This study today, showing that social mobility in Britain are likely the lowest in the developed world. Combine it with another study showing that a lack of intimacy and love in very early years leads to a lack of development in the frontal lobes leading to well… poorer later learning ability (amongst other things). Final statistic is that a child in a lower class home is surrounded by a vocabulary of about 600 words as opposed to about 1200 in a professional middle class home.

What are we doing to this generation? Pretty clearly how a child is raised in the formative early years predetermines how he will succeed in later life. Just how do you correct that? How do you influence parenting in adults who very likely where pretty poorly parented themselves?

We have to break the cycle, must break it else it will never improve. The “suppernanny” idea scares me somewhat (for those in the US, there is a current Government plan to involve parenting trained social workers into high involvement with low income families, particularly in the first year post birth). The thought of direct social engineering intrusion into the home is repugnant. Yet how else do we bring best practice skills into people who’ve never experienced them.

I don’t have any answers here, but clearly we’ve got an issue that as a society we need to debate.

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