Nick Clegg chairs meeting on educational inequality in Sheffield

Back in January, the Social Market Foundation, a think tank, established its cross-party Commission on Inequality in Education. It wants to tackle the disparity of attainment and break down barriers it identified relating to where you live, your family’s income and your ethnicity.

Yesterday, Nick chaired a meeting  of the Commission at Sheffield Hallam University.

Nick said:

On launching the commission, our research showed that where young people live now has more impact on their performance at school than used to be the case.

It is not just the relative wealth of parents that holds lots of bright kids back: it is postcode inequality too. What part of the country a child grows up in has a real impact on their life chances.

Some places have been better than others at breaking that link between disadvantage and doing badly at school. But parts of Sheffield are struggling.

We think that problems in hiring and then keeping hold of good teachers are a big part of what drives these differences. This is why we’re bringing together a group of teachers and school leaders from across the city to talk about the challenges they face and what needs to change.

The Commission will make its recommendations early next year.

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12 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 16th Apr '16 - 1:48pm

    As someone who associates himself with the Social Market Foundation, he is showing his colours.

  • Helen Tedcastle 16th Apr '16 - 1:49pm

    I wonder whether Nick Clegg will be working with professional teachers? His commission doesn’t have one on board. Strange really. Teach First doesn’t count I’m afraid (an American-based charity which supplies unqualified teachers to schools, most of whom leave after two years).

  • The removal of posts on this site which were relevant to the issue is most illiberal.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Apr '16 - 1:34am

    Lord Greavance as ever taking every opportunity to assault fellow party colleagues verbally who are not Liberal Red Guard 1970 !It says the Social Market Foundation set up a cross party group!Hence our own Nick Clegg is showing his true Liberal Democrat colours !And which bit of the word s or phrase, Social Market, is not in keeping , at least in a bi partisan gathering , herein , with Liberal values ?!!

  • Peter Watson 17th Apr '16 - 8:30am

    @Lorenzo Cherin “And which bit of the word s or phrase, Social Market, is not in keeping , at least in a bi partisan gathering , herein , with Liberal values ?!!”
    I would guess that many Lib Dems would disagree with the marketisation of schools, and that appears to be the raison d’être of the Social Market Foundation.

  • Peter Watson 17th Apr '16 - 8:33am

    @Lorenzo
    P.S. I think that your first sentence comes across as an unnecessarily personal attack on another poster that is not consistent with this site’s policies. Having responded to one of your other points I did not want to give the impression that I was happy about that.

  • @Peter Watson
    I have to agree with @Lorenzo here. Your posts shows both a lack of understanding about the work of the SMF’s Commission and a worrying willingness to poo-poo any of its work simply because Mr Clegg is involved. Nothing you’ve said has contributed to a meaningful discussion here. I’d politely suggest you read some of the coverage from the Commission’s launch before casting aspersions about its (and the SMF and Nick’s) objectives.

  • It would be instructive to have made public the Social Market Foundations financial backers – which include large corporate interests such as Barclays Bank.

    There is also a certain irony in the fact that a person who pays out over £ 26,000 (the same figure as the welfare benefits cap) in private school fees on one child should hold forth on educational inequality.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Apr '16 - 5:29pm

    Peter Watson
    You make a valid point on the marketisation of schools , I am not agreeing or disagreeing on that now , but appreciate your view.

    I can assure you I am not being personal with regard to a certain gentleman , but , rather , satirical and , truthful , if the many posts and comments by the sometimes noble, at times rather ignoble , Lord are read ,it is he who gets personal , me who often comes to the defence of his object of criticism !This is often a younger and newer member with an enthusiasm for an idea ,on occasion given , what I could only call a knock back , by someone who should realise it comes across that way .Sometimes it is against a veteran member he stereotypes as right wing , most recently and crudely it was to the excellent George Kendall and his social democrat group, this time it is Nick Clegg for the umpteenth time and it is done in a personal as well as a political way .

    I am a little weary , but up for the challenge , of regularly defending the right , as in freedom , in case anyone panics , of our members ,to hold a range of views consistent with our broad and tolerant history and approach .Every member is entitled to cast aspersions , we see that from David Raw above and regularly on these matters .But he does it with a bit of humour at least sometimes !

  • Peter Watson 17th Apr '16 - 6:42pm

    @Sean Millea “Your posts shows both a lack of understanding about the work of the SMF’s Commission and a worrying willingness to poo-poo any of its work simply because Mr Clegg is involved.”
    I’m confused about what you think I posted. Only one of my two posts referred to the Social Market Foundation who claim to “champion ideas that marry a pro-market orientation with concern for social justice” and it is self-evident that some Lib Dems disagree with that pro-market emphasis, particularly in education. The SMF is also “not politically aligned” and has “members from across the political spectrum” so I would be surprised if Lib Dems did agree with everything it says and does. The aims of the Commission are worthy, but I would prefer Lib Dems to be involved with a body that attempted to tackle problems in education without an apparent bias or prejudice (in this case a “pro-market orientation”).
    I did not mention Clegg and would certainly not disagree with something simply because he said it, but for the record I do think he was a disaster for your party (I am no longer a Lib Dem member or voter) and I find it odd that he is still lauded by some Lib Dems.

  • @ Lorenzo Cherin Nice to have a rather confused approval of ‘humour’. Thank you.

    Lloyd George (a completely unprincipled rogue of whom I do not approve) once said, “The barb of truth is often contained in the shaft of humour”. I’ll let you work out if he was telling the truth.

  • Shaun Whitfield 18th Apr '16 - 10:30am

    “@Peter Watson
    I have to agree with @Lorenzo here. Your posts shows both a lack of understanding about the work of the SMF’s Commission and a worrying willingness to poo-poo any of its work simply because Mr Clegg is involved.”

    Marketisation of state education is a problem, not a solution. It smacks of Blairite ‘Third Way’ mush. Moreover, I think Helen Tedcastle has hit the nail on the head. A Commission set up to look at at an education issue with no teachers on it. Bizarre.

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