UK more class-ridden now than in the 1950s

People born in the 50s were more likely to escape their parents’ class then those born in the 70s, according to a new report by experts at the London School of Economics.

Between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, the proportion of children from the richest quarter or families who had completed a degree by the age of 23 shot up from 20 percent to almost half. Over the same period, the number of graduates among the poorest quarter of families crept up from 6 per cent to just 9 per cent.

In an indictment of New Labour’s education policies, which promise equality of opportunity for children from all backgrounds, the report says: ‘The strength of the relationship between educational attainment and family income, especially for access to higher education, is at the heart of Britain’s low-mobility culture.'”

Heather Stewart, The Observer, 16 Jan 2005

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