Schools should be the engines of social mobility, Gibb advises

Schools Minister Nick Gibb gave a speech at the Best in Class Summit, taking place at Sutton Trust, outlining the government’s reforms to transform life chances through education and make schools the ‘engines of social mobility’.

During the speech Gibb reiterated the government’s pledge to improve opportunities for disadvantaged pupils and challenged local councils to introduce more measures to improve schools.

He added: “It’s also a moral purpose around which the teaching profession is united. A survey of teachers last year found that the single most popular motivation for joining the profession was a desire to make a difference to pupils’ lives - cited by a staggering 93 per cent of those polled."

Gibb warned that underperformance among disadvantaged pupils in schools has a social cost and acts to perpetuate their underrepresentation in senior ranking professions.

He warned: “The disparity between the educational opportunities open to disadvantaged pupils and their peers has become entrenched and expected over generations. Addressing this unfairness, so that every young person receives the preparation to fulfil their potential, will take many years.”

Gibb also stressed the importance of driving social mobility by enabling every child to attend a good school. The Schools Minister also noted structural changes which will allow free schools to open in response to demand, meaning higher standards for all pupils but especially among the most disadvantaged.

Among a number of other measures, Gibb outlined the introduction of a new National Teaching Service (NTS) which will aim to recruit high quality teachers and place them in challenging schools.

He said: “Underperforming schools in areas that struggle to recruit the best teachers will be key beneficiaries of the NTS, fulfilling our commitment to delivering educational excellence everywhere.”

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