By James Scales
In her first statement as Prime Minister, Theresa May spoke about her desire to make the UK, “a country that works for everyone”. She addressed the uncomfortable truth that race and background still shape our life chances.
White working class boys are the least likely to go to University. Black men and women get treated more harshly in the criminal justice system. On average women earn less than men. Young people are finding it harder than ever to buy a home and those with a state school education are less likely to reach top professions.
Last week the Prime Minister took decisive action to tackle this with the launch of a public services' audit seeking to reveal racial disaprities and help end the injustices that many people experience. All government departments will be required to analyse how race and socioeconomic background affect people’s outcomes when using public services.
Once the audit is complete in 2017, members of the public will be able to check how background affects prospects. These measures will put pressure on Whitehall departments to prevent discrimination and increase equal opportunities.
Our vision is to help society’s most disadvantaged individuals reach their potential and our work to tackle the Five Pathways to Poverty seeks to provide solutions to the very injustices that have resulted in the Prime Minister's audit.
Education has enormous potential to transform lives and opportunities.
To help the next generation of children overcome disadvantage and fulfil their potential we want:
- Better school readiness support
- The Pupil Premium to reach those who need it most
- More support from the best headteachers
- Improved transitions between education and work
We anticipate this audit will be a driving force to affect positive change in regards to inequality and marks the start of a broader effort to build a society that works for all, not just the privileged few.