Policy paper

Improving social mobility through education

The government's national plan to support children and young people to reach their full potential.

Applies to England


Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential

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The national plan for dealing with social mobility through education.

The plan - Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential - sets out how we will remove obstacles that could stop people from achieving their potential.

We have 5 core ambitions: 4 which span across each life phase - the early years, school, post-16 education, and careers - and a fifth overarching ambition focussing on delivering better educational and career outcomes more evenly across the whole country.

We want to deliver this plan working together with all partners across education, business, civil society and beyond.

To contact us and help to shape how we take this plan forward, please email SocialMobility.Strategy@education.gov.uk.

Closing the word gap in early years

Children with strong foundations start schools in a position to progress, but too many children fall behind early. We need to close development gaps, especially early language and literacy skills, including by boosting investment in English hubs and professional development for early years professionals.

Closing the attainment gap in school while raising standards for all

The attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers is closing. But these pupils still remain behind their peers. We will build on recent reforms, and raise standards in the areas that need it most. This will include more support for teachers early in their careers, providing clear pathways to progression, and getting more great teachers in areas where there remain significant challenges.

Creating high-quality post-16 choices for all

We have more people going to university than ever before, including more disadvantaged young people, but we need to expand access further to the best universities. We need a skills revolution which includes making technical education world class, backed by a half a billion pounds’ investment at the last budget.

Helping everyone achieve their potential in rewarding careers

Employment has grown, but we need to improve access for young people from lower income backgrounds to networks of advice, information and experiences of work through a new type of partnership with businesses. We will also support adults to retrain or upskill.

No community left behind

Where you are born, live, go to school and work remains an important factor in determining where you get to in life - this shouldn’t be the case. We will deliver better educational and career outcomes more evenly across the whole country.

Opportunity area delivery plans

We’ve produced delivery plans for 12 opportunity areas, that explain how we plan to improve young people’s knowledge, skills and opportunities in those areas.

We announced the first 6 opportunity areas in October 2016 and the second 6 in January 2017.

Published 14 December 2017
Last updated 14 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Paragraph added in details section explaining how plan will be delivered, including social mobility strategy email address. New schematic document attached.

  2. First published.