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Showing posts with the label social mobility

Education - a fail mark

Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh came joint first in Scotland, (along with Glasgow’s Jordanhill School), after figures released showed 69 per cent of S5 pupils obtained three Highers or more. A few miles away not one student left either Wester Hailes Education Centre or Castlebrae Community High with a Higher, let alone the qualifications needed for a university place.

In Glasgow, just 5 per cent of students at Govan High School obtained three or more Highers, while schools in deprived areas of Aberdeen and Dundee also performed poorly.

Meanwhile Scotland's university for the elite, St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton studied, is accused of failing to enrol students from the poorest backgrounds - only 13 students from the most deprived backgrounds of the country in 2010/11 – 2.7% of the student intake.

British Inequality

According to this BBC report , after 30 years of unprecedented economic growth, the British are richer, healthier - but no happier than in 1973. The main reason for the rise in wealth has been the increase in house prices. But the growing wealth has not led to greater happiness.

In 1973, 86% of people said they were satisfied with their standard of living, while in 2006 85% were satisfied. And one in six UK adults reported that they suffered from a variety of mental health problems in the latest survey, of which the largest category was "mild anxiety and depression."

The amount of goods and services purchased by UK households has risen by two and half times in thirty years.

But that increase in spending was not evenly distributed among the whole population, with the income of those in the top 10% of the income distribution going up much faster than that of households of the bottom 10%. In 1979, the real disposable income of the top 10% was three times greater than the real in…

Edukashun

Fewer pupils from deprived backgrounds are going to university in Scotland despite a raft of initiatives to widen participation, according to a new report.

In 2006-07, just 14% of school-leavers from secondaries in the lowest participation areas for higher education went to university compared to 19% in 2002-03. Over the same period, the proportion of pupils from the schools which enjoy the highest rates of progression to higher education has fallen only slightly, from 31% to 29%.

One of the aspirations of the government expansion of higher education in the mid-1980s, and then again in 1992, was to allow wider participation, but the main beneficiaries have been the "middle" classes.

John McClelland, chairman of the Scottish Funding Council said more should be done to address inequalities of opportunity.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "It is unacceptable that an educational gap between advantaged and disadvantaged people opens up early in a child's life and contin…

The Gap Widens ( 4 )

And From the BBC
The rapidly rising incomes of the richest 10% of the population are the major factor contributing to growing inequality in Britain.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), an independent think tank, the incomes of the top 10% have risen faster than those of the population as a whole since Labour came to power in 1997. And that increase has been particularly concentrated at the very top of the income distribution - among the half million individuals in the top 1% of the income scale.
Between the 1996-97 tax year and 2004-05, the income of the richest 1% grew at an annual rate of 3.1%, compared to 2.3% for the population as a whole, and the income of the top 0.1% grew by 4.4%. The stock market boom has boosted the income of the rich
The growth was particularly strong in the Labour's first term, where the income of the super-rich grew by 8% per year. The IFS suggests that the rising stock market between 2005 and 2007 may have further boosted the income of t…

education , once more

Even the Tories are saying it . Children from the most deprived areas of England are falling further behind in school compared to more affluent pupils .

Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove highlighted figures showing a widening of the social gap in achievement. The figures show a 43.1% gap between the proportions of wealthy and deprived pupils achieving five good GCSEs including English and maths in 2007. In 2006, this gap in GCSEs, in favour of the wealthiest, had been 28.4%. The figures are based on comparisons of the GCSE results of pupils from the ten percent most affluent areas and the ten percent most deprived. These figures reflect the attainment gap using another poverty indicator - free-school meals.

This social divide in exam results shows "the education system is letting down the poorest," says Mr Gove

The government figures show how the link between home background and achievement stubbornly persists throughout children's years in school. When the school popul…

A lesson that goes unlearned

Socialist Courier has often reported on the inequality of opportunity in education and our stance is that it is not accidental or a result of mistaken policy but integral to the class divide of society .

Yet again the media carries the same old story , privilege over poverty in education . Clever children from poor families face being overtaken by less bright children from affluent homes . The findings are part of a study for the Sutton Trust which says UK social mobility has not improved since 1970.

"It's a terrible thing that children from poor backgrounds, who are bright, end up actually not getting a very good start in life. They end up in schools that aren't very good and end up poor as adults and that's a terrible waste of talent and it's also basically wrong, it's just unfair." trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl said.

The trust's study by the London School of Economics and the University of Surrey concludes that the UK remains very low on the interna…

Yuppie Blues

They were the generation with"loadsa money" .
But now the former 1980s yuppies are struggling to live within their means in middle age.
Almost half of the Young Urban Professionals of 20 years ago are finding it tough financially,
"Despite the champagne lifestyle and optimism of the time, our research reveals that many former high flyers have ended up no better off than the average mid-life family. They are just as worried about meeting the monthly bills, the cost of bringing up their kids and how they will fund their old age." - said the communications director at Liverpool Victoria friendly society



The inequalities of the UK

From The Independent :-

Britain may appear to be a richer country than a decade ago but the gap between the rich and poor has reached levels not seen for more than 40 years. The highest earners are being dubbed "the new Victorians" as they take an ever-greater slice of the wealth pie, leaving mere employees and white-collar workers sharing the crumbs.

Government statistics show that the richest 10 % of the population control 53 % of the wealth of the country, with the 1 % jet-set elite controlling no less than 21 % .

In the City, fat-cat pay awards, with top executives earning 100 times more than their employees, are merely the most obvious examples of where the balance has become skewed. The kingpins of Britain's opaque private equity and hedge funds are earning considerably more while simultaneously paying "less tax than a cleaner", according to Nicholas Ferguson, chairman of private-equity and fund management group SVG Capital. In the UK, Peter Taylor, chief …

Private schools - only for the richer of us

Marx talks of how capitalism drives those professionals often vaguely called the middle class into the ranks of the proletariat so i note this story in the Herald .

Teachers, engineers, and police officers have been priced out of private education by a 40% rise in fees in just five years, according to the Bank of Scotland.
It now costs an average of £8247 every year to educate a child privately in Scotland compared with £6039 in 2002, and fees are now rising at twice the rate of inflation. Only prices for houses are growing faster. The average earner in a number of occupations, including engineers, journalists and teachers, can no longer afford private education for their offspring. average school fees were now only in the reach of 13 occupations, down from 23 in 2002.

Affordability was measured at a quarter of average earnings for the profession. So a scientist, earning an average of £37,290 a year, would have to give up an unaffordable 26% of his or her income to put one child throug…

Education and class division

Dr Elliot Major said: "This analysis shows that the school you attend at age 11 has a huge impact on your life chances, and particularly how likely you are to reach the top of your chosen profession. We are still to a large extent a society divided by wealth, with future elites groomed at particular schools and universities, while the educational opportunities available to those from non-privileged backgrounds make it much more difficult for them to reach the top."

Lee Elliot Major of the Sutton Trust, an educational charity, compared the school and university background of 500 people currently at the top of their fields with 500 similarly successful people 20 years ago.

Social Mobility Stands Still

A charity's study has found that children born in the 1950s had a better chance of escaping poverty than those born in the 1970s. The research was carried out on behalf of the Sutton Trust by the London School of Economics .
Professor Steve Machin, from LSE, said: "We had a very big expansion of the higher education system in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but contrary to many people's expectations this actually reinforced social immobility." People at the bottom of the "income distribution" were ill-equipped to take advantage of the greater opportunities.

The founder of education policy group, the Sutton Trust, Sir Peter Lampl says Britain has "the lowest social mobility of any country you can measure".
He went on to say that inequality between the rich and poor in Britain was a root cause of the problem.

This study re-confirms an earlier LSE report on social mobility and Peter Lampl echoes the view of Alan Milburn, the former Labour cabinet mini…

Social mobility

From The Scotsman :-

Alan Milburn, the former Labour cabinet minister who grew up in a single-parent family on a council estate, yesterday said it would be harder today for someone from a similar background to get ahead in society than it was a generation ago. Mr Milburn, a close friend of Tony Blair, said that "shamefully", Britain has become a less socially mobile society in recent years, questioning whether today's deprived children will be able to break out of poverty in adulthood.
A London School of Economics report in 2005 showed declining social mobility in Britain, with more poor children becoming poor adults, and more rich children staying rich in later life. The LSE team found that 31 per cent of boys born in 1958 in the lowest-earning group stayed there in adulthood. But that rose to 38 per cent of boys born in 1970. Also according to the LSE data, 27 per cent of British boys born in 1970 ended up in the same earnings group as their parents.