Responding to today’s new report by Alan Milburn and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation said:

“Alan Milburn’s latest report confirms the access challenge facing our top universities. Since the Sutton Trust first identified a ‘missing 3000’ students in our thirteen leading universities, there has been a stronger expectation that they will do more to improve the numbers entering from low and middle income backgrounds.

“But this report shows that the numbers overall have not improved across the Russell Group. So it is vital that these universities redouble their efforts to improve access by reaching out to able students in comprehensives and academies, and focusing more resources on such outreach.

“The Sutton Trust is playing its part with 1700 students at summer schools at nine leading universities, and through other programmes such as our successful Pathways to Law programme, offering 400 places a year, and our summer school for teachers. Demand for our programmes is huge – we had 10,000 summer school applications this year alone. But we need a system-wide drive on access to top universities if we are to make greater inroads into the problem. Enabling able students to fulfil their potential goes right to the heart of social mobility, basic fairness and economic efficiency.”


  1. The Sutton Trust is a foundation dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 120 research studies and funded and evaluated hundreds of programmes for young people of all ages, from early years through to Access to the Professions.
  2. The Sutton Trust has run summer schools in the UK since 1997. Summer schools offer young people from low and middle income backgrounds in year 12 – typically 17 year-olds – a chance to get a taste of student life at a research-led university. The programme balances busy academic days with social activities and has been successful in encouraging bright state school students from low and middle income families to study at the most selective universities in Britain.
  3. Pathways to Law, run in partnership with the Legal Education Foundation, leading law firms and universities, delivers a full and varied programme of lectures, seminars, advice and guidance sessions, skill development and interaction with students and professionals through e-mentoring and a guaranteed work placement with a top law firm. The Programme has been running since 2006, and has 400 places a year.

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