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What is Social Mobility?

This is a much-interpreted concept, meaning different things to different people.

Born out of the Ipswich Opportunity Area (IOA) programme, IOA partnership board members founding this Alliance were keen to keep social mobility a key focus for the town, and the thing that brings partners together.


In defining what we understand social mobility to mean for our children and young people here is our conversation…

“Social mobility is about improving life chances – particularly for those for whom the barriers and challenges are greatest”

Richard Lister, Independent Chair of the Ipswich Opportunity Area, and Chair of 4YP and the Food Museum

“It’s not about moving everyone up a bit, it's ensuring that those children, young people and families with the most distance between where they are and where they have the potential to be, are empowered – enabling people to reach their potential”

Craig D’Cunha, Interim CEO, Active Learning Trust

“Not just about ‘doing to’ – but empowering young people to reach their potential themselves by reducing barriers and providing support and bringing about equity. Young people want the world to be a better place – we hold to help them achieve that vision”

Clare Flintoff, CEO, ASSET Education

“Children talk to us about power and agency – how its shared – that’s the equity. Children and young people should have equity and where they don’t, we step in, empowering them to use their own stories to get that equity. Our organisations need to listen, understand, and move our organisations to meet this challenge.”

Stephen Skeet, Director of Business Development and Impact, Volunteering Matters


However, we need to move this definition on to include the voice of children and young people - watch this space…