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Social Mobility and Education

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Isobel Humphrey.

Governments around the world aspire to create socially mobile societies in which each individual, regardless of social background, has an equal chance of realising their potential. Certainly this is a goal that successive UK governments have subscribed to. The question is how to achieve this? The role of education as a potential driver of social mobility has long been accepted and much policy effort has been focused on improving the educational outcomes of the most disadvantaged students. Yet in the UK, as indeed in most countries, educational achievement still varies dramatically by socio-economic background. In this lecture Professor Vignoles will ask whether education really is an agent for social mobility and present evidence on the trajectories of primary school children from lower and higher socio-economic status families across their entire education career, right through to university. She will consider the role of the education system in narrowing the socio-economic gap in education achievement and discuss how socio-economic background continues to influence economic outcomes when students, even graduates, leave the education system.

This talk is part of the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre series.

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