Schools North East and Social Mobility Commission co-host first regional roundtable

Tuesday 26 February 2019 saw the first regional roundtable co-hosted by Schools North East and the national Social Mobility Commission in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The newly reconstituted Social Mobility Commission has as its aim to improve upwards social mobility across England and focuses on people from disadvantaged communities. The Commission is led by Chairwoman Dame Martina Milburn and comprises twelve commissioners, amongst which is the North East’s Sammy Wright, Vice Principal of Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.

Schools North East has worked with the Commission to bring the national debate on social mobility to the region, giving schools a voice in the work of this influential body.

The roundtable debate brought together representatives from numerous sectors, including schools, universities, local enterprise partnerships, the Department for Education and the NHS.

Participants discussed a range of factors which impact on social mobility and educational outcomes in the region, including:

  • Poverty – its impact on education and more widely on communities, behaviour and parental engagement.
  • Pupil outcomes.
  • Recognition of difficulties and complexities, especially at secondary school level.
  • Ethnicity and the impact of poverty on outcomes – specifically recognising the evidence of its impact on children from white disadvantaged communities.

The roundtable debated on / around these themes, with a view to putting forward how the Commission could establish a set of medium-term social mobility principles.

Schools North East Director Mike Parker commented: “Through this forum, Schools North East has been able to support voices from in the region within the Government’s national agenda, playing an active role in shaping policy. We’re keen to see how this helps shape the work of the Commission in future.”

Find out more about the Social Mobility Commission here.

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