Social Mobility - Why do London's children do so well?

Posted by on 10 May 2016

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission today published their report - The Social Mobility Index. Its key findings show that London is the

 stand out success.....and it concludes 'young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who live in London are far more likely to achieve good outcomes' than elsewhere in England. London, it says, does exceptionally well.  But why? 

Dig a little further into the results and it shows that London does less well in the early years and those in early adulthood, but for those of school age the 14 best performing areas are all London Boroughs.  For young people, the Commission emphasises 'the importance of being on the right track'.  Again, London is the stand out city in ensuring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are in education, employment or training and achieving well.   

The report contends that social mobility hotspots doing well in part reflect the diversity of population (disadvantaged children from ethnic minority backgrounds achieve better than their White British peers), but also they have good transport links (pub

lic transport and to the motorway network).  

I would argue there is another important factor contributing to supporting social mobility in London - free transport.  London has had a consistent transport policy for many years, encouraging children to use public transport, with free access enabling those from disadvantaged backgrounds to travel to good schools, to stay on at colleges, and choose training and job opportunities across the capital, unconstrained by the cost of fares



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