Three independent schools have been shortlisted in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2021.
The ‘SOMOs’, now in their fifth year, were established to recognise and encourage action that promotes and increases social mobility within Britain’s companies and institutions.
Bolton School, Christ’s Hospital and Reigate Grammar School are all in the running to win the title of School/College of the Year, as well as Tile Cross Academy, Sedgefield Community College and Reading School from the state sector.
The winners will be determined by an independent judging panel made up of leading figures from business, charity and the public sector, and chaired by Sir Ken Olisa OBE.
A statement from Bolton School read: “Providing social mobility is intertwined with Bolton School’s history and it was Lord Leverhulme’s vision to offer an education for all capable children when he re-endowed the school in 1915.
“Last summer, 42 pupils from the class of 2020 left having received bursarial assistance for their education. Thirty-eight went on to university, 32 of whom secured places on courses at prestigious Russell Group institutions. Nineteen went on to study subjects in the medical sciences, including 12 pupils now studying medicine.”
In the same academic year, £672,000 was raised for the school’s bursary fund for the next intake of students. This enabled 54 year seven pupils to join in September. Overall, the school spent £2.89m on means-tested bursaries, supporting 350 girls and boys.
Olisa said: “The war against Covid-19 has shown just how strong our nation is when we pull together. It has also shown how ‘we’ means people from every walk of life, heritage and ability. There can be no greater proof of the power of social mobility. Now that its value is beyond dispute ‘we’ must pull out all of the stops to make social mobility a reality – even in peacetime.”
The winners will be announced at a gala on 14 October 2021.