The Coalition recently unveiled its blueprint for improving equality of opportunity in the UK. The Social Mobility Strategy Review was a little light on explicit policy interventions and it is probably too soon to say whether the enthusiasm for improving social mobility will translate into better life chances for children. However, one thing that is clear is how far there is to go to achieving a more equal society.
Measuring mobility takes a long time, as we need to study individuals from childhood through to their adult life. Hence the latest evidence relates to people now aged 41 who were born in 1970. This data found that individuals born to poorer families were more likely to end up the lowest paid as adults than if they had been born to the same circumstances 12 years previously. Social mobility decreased across time in the UK (Blanden, Gregg, Goodman, Machin, 2004).
Following on from this, research found that educational attainment was the main driver of immobility acr