Monday 19 August 2019 4:07 am

Results are in, now businesses across the City must level up to boost social mobility

Last week saw pupils across the UK celebrate their A-level results. A lot of hard work and dedication goes into preparing for these exams – not only from the pupils themselves, but also from teachers, support staff, school governors, and parents.

The City of London Corporation, which manages 10 high-performing academies across London’s boroughs, was celebrating with them.

Our family of schools achieved some great results, and we are very proud of our pupils’ achievements.

A particular highlight has been Newham Collegiate Sixth Form, where consistently 90 per cent of grades are at A*-B, with many progressing to Oxbridge, Russell Group, and Ivy League universities. This year is no different, with one student achieving a $320,000 full scholarship to Harvard and MIT.

Our academy chain, the City of London Academies Trust, achieved a 99 per cent overall A-level pass rate, with an impressive 67 per cent of students achieving A*-B grades.

We are committed to providing access to world-class education for the capital’s youngsters, and to boosting their social mobility, too. That’s why in June we brought together over 130 global businesses, including Google, KPMG and Amazon, and more than 5,000 young Londoners for the City’s biggest ever careers festival.

It’s also why, in partnership with the Social Mobility Commission and the Social Mobility Foundation, we launched the world’s first Social Mobility Employer Index. It ranks the top UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace, incentivising firms to improve access to top quality jobs for candidates from all backgrounds.

For two years running, the Sutton Trust charity has named the City Corporation as the best UK academy sponsor for its work supporting GCSE pupils from low-income families to achieve top grades. And it says our academies have the best UK progress results for disadvantaged pupils at GCSE level.

Many of the best paid jobs in the corporate world are still secured by people from privileged backgrounds who have attended elite education institutions. There is too often a lack of opportunity for people from less advantaged backgrounds, who sometimes struggle to find a place within the workforce or climb the career ladder.

But there are many bright and talented young people from across the socioeconomic spectrum hungry for the opportunity to progress. We need to do them justice.

As a society, we must do more to support social mobility, ensuring that young people receive the guidance, support, and opportunity to find a career that they are passionate about.

Many of our academies are in some of the most deprived boroughs of London. And some of our students are the first in their families to be going to university or to enrol in an apprenticeship programme.

We want the UK to make the most of our diverse and ambitious future workforce, providing jobs and opportunities for young people from all backgrounds.

This year’s A-level results show that, through hard work, dedication and the right support, the next generation can flourish.

Congratulations to all the students, and this week we look forward in anticipation to GCSE results, where I hope to see this success replicated.

Main image credit: Getty

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