Since 2010, 1.9 million more children are in good or outstanding schools, record numbers of young people in education or training and more disadvantaged pupils going to university. That really means something for Norwich - in our constituency alone around 5,000 more youngsters are in better schools.
However, there is more to do. I want to achieve even better things for young people living and studying here in Norwich.
The Government is aiming high too. Secretary of State for Education has announced a plan to provide opportunities on every young person's doorstep and ensure no community is left behind. I have included a link to the announcement below.
In a speech at the inaugural Reform social mobility conference, the Education Secretary pointed to the success of government reforms in raising school standards – such as the encouraging news we heard last week of reading standards in our schools becoming the best in over 15 years. Evidence like that shows us that children in Norwich are getting more of the skills they need to succeed in the future.
The plan ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’ sets out the Government’s mission to do more, and put social mobility at the forefront of its agenda. You may be aware that Norwich has been designated an ‘Opportunity Area’, which means that the city will receive part of a £72 million pot to create better life chances for young people in our city.
The plan has four bold ambitions: to close the ‘word gap’ in the early years; close the attainment gap in school while continuing to raise standards for all; high quality post-16 education choices for all young people and everyone achieving their full potential in rewarding careers.
As you can see the plan covers key stages along a young person’s educational career, from early years right through to when they take their first steps into the world of work. Today’s proposals will deliver targeted action where it is needed most, focusing £800 million of government investment on communities across the country that feel they have been left behind.
I have been working hard in Norwich by forming part of the leadership team for the Norwich Opportunity Area. I chair the Opportunity Area's Youth Board. The board makes sure young people have a voice on this flagship policy to improve social mobility. I have long been passionate about improving life-chances for young people living in Norwich, and this role is all about listening directly to young people in our city so we can make real changes together. We have seen some progress on social mobility indicators in Norwich already and I will continue to work hard to ensure even more young people in the city get a better chance at doing well in life.
If you would like to know more about the Government’s strategy to give young people in Norwich the best chance to get on in life, here's the link:
I'd love to hear from you too.