It's a cause that's generated reams of policy wonkery, as well as a far-reaching education reforms - most recently the drive to provide 'powerful knowledge' for all in schools, through to the removal of the cap on university student numbers.
But is any of this really going to bring about the meritocracy that many say we should aspire to, and any time soon? What if we wanted quicker results?
Diane Reay, Professor of Education at Cambridge University
James Croft, Chair of the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE)
Chair: Professor Becky Francis, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
The IOE Public Debates: What if… series
Through this series, we'll be bringing together a range of commentators - academics, politicians, practitioners, policy wonks - and pushing them to bring some radical new thinking to some of the apparently intractable issues within education, not least the English education system.