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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 13/08/2020 - 12:30

The primary objective of the UK Government regarding social inclusion has been to remove barriers, so that everyone, whatever their background, has equal opportunities to progress. This focus on social mobility is assisted by the Social Mobility Commission (SMC), an independent statutory body which monitors progress towards improving social mobility throughout the UK, and promotes social mobility in England.

In December 2017, the Department for Education, under Justine Greening, published the national plan, Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential. It plans to deal with social mobility through education – by removing barriers, preventing young people from achieving their potential in four key life phases - early years, school, post-16 education and careers, with the belief that equality of opportunity begins at education. It allocated £800 million of resources to provide solutions to the key challenges in each key life phase identified. The plan requires various agents and sectors in society, including educators, universities, government, businesses and civil society, to help transform the social mobility in the UK and become a fairer society. L

Under the Opportunity Areas programme, the Government has identified twelve areas in England characterised by low social mobility to receive support, and in 2017, committed an additional £72 million. The aim of each opportunity area is to build young people’s knowledge and skills and to provide the best advice and opportunities for their development from the early years until entering work, to create long-term change. In January 2018, the Department for Education announced an additional six opportunity areas, awarding more than £22 million to help improve schools to tackle underperformance in accordance with Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential. In addition, the Government is supporting the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people, and those receiving help from the social care system. 

Furthermore, in August 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, under the Office for Civil Society published the Civil Society Strategy: building a future that works for everyone. It outlines how the government will help create a fair and improved country that best works for everyone; it encompasses how all of civil society, together with the Government, can achieve this. The Strategy contains five chapters, focusing on an important foundation of civil society, people, places, the social sector, the private sector and the public sector, and addresses why the government will continue supporting this sector, and what the government will do to further build upon it in the form of investment, policies or initiatives.