The recent Social Mobility Commission’s report to the Government, An Unequal Playing Field: Extra-curricular Activities, Soft skills and Social Mobility highlights disparities in children’s access to and participation in rates across a wide range of extra-curricular activities, depending on their social background.
The report recommends:
1. Introduce a national extra-curricular bursary scheme.
2. Provide funding to develop and extend third sector initiatives that successfully facilitate access to extra-curricular activities.
3. Increase the organisational capacity of schools to support their extra-curricular provision and improve information on the availability of activities in local areas.
4. Improve data collection and carry out further research into the nature of soft skills developed and deployed across different settings.
Participation in extra-curricular activities is vital for the very children the Commission outlines often are excluded from such activities, because their home circumstances don’t give them the same experiences and opportunities that most children are able to take for granted.
Opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities are driven by a variety of factors such as household income, gender, ethnicity, geographic location and school attended – with independent schools in particular likely to offer an unparalleled breadth and range of activities compared to state schools.
Here at the Foundation:
We are working hard within the state school sector to close the gap for our students. We believe that all young people have the right to quality opportunities and experiences that will unlock their potential, develop the skills and attributes that employers are seeking and give them the confidence to live rewarding lives.
So, that’s why we are committed to partnering with organisations to support, develop and fund enrichment programmes that Inspire, Skill and Mobilise. In the last month alone Aldridge students have had the opportunity to join potentially life-changing experiences through:
- A trekking & sailing expedition to Iceland
- An outreach trip to help teach children of the Acholi tribe in Uganda, and
- Having the opportunity to learn and be coached at our Brighton Cricket Centre.
If you would like to join us in our mission to level the playing field, provide Equal Opportunities and change the lives of the young people we work with and their communities, then please contact our Chief Executive, Shona Nichols.