Social policymakers and academics came together on Wednesday 9 January at the Nuffield Foundation in London to talk about Bess Bukodi and John Goldthorpe’s new book Social Mobility and Education in Britain.
The newly published book draws upon Bess and John’s extensive research into trends in social mobility and their relation to educational inequalities. They have found that, contrary to popular belief, there has been no overall decline in social mobility, although downward mobility is tending to rise and upward mobility to fall, nor is Britain a distinctively low mobility society. However, the situation for individuals relative to where they start has not improved.
In Social Mobility and Education, Bess and John show that educational policy alone cannot improve social mobility, and during the seminar speakers were invited to explore the consequences for policy-making. Some suggestions included economic and social policies to create more ‘top-end’ jobs, and changes to employers’ recruitment policies to eliminate what is known as ‘credentialism’, that is, requiring formal qualifications when they are irrelevant.
Discussions on the day were chaired by the Warden, Andrew Dilnot, and led by a panel of leading academics and policymakers:
- Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge;
- Patrick Sturgis, Professor of Research Methodology at the University of Southampton and Director of the National Centre for Research Methods;
- Lee Elliot Major, Chief Executive at the Sutton Trust;
- Stephen Aldridge, Chief Analyst / Chief Economist and Director of Analysis and Data Directorate at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Find out more about the book on the Cambridge University Press website.
Pictured: The panel at the Social Mobility and Education in Britain seminar at the Nuffield Foundation