Working-class people ‘underrepresented in charity sector for too long’, says Teach First

02 Nov 2023 News

By TimeShops / Adobe

Working-class people have been underrepresented in the charity sector for too long, Teach First has said after being praised for its work to improve social mobility.

Teach First was one of three charities ranked in the top 75 employers in the UK for improving social mobility this week by the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF).

It was one of 18 organisations in the overall sample of 143 that measured its class pay gap.

The teacher training charity, which entered the index for the first time this year, was ranked 64th of 75.

Social worker training charity Frontline was the highest-ranked charity in 33rd place, while Birmingham Repertory Theatre was listed at number 73. 

Safrina Ahmed, programme diversity and inclusion manager at Teach First, said: “I’m delighted that Teach First has been named in the Social Mobility Employer Index’s top 75 employers.

“Working-class people have for too long been underrepresented in the charity sector; I am thrilled that Teach First is changing this, and our efforts have been recognised in this way.

“We know, though, that there is still a long way to go and we are committed to getting there.”

Increase in charities listed in social mobility rankings

Some 143 organisations overall entered this year’s Social Mobility Employer Index, which is created annually, nine of which (6%) were charities.

Teach First, Frontline and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are the charities that were ranked as top 75 employers for social mobility. 

This is an increase from last year, when two charities made the top 75 and six entered overall. 

The index asks organisations questions on their recruitment and selection processes, workplace culture and progression to determine their place in the rankings.

Charity beats Amazon and Co-op in the rankings

Social worker training charity Frontline came in 33rd place in the index, above Co-op, Ofcom and Amazon. 

In a statement on social media, the charity said: “At Frontline, we’re passionate about giving everyone the best possible chance to fulfil their potential, no matter their background. So we’re proud to be alongside other organisations leading the way on social mobility.”

Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the SMF, said: “The employers represented in this year’s index recognise that the workplace is as important as the classroom for improving social mobility. 

“They are doubling down and are rightly continuing to prioritise social mobility as an investment in the talent of the future.”  

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.

More on