Wiltshire ranks among the lowest counties in England for social mobility, according to a recently published report.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was elected on a platform of levelling up the nation and a promise of equal opportunity for all.

In the recently published social mobility index, Wiltshire is in the bottom 20 per cent of local authorities in England.

The data used in the social mobility index comes from 2016/17 and opportunity outcomes have improved since then, according to Wiltshire Council.

But what does low ‘social mobility’ mean? The social mobility index compares the opportunities and educational outcomes of children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, compared to their more well heeled counterparts, as well as how they fare in the local job and housing markets.

Deputy leader of the Wiltshire Council, Laura Mayes says the local authority is working with schools, colleges and industry partners to “maximise the opportunities for everyone.”

Cllr Mayes did however say that more work needs to be done and that the council is involved in a number of schemes to achieve this.

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Cllr Mayes, who is also the cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills continued: “We are particularly proud of our Family and Community Learning which provides learning opportunities for those who may have fared less well at school to have that second opportunity to learn new skills and carve out a new career.”

Improvements have been made in primary education, GCSEs and NEET figures.

“Specifically, primary education, GCSEs, Level qualifications, NEET figures and progression to higher education have all improved,” Cllr Mayes added.

“Our NEET service has been designed to engage young people at risk of NEET much sooner.

“Our careers programmes have been specifically targeted at the free school meal cohort and are starting earlier in a pupil’s school career

“During the Covid pandemic, laptops were provided to many families with pupils in receipt of free school meals to ensure they continued to access learning remotely.

“We are always conscious there is more to be done but we remain committed to making the difference so all people have access to the right opportunities.”