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Social Mobility: School/University Students

Volume 623: debated on Monday 20 March 2017

I put social mobility at the heart of everything my Department does. Through our plans to create more good school places and transform teaching, combined with new legislation to support greater access to university and investment in technical education, we aim to ensure that where a student comes from does not determine where they get to in life.

At the all-party group on universities the other day, we had an excellent presentation from Sunderland University on all aspects of helping to improve social mobility. Can we ensure that that stretches down to all types of schools—academies, grammars and secondary—and that we learn from each other, particularly in the devolved institutions?

Indeed; I fully agree. The Higher Education and Research Bill will enable us to do more to widen access and increase the participation of these sorts of students. Of course, the “Schools that work for everyone” consultation document is all about making sure that universities, alongside grammars, faith schools and independent schools, can play a stronger role in lifting attainment for all.