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Our research

The Sutton Trust has produced and commissioned over 170 pieces of research on policy and practice across the broad and complex area of social mobility – from the early years through to university access – reflecting the varied obstacles facing young people from non-privileged backgrounds.

Our research has produced some astonishing statistics which reveal the current state of low social mobility in the UK and the disproportionate representation of the most affluent independent school students in top universities and professions. In this way, our research informs government, educational practitioners and policy-makers, helping to shape education and employment policy and practice.

Latest and previous research


This report provides an overview of the private tuition market in the UK, focusing on England and Wales. It considers four main aspects of the industry – extent, purpose, people and delivery – and reviews how these intersect with issues of social mobility. It finds that the private tuition market has expanded substantially over the last decade and is now worth up to £2 billion. But there is differential access to private tuition – pupils from lower socio-economic are less likely to receive such support, despite being amongst those who would benefit the most.  Read more>>>

Private tuition polling (2015)

The annual Sutton Trust/Ipsos-Mori survey of 11-16 year olds on private tuition in 2015 showed that Londoners are twice as likely as other children to receive private tuition. Read more>>>

Extra-curricular inequalities (2014)

This Research Briefing analyses Office for National Statistics data and finds children from the most advantaged households benefit from significantly more spending on extra-curricular activities and private tutoring than their poorer peers. The brief also includes the Trust’s annual polling on private tuition and new polling on parents and enrichment activities. Read more>>>

Parent Power (2013)

This report uses YouGov polling to present a fascinating insight into the extent to which professional parents are able to gain an advantage over other families in the school system. Read more>>>