise the profile of successful solutions that are already having an impact, and to identify further areas for improvement.
08:50 – 09.00 Welcome and introduction: Andrew Haldenby, Director, Reform and Melanie Richards, Partner and Deputy Chair, KPMG UK
09.00 – 10.00 Keynote speech: The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
10.00 – 10.50 Panel session one: Years 0-14 – a fair start in life
Family background has an impact on life chances from the very beginning, with outcomes as early as infant health affected by sociodemographic circumstances. Gaps continue through attainment in primary and secondary school, and are often quoted as the key obstacle to equal opportunities later in life. Are interventions such as child tax credits, free childcare entitlements, universal free school meals and the pupil premium the right way to overcome them?
This panel explored how the playing field can be levelled when disadvantage is established so early in life, and how value for money can be achieved in the pursuit of doing so.
10.50 – 11.10 Coffee break
11:10 – 12.00 Panel session two: Years 14-21 – developing future capabilities (in partnership with KPMG)
At the end of secondary school, children and their families make important choices about future options, with many starting the transition into employment. But choices are often made with limited information and too many young people still leave formal education unprepared for the next stage.
This session focused on how clear and meaningful pathways can be offered to all young people, and offer practical examples and suggestions for good practice to get key players to work better together, especially in social mobility cold spots.
12:00- 12.50 Panel session three: Years 21-67 – rewarding lives for every citizen (in partnership with Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Despite record levels of employment, the nature of work is changing rapidly, with more self-employment, a growing skills gap, and intensifying global competition. Real wages have fallen, and automation and artificial intelligence are disrupting a growing number of roles and sectors, but in different ways and at different speeds. Panellists explored what good work and inclusive growth looks like, and what employers and learning providers can do to support social mobility.
12.50 – 13.00 Closing remarks
This event is being held in partnership with:
14 December 2017
08.50 - 13.30