ATL comment on Nick Clegg's speech on the social mobility strategy
22 May 2012
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said: "The Deputy Prime Minister presides over a coalition government with education and social policies which are the enemy of social mobility and a fairer society.
"Outstanding schools disproportionately have advantaged pupil intakes. Satisfactory schools have proportionately disadvantaged intakes.
"When we look at the Scandinavian countries whose educational successes we all admire, we look at everything other than potentially the most important factor in their educational success, and that is that Sweden and Finland have far less wealth inequality, fewer children living below the poverty level and far more balanced school intakes.
"Of course, to speak of the effect of poverty and inequality upon educational performance is to run the risk of being accused of low expectations, of condoning failure. If we are to improve life chances for all, and enable all children to achieve their educational potential, we also need to tackle poverty, social exclusion and social inequality."
Notes to editors
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.