News story from Bolton School

Awards Recognise School for Social Mobility Advancement

Bolton School was recognised for leading the way in advancing social mobility in the UK at the SOMO awards ceremony.

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18th October 2021 — People and institutions dedicated to leading the way in advancing social mobility in the UK were recognised at an awards ceremony on 14 October. The SOMOs, now into their fifth year, were set up to recognise the people and institutions dedicated to leading the way in advancing social mobility in the UK.

The winners for the 2021 UK Social Mobility Awards were announced at the virtual gala, which was hosted by comedian and writer, Toni Kent. The Awards celebrate the achievements of organisations who embed social mobility as a core business strategy; from recruitment and/or progression activity within their own workforce, supporting their local communities, or by influencing the debate amongst their stakeholders and competitors.

Organisers and partners of the SOMOs recognise that social mobility not only benefits business, but society as a whole. By providing a platform to raise awareness of the importance of advancing social mobility, and celebrating best practice, the SOMOs are creating a movement of institutions passionate about making change happen.

Following what has been a challenging couple of years that has had a profound impact on businesses of all sizes, it is particularly commendable to see organisations remain committed to social mobility. The Awards, which were sponsored by Capita, attracted entries representing a range of sectors and industries, and demonstrating excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Entries were evaluated by a prestigious judging panel, made up of influencers from business, charity, politics and the public sector and chaired by HM Lord Lieutenant of London, Ken Olisa OBE.

Philip Britton, Head of Foundation at Bolton School, finalists in the 'School/College of the Year’ category, commented: ‘Providing social mobility is inter-twined with our history - 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.

‘During the same academic year, the School community made pledges and gifts totalling £672,000 to the Bursary Fund for the next intake of students. This enabled 54 Y7 pupils to join the two Senior Schools in September. Overall, the School spent £2.89m on means-tested bursaries, supporting 350 – one in five – girls and boys across the Senior Schools. One third of recipients – 6% of the pupil body – received fully-funded bursaries.’

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of The UK Social Mobility Awards, added: ‘We are delighted that the UK Social Mobility Awards shows that there continues to be positive activity being conducted across the country, as corporate Britain comes together to drive forward social mobility. However, as much as has been done, we still have significant work to do, as when it comes to social mobility, there is no limit to better.’

Bolton School Boys' Division (Boys 7-18) is a day school in Greater Manchester.

Bolton School Girls' Division (Boys 3m -7, Girls 3m -18) is a day school in Greater Manchester.

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