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Criteria Explanations


Students from more privileged backgrounds often obtain support from family and friends who are often already undertaking high-level careers themselves. These ‘informal mentors’ advise and guide students as they progress through education and training.

Research has proven than it is far more difficult for the less-privileged student. The relationship between family income and educational attainment, particularly with regard to access to higher education, has been made apparent within the British context. Social mobility and educational equality are badly handicapped by the inability of bright young people from lower-income backgrounds to obtain the right advice to guide them through an ever-more complex and competitive route to university and the professions.

The Social Mobility Foundation targets the most talented students from less-privileged backgrounds and seeks to provide them with the motivation and inspiration to pursue their education with a realisable aspiration to achieve a high level career.

To read research conducted on the link between low income and educational attainment, please see the papers below:

  • Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. “Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education,” Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03
  • Gordon Dahl and Lance Lochner, 2005. “The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. w11279, USA
  • Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. “Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain,” The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/101, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Sutton Trust, 2004. “The educational backgrounds of the UK’s top solicitors, barristers and judges,” Sutton Trust, UK.
  • Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2003. “Changes in Educational Inequality,” The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/079, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK

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