Research Background

Our work at IntoUniversity is based upon sound public research into both the need for our work and the effectiveness of our approach.

The Achievement Gap

Young people from poorer backgrounds tend to do far less well at school than those from better-off homes.

Sutton Trust: The Reading Gap, 2013

'This report by Dr John Jerrim highlights the gap in achievement between high achieving boys from disadvantaged backgrounds and their better off peers'. 

Click here to see full report.


Leon Feinstein’s study of children’s pre-school achievement

‘It is striking that, even measured at 22 months, children in the bottom quartile of this development index are significantly less likely to get any qualifications than those in the top quartile. Moreover, at 42 months more than three times as many of those in the top quartile as those in the bottom quartile go on to get ‘A’ level qualifications or above. Given the young age of the children tested, these are strong findings. They suggest that, even before children have entered school, substantial signals predicting future educational progress are contained in these standard tests of child development.’

Click here to see the full report.


UCL postcode analysis 2006

Considers GCSE results by ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ postcode districts to show that the key factor in how well children do is not what type of school they attend but social class.

Click to see the full report.


HEFCE POLAR Report 2005

Researchers from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) spent five years mapping out the proportion of school leavers going to university in every region, parliamentary constituency and ward in the UK between 1994 to 2000. ‘Young people from the most advantaged areas were up to six times more likely to go to university than those in the most disadvantaged areas. The disparity changed little over the period of the study.’  (The Guardian January 2005)

Click here to see the full report.

Social Mobility
Sutton Trust: Leading People, 2016

Report on the educational backgrounds of the UK's professional elite, from lawyers and judges to journalists and vice-chancellors. 

Click here to see the full report.


Sutton Trust: A Winning Personality, 2016

Report on the impact of characteristics such as self-esteem and assertiveness on the attainment of young people in their future careers.

Click here to see the full report.


The all-party parliamentary group on Social Mobility: Character and Resilience Manifesto, 2014

Report highlighting growing body of research which directly links character traits and resilience to being able to do well at school and in the workplace. 

Click here to see the full report.


Sutton Trust: Pathways to Banking, 2014

'This report details the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Banking programme and summarises research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealing how the financial services sector disproportionately recruits students with an independent education'.

Click here to see the full report.


Sutton Trust: Parent Power, 2013

'This report presents a fascinating insight into the extent to which professional parents are able to gain an advantage over the families in the school system'.

Click here to see the full report. 


Sutton Trust: Family Background and Access to 'High Status' Universities, 2013

'At least a quarter of the access gap to the top universities in England, the United States and Australia cannot be explained by academic achievement, according to new research by Dr John Jerrim'.

Click here to see the full report.


Sutton Trust: Social Mobility, 2005

‘Part of the reason for the decline in mobility has been the increasing relationship between family income and educational attainment between these cohorts. This was because additional opportunities to stay in education at both age 16 and age 18 disproportionately benefited those from better-off backgrounds.’

Click here to see the full report


Unleashing  Aspirations: Cabinet Office Report (2009)

On the current trajectory, tomorrow’s professionals will be drawn almost entirely from the better-off 30% of families in this country.

Click here to see the full report


Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Guide to Social Mobility, Cabinet Office Report (April 2011)

'In a fair society what counts is not the school you went to or the jobs your parents did, but your ability and your ambition. In other words, fairness is about social mobility – the degree to which the patterns of advantage and disadvantage in one generation are passed onto the next. An unfair society is one in which the circumstances 
of a person’s birth determine the life they go on to lead.'

Click here to see full report

Early Intervention

Early intervention is a key driver of social mobility. But this intervention needs to be intensive, and long-term.

Simon Hughes MP's report on Access to Education (July 2011)

'It is never too early for people to start thinking about future careers and educational opportunities. Children in their last years of primary school can be inspired, and can form their first clear impressions of the world of work and further study.'

Click to see the full report.


Graham Allen's government report on Early Intervention: The Next Steps (Jan 2011)

'Early Intervention is an approach which offers our country a real opportunity to make lasting improvements in the lives of our children, to forestall many persistent social problems and end their transmission from one generation to 
the next, and to make long-term savings in public spending.'

Click to see the full report


The Foundation Years website

A website established to act as a reference point for parents, families and practioners, focusing on early years development.

Click here to read articles on Early Intervention


Widening Participation 

Disadvantaged young people are less likely to get a university place than their better-off peers, and are much less likely to get a place at a high-status university

UCAS End of Cycle Report, 2016

Annual report from UCAS analysing data gathered from the 2016 cycle of undergraduate applications to higher education in the UK.

Click here to see the full report.


Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Widening Participation in Higher Education, 2014

Report on university progression among young people eligible for Free School Meals.

Click here to see the full report.


BIS and HEFCE: National Strategy for Access and Student Success, 2014

Report presented to Ministers in 2014 assessing how investment in widening participation is meeting government aims and objectives including its commitment to social mobility, as well as how this investment may be used to meet future government objectives. 

Click here to see the full report. 


House of Commons Widening Participation Report 2010

‘To be more effective, universities need to target schools in disadvantaged areas to reach those most in need.’

Click here to see full report


IFS Report into Widening Participation 2010

‘This paper has shown that students from poorer backgrounds are much less likely to participate in tertiary education than students from richer backgrounds.’

Click here to see the full report


Institute for Employment Studies (‘Making the Right Choice:How Students Choose Universities and Colleges’, 1999.)

Research shows that many students’ decisions about further study had been largely formulated by Year 11.  The study also showed that fewer than 1 in 10 young people identify school careers services, teachers or university staff as a source of information about H.E.

Click here to see summary report.

The Cost of Educational Failure

Report from The Centre for Social Justice, 2006

‘This Report highlights the failure of our education system to ensure all children have equality of opportunity.’

Click here to see the full report


Report from The Prince’s Trust / LSE

‘Social exclusion comes with a big price tag – not only for the individual young people who are affected but for their communities and the economy as well.  And the costs go beyond the financial: there are also hard-to-quantify costs such as the loss of potential and the long-term, emotional toll of unfulfilled ambitions.’

Click here to see the full report

social mobility charity

Get in touch

For further information, please contact our Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of the charity:

Dr Hugh Rayment-Pickard
020 7243 0242

Rural aspiration

In 2015 IntoUniversity produced a report on access to university in rural, coastal and dispersed communities in the UK.

The report was funded by the Cabinet Office Social Action Fund and looks at the feasibility of adapting urban models of delivering Higher Education access programmes in areas of lower population density. 

The full report is available here.