Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin demands action to tackle social mobility crisis

Dudley MP Ian Austin has demanded action from the Government to tackle the social mobility crisis.

Click here to watch Ian's speech on tackling social mobility

Speaking in a House of Commons debate called by Labour on education and social mobility, Austin called for policies that would bring experienced teachers and talented heads to schools in places like Dudley.

He also proposed a national review of education involving political parties, employers and the teaching profession to assess the evidence, work out how a modern education system should be structured and decide what young people need to learn for the modern economy.

Research by the Sutton Trust highlighted by the MP shows that white working class boys face particular challenges, with three-quarters failing to achieve five good GCSEs and a third as many taking A-levels as more advantaged boys.

International rankings currently put Britain behind countries including Estonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic on basic skills and the number of young apprentices is falling.

Ian Austin said:

“The most disadvantaged children are much less likely to go to a good school, stay in education at 16, get into a top university or go on to become high earners.

“White working class boys are even worse off – three quarters fail to get five good GCSEs and they are three times less likely to take A-levels than their better off peers.

“We need to make education and skills our country’s number one priority, so we can attract new businesses and jobs to replace those we have lost in traditional industries.”

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