But, important as this is, we recognise that it is not enough and that we cannot end educational inequality on our own.
In fact, everyone has a role to play in addressing this problem in UK education. We have to raise awareness of the issues and advocate for broad social change.
In pursuit of this change, we have worked with our partners to set goals that bridge key gaps in the education of children from low-income communities. These will guide our work over the next 10 years:
- To narrow the gap in literacy and numeracy at primary school
- To narrow the gap in GCSE attainment at secondary school
- To ensure pupils develop key strengths, including resilience and wellbeing, to support high aspirations
- To narrow the gap in the proportion of pupils in education, employment or training one year after compulsory education
- To narrow the gap in university graduation, including from the 25% most selective universities by 8%.
They are not goals that can be achieved by any one organisation; they need to be addressed across the education system and society. That is why we are partnering with like-minded individuals and organisations that share our vision.
We are a vocal and energetic campaigner for change, leading the conversation about educational reform at all levels, and working with government, businesses and other charities to end educational inequality. We have been successful in getting support from successive governments and political parties from across the spectrum.
At a more individual level we are lobbying for change through our influential ambassador network. These former participants on our programme can speak with authority about the realities of educational disadvantage and the difference high-quality teachers can make.
We have also engaged the opinion of the very people most affected by education – students. Over 8,000 pupils from schools around the UK contributed to the My Education report, published in November 2013.