We have a remarkable story to tell
Back in 2003, Dan Snell - our Founder and CEO - was working in the City of London, when his flatmate's younger brother was tragically murdered in a street crime.
This event prompted Dan to volunteer in a local state secondary school in North-West London, which had a challenging and economically deprived catchment area.
What quickly became apparent was how many switched-on, ambitious young students attended the school. However, it was also obvious that these young people, although smart, driven, and talented, had little-to-no chance of getting the kind of jobs that more affluent kids would take for granted.
This was not due to a lack of ability. Rather, the young people did not have access to the kind of insight, knowledge, and opportunities that successful families pass down to their children.
In 2006, driven by a desire to address this inequality, Dan left the security of a corporate job to work full-time in the school for a year, and with the support of the likes of the Young Foundation, set up Arrival Education Ltd.
Although social mobility was a hot political topic, the Arrival team decided the government’s emphasis on academic attainment and university as a guaranteed route to success, was wrong.
Our hunch proved correct after conversations with leading businesses, across a range of sectors. The universal feedback from CEOs and HR Directors was that university degrees were a poor indicator of professional success. Instead, business leaders spoke about mindsets and personal qualities such as tenacity, perseverance, integrity, self-awareness, and resilience.
Developing these qualities and attributes in the young people, as well as passing on knowledge and insight about the world of work, was where we placed our focus.
Our vision was to equip those brilliant young people with the tools and mind-sets necessary to flourish in life, which we called, ‘Success Ready’. We believed that with the right input, these young people could become the business leaders of the future.
Partnering with forward-thinking businesses, third sector organisations and head teachers, in 2008, we launched the UK’s first and only four-year development programme to assure social mobility, called ‘Success for Life’.
You can read more about the Success for Life programme and its impact in our Ten Year Report.