A report by the Sutton Trust, which compared social mobility in several countries, found that the UK performs poorly.
The key findings of the report were that:
- Gaps in school readiness in England between disadvantaged children and their counterparts were wider than in similar countries, such as Canada and Australia, but narrower than the United States.
- Formal preschool education can have lasting effects in reducing the educational gap between high and low income children.
- Disparities in early child outcomes persist into adolescence.
- Unlike other countries, the achievement gap in England actually widens in secondary school.
- None of the countries in the study reduce the disparity as children age.
The report concludes that addressing the social stratification in secondary schools remains one of the key challenges for improving social mobility in the UK.
Source: Latest research report: what prospects for mobility in the UK? A cross-national study of educational inequalities and their implications for future education and earnings mobility (2011), Sutton Trust