News story: Education Secretary appoints new Social Mobility Commissioners

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The new commissioners come from all walks of life and include leaders from the fields of business, education and technology. Many have their own personal stories of how they have overcome barriers to success and now work to improve social mobility in their sectors.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:


Dame Martina and I share a vision for a country where we raise our ambitions for every child, whatever their background. Education is at the heart of this, giving everyone the chance to fulfil the spark of potential that exists in them.

This new team of commissioners brings together established business men and women, policy makers, academics and young people all with important perspectives to bring. The Social Mobility Commission will benefit from the expertise of this diverse mix of individuals, all of whom will bring their own unique stamp to what social mobility means in their lives.

I look forward to working with the new Commission to make our shared vision a reality.

The appointments follow approval from the Prime Minister and the Public Appointments Committee, and include the editor of a women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, a university professor, a headteacher and two youth ambassadors.

Dame Martina Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission said:


I am delighted to welcome a record number of Social Mobility Commissioners who will work to make England a fairer society.

This is a group of people with real-life experiences of social mobility to help challenge government, business, and society as a whole, to create a fair system where people can thrive.

Many of our new Commissioners had modest starts in life and know the barriers that young people must overcome to become successful. They are also individuals with the skills, resources, and energy to drive real change around the country, united by a passion for fairness and an ability to make a real difference to people’s lives.

The Social Mobility Commissioners will take up their new roles next month with an event planned to mark the Commission’s relaunch on 11 December.

Their appointments build on Dame Martina’s vision to bring greater ethnic, gender and age diversity to Commission by tapping into a diverse range of backgrounds.

Younger commissioners, as well as members based outside London and the south east will make sure its work is better represented regionally, helping to raise its profile and influence young people directly.

Joining Dame Martina as commissioners will be:

  • Alastair da Costa, Chair of Capital City College Group
  • Liz Williams, Group Director of Digital Society at BT
  • Farrah Storr, Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan
  • Harvey Matthewson, Volunteer, and part-time Sales Assistant at Marks & Spencer
  • Jessica Oghenegweke, Project co-ordinator at the Diana Award
  • Jody Walker, Senior Vice President at TJX Europe (TK Maxx and Home Sense in the UK)
  • Pippa Dunn, Founder of Broody, helping entrepreneurs and start ups
  • Saeed Atcha, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Xplode magazine
  • Sam Friedman, Associate Professor in Sociology at London School of Economics
  • Sammy Wright, Vice Principal of Southmoor Academy, Sunderland
  • Sandra Wallace, Managing Partner UK and Joint Managing Director Europe at DLA Piper
  • Steven Cooper, Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Barclaycard Business

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