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EA Meeting Notes 30th Sept 2021 – Network Focus

Thank you to those able to make it to our last EA Network Focus meeting.

Our focus for this meeting was social mobility, and David Rodda one of our esteemed EAs presented a piece of work that he was part of. Read on for a full recorded video of the meeting as well as key information related to this agenda.



“Why are we doing what we are doing, and why are we trying to engage with schools?”

These are the types of questions we asked during the meeting. Whilst there has been an increase in the level of people receiving paid employment with a higher living-wage salary, low social mobility according to the data has not changed. Why is that and what can we do?

What is social mobility?

Social mobility is the link between a person’s occupation or income and the occupation or income of their parents. Where there is a strong link, there is a lower level of social mobility. Where there is a weak link, there is a higher level of social mobility.



Carrie presented a wider context on the social mobility agenda, and below you will find some headline stats taken from a recent report by the Social Mobility Commission called the State of the Nation 2021.


Key UK-wide findings:
  • Disadvantaged young people and children living in poverty have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and could face consequences that affect them for years. Around 4.3 million children – almost one-third of children in the UK –were living in poverty as of March 2020. This is an increase of around 700,000, or 3.7 percentage points, from March 2012.
  • 6.2 million families could be impacted when the £20 uplift to universal credit is removed in September.
  • When the pandemic hit in March 2020, only 51 % of households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access, compared with 99% of households with an income over £40,000.
  • Furlough schemes kept many people in jobs but at a maximum of 80% of the normal salary. Those in working-class jobs have seen some of the most significant declines in paid work in the pandemic.
  • The young were the most likely to lose paid work irrespective of background. Young men aged 16 to 24 from disadvantaged backgrounds had an 8.7 per cent drop in paid work.
  • Since 2018/2019 there has been a rapid rise in professional jobs – from 45% of jobs in 2018 to 49 % in 2020.  But a person from a professional background is still 60 per cent more likely to be in a professional job than someone from a working-class background.
  • The growth rate in professional jobs is not evenly distributed regionally. Since 2012 some 40% of new professional jobs were in London and the South East.  And people from working-class backgrounds in professional jobs earn £6,000 less on average than those from professional backgrounds.
  • 56% of first-time buyers under 35 are receiving financial support from the bank of mum and dad.  Disadvantaged families have needed to rent for longer.  There are now more than 1.5 million families raising children in private rentals, more than double the number 15 years ago.
  • In September and October 2020, women spent 99% more time on unpaid childcare than men, and 64% more time on unpaid household work. 46% of mothers who had been made redundant during the pandemic cite lack of adequate childcare provision as the cause.
  • Young people were twice as likely to be working in sectors that were shut down than the rest of the workforce. Youth unemployment increased faster between Spring and Autumn 2020 than at any point since the financial crisis.
  • UK Government estimate that around one in ten of all renters in England is in arrears. 45% of private renters now rely on benefits to pay their rent, and housing support now fails to cover the cost of a modest two-bedroom home in 67% of local areas in England.


The report also provides findings from across the devolved nations. Further to this, the Commission has outlined seven key pillars for recovery with detailed recommendations covering: geography and local power; poverty and living standards; early years; education; apprenticeships and adult skills; digital access; and work and career progression. Below you will find a link to the full report along with the recommendations.

Five ways to encourage or challenge change:
  1. Build critical consciousness
  2. Name the oppression
  3. Question what is normal
  4. Working together
  5. Advice to work at different levels

(full context on the above is within the video)

The importance of impartial careers education information advice and guidance (IAG) is just one way to address the gap in low social mobility. Young people in schools should be entitled to an interview before year 11, but the recent statutory guidance from the DfE has suggested more should be done to offer this to more year groups.

The CDI (Careers Development Institute) which is the key organisation that supports the development of Careers Leaders has provided a short video from David Morgan, CEO of the CDI who shares his experience of receiving careers guidance.

Evaluation and data are key tools for our Schools to be able to help identify the gaps and to develop strategies to overcome them.

Engaging parents is one endeavour that all schools are aware of and wish to address, but developing a strategy with effective time and resources has so far proved quite challenging and the issues have not been met.

The CEC has recently worked with the Gatsby Foundation to provide a toolkit for schools to help improve parental engagement in Careers Education.


Launch of the Future Skills Survey

The CEC has launched the Future Skills Survey that aims to use students’ responses to the questionnaire to:

  • Identify gaps in a school’s provision
  • Tailor careers activities to individual needs
  • Measure progress of their careers programme over time.

The questionnaire is administered from the Compass+ platform, with students’ questionnaire responses appended to their individual profiles.


Please do find the time to watch the full video and please contact your Enterprise Coordinator or Carrie with any thoughts on the agenda.


If you wish to know how we’re communicating with Careers Leaders, here’s the latest October newsletter:

Destinations, Evaluation, Social Mobility and Social Justice – 


Date of next meeting: Thursday 28th October at 10 am. Network DROP-IN