Social mobility mechanisms and consequences

The school curriculum is increasingly varied both within and between schools. We are interested in the implications of this range of inequalities between pupils as they progress through the education system and beyond. The projecthas huge implications for policymaking with respect to the curricula, school differentiation and sources of influence for young people’s decision-making. Furthermore, it will reinforce the importance of debate regarding sources of educational inequality and social mobility factors. This project will provide empirical evidence on curricula delivery variation in the UK and institutional differences through analysis of Next Steps (previously known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, LSYPE) and linked National Pupil Database data. The project will utilise a mixture of modelling to examine multiple types of individual inequalities, such as gender, ethnicity and class.

Research questions:

  1. How are qualifications and curricula, as well as participation and non-participation, distributed according to social class, gender, ethnic group and school?
  2. How does earlier subject-specific participation and attainment affect educational transitions?
  3. How do early curriculum exposures affect social mobility chances as reflected in occupation and income at age 25?

Research outputs:

Henderson, M., Sullivan, A. & Anders, J. (2016) Social class, gender and ethnic differences in subjects taken at age 14. CLS Working Paper 2016/6. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.


July 1, 2015 - December 2018

Project team:

  • Alice Sullivan (Lead, CLS)
  • George Ploubidis (CLS)
  • Morag Henderson (CLS)
  • Vanessa Moulten (CLS)
  • Jake Anders (DLL)