The Sutton Trust was founded in 1997 by Sir Peter Lampl, with the aim of improving social mobility through education. It has funded a wide range of programs in early years settings, schools and universities, with a focus on research, policy and innovative practical programs with system-wide relevance.
The Trust put the issue of social mobility on the political map in the U.K., through the landmark study it commissioned from the London School of Economics in 2005. The Sutton Trust has continued to exert major influence by funding over one hundred research studies on education and social mobility in the last seven years. The Trust has a substantial impact on education policy and enjoys a high profile in the media and amongst leading opinion-formers. This was exemplified in its recent summit on social mobility, held in conjunction with the Carnegie Corporation of New York: the two-day event was addressed by the U.K.’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Education and the Leader of the Opposition, and the Trust received over 300 mentions in the national and international media.
The Trust exists to combat educational inequality and prevent the subsequent waste of talent. It is particularly concerned with breaking the link between educational opportunities and family background, and in realising a system in which young people are given the opportunity to prosper, regardless of their family background, the school they happen to attend or the area in which they live. As disadvantage starts before young people are born and continues right through to the workplace, the Trust’s interests cover parenting and early years projects, primary and secondary schooling and access to university and the professions. At later ages the Trust has a particular focus on academically able young people with the potential to study at leading universities.