Some pupils “will not have eaten properly in six weeks”

Social mobility has gone backwards according to Sir Mark Boleat
Social mobility has gone backwards according to Sir Mark Boleat

Social mobility has “gone slightly backwards” according to a City of London politician.

Sir Mark Boleat said he was concerned that as pupils prepare for the start of the autumn term some children “will not have eaten properly for the last six weeks.”

He told the City of London Corporation’s public relations and economic development sub-committee that some children will have “gone backwards” over the summer break.

The common councillor for the Cordwainer ward said he was planning to investigate the issue.

He also planned to explore which charitable foundations might be able to help.

His comments came as the Corporation’s public relations and economic sub committee looked at plans to help remove barriers to social mobility for its residents, as well as the 11,228 pupils at the schools it runs in and outside London, plus the 483,000 people who work in the Square Mile.

The Corporation has drawn up a 10-year plan to help people side step barriers.

Catherine McGuinness, who chairs the policy and resources committee, said: “This strategy represents an opportunity to effect real and lasting change and requires a sustained commitment from us all to act to ensure that where a person starts in life does not act as a barrier to success and progression in the future.”

It plans to work with government, businesses and charities to boost people’s chances.

The Corporation pledged that the strategy “ensures that social mobility is a central theme that underpins all our work”.

It includes preparing students for the challenges facing them in the world of work. This includes a commitment to offer CV and IT support at the Corporation’s libraries and maths and science clubs for children.

It will also use money through the City Bridge Trust’s Bridging Divides programme to support charities working to boost social mobility.

Other moves include helping families “most in need” with early interventions to help with parenting skills and getting work.

It also plans to team up with the Social Mobility Foundation, the Social Mobility Commission and the Bridge Group, which works in economic diversity, to promote social mobility to business.

Companies will also be encouraged to take on apprentices to give people a leg up onto the first rung of the career ladder.