Annual tests will be carried out at seven stages, from birth to the age of 30, to measure how life chances are improving.

The government will then publish data on some of the indicators, such as birth weight for babies from poor families, and exam success for 16-year-olds eligible for free school meals.

The indicators will be published next week in the Social Mobility Strategy and will commit the government to gathering the information to see how far children were able to progress.

It is hoped that by tracking the indicators, it will give a "second chance" to any 30- year-olds, who left education at 18 with few qualifications, to retrain as professionals.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is leading the initiative, said it was every parents "dream" that their child would be better off than they were.

Posted by Robert Mair on 31.3.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com