Together we must break the deadlock

Children and families “face being locked into disadvantage for generations” according to a new report published by the Social Mobility Commission.

The report, the first of its kind in the UK, paints a bleak picture for young people growing up in specific areas across England often associated with low wages and deprivation. Children from these areas are less likely to achieve social mobility and a better life for themselves compared to their more affluent peers.

In response to the report, Future First’s CEO, Lorraine Langham said: “I echo the thoughts of Steven Cooper from the commission – this data depicts the deeply entrenched workings of a society that has not fully embraced social mobility and holds onto its class differences. The report highlights, more than ever, the need for the kind of work that Future First undertakes. The structures we help to put in place around UK schools connect young people with the wider world of work, training and opportunity. Having contact with people who have gone on to progress in their life and careers helps to build the confidence, resilience and aspirations that stay with school children long after they have left the education system. We believe that these are essential ingredients for success’’.

Only one in eight children from a low-income background is likely to become a high earner as an adult, reinforcing the commission’s findings that this could mean children are locked into a cycle of disadvantage for generations. Aiming to break this deadlock, we work to bring former pupils into their schools, as relatable role models, advisers and mentors for students.

Lorraine continues: “Access to relatable role models broadens students’ horizons – helping them imagine a world beyond their own front door. Private schools have always had these networks and leverage them very effectively – we want to ensure all students, no matter their background, can harness the same opportunities. Instilling aspiration in young people is absolutely crucial in the battle against social deadlock. Quite simply, Britain has a deep social mobility problem and Future First is working to change this.”

If you would like to find out more about Future First’s work, or how to access an alumni community, please contact us on info@futurefirst.org.uk or telephone 020 72398933.