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The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) published the State of the Nation Report 2017 on 28 November 2017. In the section on Social Mobility in Wales the Commission concluded that:

Every local authority area in Wales has relative strengths and weaknesses across the life stages. But it is disadvantaged youngsters, particularly in areas with high levels of deprivation, who appear to be losing out most in the crucial early years of their lives and in their school years. In Torfaen, as few as 18 per cent of young people eligible for free school meals achieve the equivalent of grades A* to C GCSE in the Core Subject Indicator. But affluent areas are also failing their disadvantaged pupils, with attainment gaps as large as 41 percentage points in Monmouthshire where seven in ten more advantaged youngsters achieve good grades.

Further analysis on the transition from school into post-16 institutions is required to understand the current destinations for people between ages 16 and 19. Better data would help to identify the barriers in place for young people in Wales, and to pinpoint any coldspot areas where young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are falling behind particularly badly. As parts of the economy in Wales seek to grow, it is paramount that barriers that prevent less advantaged young people from flourishing are understood and acted upon.


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