Press release

Social mobility charities put in charge of fund for the poorest children

Michael Gove has appointed 2 leaders in social mobility to manage the Education Endowment Fund for disadvantaged children.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Michael Gove has appointed two leaders in social mobility to manage the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) for disadvantaged children in the poorest performing schools.

The Sutton Trust, the lead charity in a partnership with Impetus Trust, will run the fund over its ten year lifespan.

The trusts will be responsible for making sure that grants go to a variety of different projects. These projects will use bold and innovative methods to boost the attainment of disadvantaged pupils in underperforming schools. Bids will be welcomed from a range of groups including teachers, charities, local authorities and academy sponsors.

This new fund draws on President Barack Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ programme. The pioneering scheme invites American states to apply for funding to trail-blaze bold and innovative approaches in schools.

The EEF forms part of the Coalition Government’s drive to improve standards for all. It builds on the Pupil Premium for disadvantaged children, which will see schools receiving £625m in 2011-12, rising each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn. Ministers and the Sutton and Impetus Trusts believe that the EEF will create a lasting educational legacy for hundreds of thousands of children from poorer homes.

Acting independently of Government, the Sutton Trust, in partnership with Impetus Trust, will:

  • promote the fund to potential bidders including schools below the floor standards, local authorities, charities, public sector organisations, co-ops, mutuals, and social enterprises
  • receive and assess all bids for bold and innovative educational projects on whether they provide value for money, are spread around the country and are deliverable
  • work with applicants to develop any promising proposals that need extra support
  • attract additional funding, knowledge and expertise on how to raise attainment
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the projects that have been funded.

Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, said:

I am delighted that these leaders in social mobility will take forward this pioneering new fund for our poorest children. Few have done more to challenge educational inequality in this country than the Sutton Trust.

It is unacceptable that just 40 pupils out of 80,000 on free school meals made it into Oxbridge last year. Opportunity must become more equal. This is why we must press ahead with our reforms and focus resources on improving the education of the poorest children.

This fund, combined with the Pupil Premium, the expansion of the Academy programme, funding for more Teach First graduates and tough action to improve discipline, will help improve standards for children in our most challenging schools.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the new fund said:

The Fund is an unprecedented opportunity to create a lasting legacy to improve the life chances of the country’s most disadvantaged children and improve social mobility. In many ways this represents the culmination of the Sutton Trust’s work, and I am convinced that we will uncover highly cost-effective and innovative projects which will influence the way billions of public money is spent on supporting disadvantaged children.

Daniela Barone Soares, Chief Executive of Impetus Trust, said:

We are delighted to be one of the drivers behind an investment of this scale with such potential to make a difference for disadvantaged children. The gap in attainment between disadvantaged children and their better-off peers results in an impoverished society, and has existed for far too long. We look forward to applying our expertise to develop and scale up education projects so that many more disadvantaged students are able to get the support they need to succeed.

Selection criteria for bids from interested groups will be unveiled in the early summer when the fund will be officially launched. The first round of grants will be made later this year.

Notes to editors

  1. The Education Endowment Fund was announced in November 2010 by the Department. The total fund is now £125 million. It will run over a minimum of ten years.

  2. Selection criteria for bids will be published in the early summer, and the first projects will be funded later this year.

  3. The Sutton Trust, in partnership with Impetus Trust, was appointed to administer the Education Endowment Fund following an open competition undertaken by the Department for Education, which attracted interest from 14 organisations. The Sutton Trust is the lead partner and will be responsible for setting up the new Education Endowment Fund charity. It will be held to account by the Department by the conditions set out in the grant funding agreement and through formal reviews.

  4. For the first two years of the fund, applications will only be accepted from, or in partnership with, underperforming primary and secondary schools in England. Grants will aim to raise the attainment of disadvantaged children and will be available not just to schools or local authorities but also to voluntary and community sectors, public sector organisations, co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises.

  5. A key strand of the programme will be to commission robust evaluations of the projects piloted, to create a bank of approaches proven to work at improving attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

  6. Race to the Top is a US programme that was announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in July 2009.

  7. The Sutton Trust is investing £750,000 in cash to underpin the development of the new charity, while Impetus Trust is committing £250,000. Both trusts are also making substantial in-kind contributions of staff resources and expertise. The new charity will also be able to draw down a small amount from the fund to cover administration costs.

  8. The Sutton Trust aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. Since 1997 the Trust has funded over 100 research studies and has profoundly influenced the national agenda. It is however primarily a do tank and has funded a wide range of initiatives, from early years, through primary and secondary schooling and access to higher education and the professions. These initiatives have been thoroughly evaluated and those that have been shown to be cost effective, for example summer schools and partnerships between independent and state schools, have been taken up by others, notably Government.

  9. The Impetus Trust exists to help break the inter-generational cycle of poverty by helping the charities and social enterprises it supports to achieve a transformational change in their performance. The ultimate goal is to enable these charities to have a greater impact on the lives of economically disadvantaged people. Through its financial support and deployment of high-calibre experts and co-investment partners, Impetus has helped its portfolio charities grow their income by an average of 31% a year and increase the number of people they help by 40% a year. Since actively focusing on this leveraged approach, Impetus has been able to generate an additional £4 of funding for its charities, for every £1 it invests.

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Published 1 April 2011