The fifth annual 'State of the nation' report from the Social Mobility Commission was published on 28 November 2017.

Key Findings:

•A stark social mobility postcode lottery exists in Britain today, where the chances of being successful if you come from a disadvantaged background are linked to where you live.
•There is no simple north/south divide. Instead, a divide exists between London (and its affluent commuter belt) and the rest of the country – London accounts for nearly two-thirds of all social mobility hotspots.
•The best-performing local authority area is Westminster and the worst performing area is West Somerset.
•The Midlands is the worst region of the country for social mobility for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – half the local authority areas in the East Midlands and more than a third in the West Midlands are social mobility coldspots.
•Some of the worst-performing areas, such as Weymouth and Portland, and Allerdale, are rural, not urban; while some are in relatively affluent parts of England – places like West Berkshire, Cotswold and Crawley.
•Coastal and older industrial towns – places like Scarborough, Hastings, Derby and Nottingham – are becoming entrenched social mobility coldspots.
•Apart from London, English cities are punching below their weight on social mobility outcomes. No other city makes it into the top 20 per cent of hotspots.
•Some of the richest places in England like West Berkshire deliver worse outcomes for their disadvantaged children than places that are much poorer like Sunderland and Tower Hamlets.
•Social mobility gaps open up at an early age with disadvantaged children 14 percentage points less likely to be school-ready at age five in coldspots than in hotspots: in 94 areas fewer than half of disadvantaged children are ready for school aged five.
•Outside London, disadvantaged pupils lose out: 51 per cent of London children on free school meals achieve A* to C in English and maths GCSE, compared with an average of 36 per cent in all other English regions.
•In some coldspot areas, participation in higher education falls to just 10 per cent.
•Disadvantaged young people are almost twice as likely as better-off peers to be NEET (not in education, employment or training) a year after GCSEs – up to a quarter of young people are NEET in South Ribble.
The Social Mobility Commission make a series of recommendations, for example, that:
•Every local authority should develop an integrated strategy for improving disadvantaged children’s outcomes and that pupil premium funds should be invested in evidence-based practice.
•Local authorities should support collaboration between isolated schools, subsidise transport for disadvantaged young people in isolated areas and encourage Local Enterprise Partnerships to follow the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s approach to improving careers support for young people.
•Local authorities should all become accredited living wage employers and encourage others in their communities to do likewise.
•None of this is to suggest that the answer to our country’s social mobility lottery lies purely in the hands of local communities. National governments have a leading role to play in tackling the local lottery in social mobility. We make a number of specific recommendations to the UK government; for example, that:
•It should launch a fund to enable schools in rural and coastal areas to partner with other schools to boost attainment.
•Regional School Commissioners should be given responsibility to work with universities, schools and Teach First to ensure that there is a good supply of teachers in all parts of their regions.
•The Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy should match the Department for Education’s £72 million Opportunity Area fund to ensure that there is a collaborative effort across local education systems and labour markets.
The report recognises there is currently no overall national strategy to tackle the social, economic and geographical divide that the country faces. The report also suggests that government should set out a new objective over a ten-year period to target an increasing proportion of public resources into those parts of the country that have been most left behind. The focus should be on local areas, rather than simply economic regions, since the new social mobility lottery we highlight in this report is based on specific areas of the country. The government should then report annually on the progress it is making.
The 2017 report includes a local authority analysis, mapping 16 indicators which made up the Social Mobility Index (covers four life stages - early years, school, youth and working lives). Overall, East Midlands was identified as “the region with the lowest social mobility scores in the country – with worst outcomes for disadvantaged children during all stages of education and average outcomes in working lives […]. The region suffers from low quality schools, poor transport links and significant rates of low pay”.
Overall in D2N2:
Only Rushcliffe (rank 41 out of 324) is a hotspot (top 20% of all local authorities). The rest of the ranking is as follows:
126 - Derbyshire Dale and 233 – High Peak are in the middle of the distribution
255 North East Derbyshire, 266 – Bassetlaw, 272 – Gedling, 278 – Erewash, 284 – Broxtowe, 185 - Chesterfield, 286 – Bolsover, 302 – Amber Valley, 311 – South Derbyshire, 312 – Nottingham, 2015 – Mansfield, 3016- Derby, 317 – Ashfield, 323 (second worst) – Newark and Sherwood are all coldspots
Early Years: Derby, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe are among the worst performers.
School: Amber Valley and High Peak are among the worst while Rushcliffe among the best
Youth: Newark and Sherwood, Gedling, Amber Valley, Bassetlaw, Nottingham, Erewash, Bolsover are among the worst.
Working Lives: Mansfield and Bolsover among the worst while Rushcliffe is second best.