Justine Greening’s speech this week at her old employer’s PwC, saw her set out her stall for her term of office, with social mobility being the number one focus.
She shared her three priorities for driving social mobility: tackling geographic disadvantage; investing in long-term capacity in the system; and making sure the education system as a whole really prepares young people and adults for career success.
She announced six more opportunity areas identified as social mobility ‘cold spots’: Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland & East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich, and Stoke. The Education Secretary also announced that schools in the 12 new opportunity areas will be able to bid to become ‘research schools’ and split a £3.5 million funding pot to help other institutions use evidence-based practice, and a ‘what works’ school approach to join the existing five research schools.
The Chartered College of Teaching opened its doors this week and Ms Greening expects this to be a key force for improving the quality of teaching. She also took time to make a commitment to embedding research across the Department for Education, spreading evidence-based practice, especially for the less advantaged. The commitment to research and its use by practitioners was echoed by NfER earlier in the month with a call for research evidence to be made more accessible to practitioners after conducting a survey of schools.
Careers and technical education
Justine Greening’s third commitment around social mobility is about ensuring young people can use education to enter and succeed in great careers, judging success on how well education prepares young people for work. The Education Secretary promises reform in technical education and promised an industrial strategy shortly to build on the direction of travel set out in the Skills Plan to bring FE up towards the standards of universities.
One Education is a research-focused organisation and welcomes all steps in the direction of a ‘what works’ approach to education. As well as undertaking our own research, we also sponsor research for policy makers.