Alan Milburn is the Chair of the UK Government's Social Mobility Commission which is tasked with monitoring progress towards improving social mobility in the UK. In his introduction to their 2014 annual report, Cracking the Code, he summed up the issues facing the young people we exist to support.

"Nearly six out of ten disadvantaged children in England do not achieve a basic set of qualifications compared to only one in three children from more advantaged backgrounds. The consequence for these children is a lifelong struggle to gain basic skills, avoid unemployment and to find and hold down a good job. 

Though qualifications are the most important dimension of educational disadvantage, the challenge goes beyond exams. The chances of doing well in a job are not determined solely by academic success; the possession of character skills like persistence and grit' also matter. So too do wider opportunities including work experience, extra-curricular activities and careers advice. But, from the earliest ages, social background strongly influences who has these other predictors of later success, meaning that the better-off are multiply advantaged when it comes to winning the race for good jobs." 

All the young people we work with are referred by teachers in our partner schools and the referral information they give us points to the multiple issues that young people face: 30% of students are referred because they need an additional role model, 10% for behaviour issues, 30% for low confidence and 30% for low attainment.

“He is a worrier. Difficult home life. Takes things to heart. Is able but needs something good and positive to happen in his life and ReachOut would be great for this.”

“He is on the SEN register for Communication & Interaction. Has made some progress in reading this year but still behind in everything. Struggles to control his behaviour and can take events from the playground into the classroom which affects his learning.”

“Has sisters who are in care. Doesn't have any emotional connection with his parents who are quite dismissive of him. Suffers from low level neglect so would benefit from one to one attention. Needs role model support

 “He is emotional, struggles with focus and confidence. Poor learning behaviour and chatty in class. Needs to see the benefit of education and working hard.”

“Very bright. Very confident with a wide breadth of knowledge. Is a young carer for his mum who is bipolar. Worries about her a lot and they have an intense relationship. Would benefit from having a university role model.”

“Has poor self-esteem - mum puts him down a lot. Low attainer. Needs a confidence boost.”

“She is extremely quiet and shy. Rarely speaks. SEN for Cognition & Learning.”