The New Social Mobility
How the Politicians Got It Wrong

Four: Documenting mobility


While mobility was the sole concern of recent politics, its importance can be gauged from official documents. These include Labour’s White Paper New Opportunities (2009); the Liberal Democrats’ ‘Independent Commission on Social Mobility’ (2009); Conservative policy papers Building Skills, Transforming Lives (2008) and Through the Glass Ceiling(2008); the Coalition’s Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: a strategy for social mobility (2011) and White Paper Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System (2011), and the Conservatives’ Fulfilling Our Potential (2015); plus reports from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (‘SMCPC’), the All-party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility (2012), and briefings like the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit’s Getting on, getting ahead (2008). A review of these reveals wrong technical definitions, cherry-picking of research evidence, and unwarranted assumptions about early life intervention as a mobility facilitator.

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