Who we support

As a social mobility organisation we work with young people, schools, and colleges who, research shows, face the barriers in education and employment which cause their talents to often go undiscovered and unfulfilled.

our young people

The challenges our young people face are real, but we do not believe in describing them as disadvantaged. We see it as a label which simply reinforces negative stereotypes and makes it even harder for young people.

The young people we support are advantaged in so many ways. They have talent, ambition and drive. But they go undiscovered because of circumstances out of their control. We should not add extra barriers through negative labels.

Our mission is to change stereotypes, empower young people and give them a platform to flourish. That’s why we see our young people as undiscovered talent, not disadvantaged.

As a social mobility charity, we support those who need a platform to reach their potential, working with young people who meet a combination of criteria, including the following:

  • Eligible for Free School Meals in the past six years
  • No parental history of higher education
  • Under-represented ethnic background
  • Experience of Local Authority care and/or estranged from family
  • Caring responsibilities
Frequently Asked Questions
The below listed information about student targetting is only applicable to sixth form schools in England. 

As a social mobility charity, we have a responsibility to our young people, centres, funders, and volunteers to ensure we are reaching those who need our support the most.

To achieve our social mobility objectives we favour applications from young people who meet one or more of the following:

  • Eligible for Free School Meals in the past six years
  • Eligible for Educational Maintenance Allowance(in Scotland)
  • No parental history of higher education
  • Under-represented ethnic background
  • Physical, mental or learning disability
  • Experience of Local Authority care and/or estranged from family
  • Caring responsibilities
  • Refugee or asylum seeker status

We do not impose a strict requirement that every student must meet a minimum number of criteria, and we recognise that there are other factors not listed above which may indicate a need for the programme.

Our Regional Managers and school coordinators are trusted to work together to select the most suitable students for the programme; however, we do ask that the above criteria are given precedence in decision making.

As part of our drive for continuous improvements, longer-term, we will conduct a wider review of our targeting criteria to ensure we are capturing the most appropriate indicators.

The factors used to assess students’ eligibility have not changed but we are now taking greater steps to ensure that they are met by:

  • Updating our materials to ensure student targeting criteria are clear and consistent
  • Capturing students’ IMD decile (Index of Multiple Deprivation) to provide an additional socio-economic indicator
  • Asking school coordinators to verify students’ self-disclosed FSM6 status
  • Encouraging school coordinators to ensure their Career Ready cohorts include a sample of FSM6 students that is representative of the general FSM6 (or 16-19 Bursary Fund) population at their school or college.

We ask school coordinators to ensure they prioritise our targeting criteria when selecting students for the programme.

In particular, we ask schools to ensure their Career Ready cohorts include a sample of FSM6 students that is representative of the general FSM6 (or 16-19 Bursary Fund) population at their centre.

For example, if a school has a 30% FSM6 population and their current Career Ready cohort has five FSM6 students out of a cohort of 20 (25%), we would encourage them to aim for at least six FSM6 students in 2022-23 to reach 30%.

We will continue to work together with schools to select the most suitable students using a combination of factors. We are not advocating excluding any young person solely on the basis on FSM (in)eligibility.

No individual measure used in isolation is an adequate indicator of need, and FSM is no exception. It is, however, widely used as a proxy for socio-economic disadvantage, and it is important we are aligned with the data used by policymakers and funders – alongside our continued efforts to influence these landscapes.

Longer-term, we will conduct a wider review of our targeting criteria to ensure we are capturing the most appropriate indicators and reaching the young people who will benefit the most from working with Career Ready.

Our Schools & Colleges

To ensure that we support schools and colleges in areas most in need of our support, we’re guided by governments’ data on Indices of Multiple Deprivation and the Careers & Enterprise Company’s Cold Spots framework.

We work with schools and colleges who meet the following framework:

  • Non-fee-paying, UK state schools and colleges
  • In an existing Career Ready area
  • Priority is also given to non-academically selective schools and colleges

Schools and colleges which meet one or more of our criteria but are not in one of our active areas are welcome to get in touch and a member of our team will contact you if an opportunity to work together arises.

0%
of students will be the first in their family to go to university.
0/50
We work in 33/50 of the most disadvantaged Local Authorities in England.
0/9
We work in 6/9 Scotland’s Attainment Challenge Local Authorities, and a total of 18 LAs.
Get involved

Ready to volunteer?join us?partner with us?get involved?