It describes itself as a 'do tank' (as opposed to a 'think tank'). It funds specific programmes, such as projects to improve access to universities, conducts research and lobbies government for changes to education policy, a role that it describes as 'strategic philanthropy'.
It was established by Peter Lampl in 2007. Lampl is described as 'the UK's leading educational philanthropist', a 'confidant of cabinet ministers' and 'one of the most influential figures in British education'.
- Education Endowment Foundation. The Sutton Trust, in a partnership with the Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus, The Private Equity Foundation) , was awarded a £135 million arm’s length grant in 2011 by the UK Government to establish a major initiative to 'boost the attainment of some of the country’s most disadvantaged children'. The grant-making charity, the Education Endowment Foundation, was set up to provide an evidence base for reform. It was inspired by the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative in the USA. It is designated the 'What Works centre' for improving education outcomes for school-aged children. It is chaired by Peter Lampl.
- Schools Toolkit. The Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation have produced a 'toolkit' for schools. It is a summary of educational research which 'provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils'.
- All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility. The Sutton Trust acts as the secretariat for the APPG on Social Mobility.
The Sutton Trust has partnered with, and commissioned research from, many organisations. These include:
- Pearson: the Sutton Trust partnered with edu-business Pearson in 2014 on a Summit on apprenticeships and vocational education. The Sutton Trust also co-hosted fringe events at the 2015 party conferences with Pearson.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Sutton Trust organised an international summit in Washington in October 2014 with the Gates Foundation on imrpoving teacher practice.
- Boston Consulting Group. The Sutton Trust has commissioned numerous research reports from the Boston Consulting Group, including a report, 'Premium Policies: What schools and teachers believe will improve standards for poorer pupils and those in low-attaining schools', designed to help develop the priorities and approach of the Education Endowment Foundation.
- Sir Peter Lampl: Chairman
- Dr Lee Elliot Major: Chief Executive; also founding trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation, chairing its evaluation advisory board. He commissioned and is co-author of the Sutton Trust-EEF toolkit for schools. Previously an education journalist. He writes extensively on education policy, including on the direction of policy in the US. For example, in 2012, he blogged on 'The American Revolution in Teacher Evaluation': 'All across the United States, a revolution in education is taking place,' he writes, 'And it is likely to hit British schools anytime soon. Teachers are for the first time being evaluated on how effective they are in the classroom. The talisman for these bold reforms is one Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.'
- Conor Ryan: Director, Research and Communications. Former senior education adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2005-2007 and David Blunkett’s special adviser from 1993-2001, covering education policy and media relations in government and opposition. Ryan is a director of the Wellsway Multi-Accademy Trust, and a trustee of the National Foundation for Educational Research.
- Oliver Cardinali: lobbyist. Formerly consultant lobbyists with Whitehouse Consultancy, which says it has 'extensive experience' of working in the field of education and provides support to a large number of organisations including: children’s charities, education providers, representative groups and multi-academy trusts.
The Sutton Trust's predominently male strategic advisory and development board consists of the following people. They are decscribed as making an 'annual financial investment' in the Trust.
- Ian Walsh, Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group London, where he leads both the Financial Institutions and Education practices. He has also led projects for the Education Endowment Fund, Teach First and the New Schools Network.
- Anthony Gutman, Co-Head, UK Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs thinks that technology is 'poised to change virtually every aspect of how students learn, at every age, at every level', through: 'personalised learning'; 'data and analytics'; and 'competency-based learning', with investment in education technology coming 'increasingly from the private sector', says Goldman's head of edtech in its investment banking division.
- Tim Bunting, General Partner at Balderton Capital, a venture capital firm investing in European technology businesses (including edtech); former Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs International. He is also Governor of Wellington College and the Wellington Academy; a Trustee of the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, SpringBoard and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
- Glenn Earle, Former Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs International (retired in 2011).
- Richard Perry, Managing Partner, CEO of Perry Corp]]. Formerly he was in the equity arbitrage area of Goldman Sachs. He is a director of Capital Business Credit LLC, Universal American Corp., Ovation LLC and Northwest Investments LLC. He is also chairman of the board of Barneys New York Inc.
- Kasia Robinski, Partner at private equity firm Hanover Investors. Formerly of Goldman Sachs, among others.
- Alex Wilmot Sitwell, President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
- Jerry del Missier, Founder and Executive Chairman of Copper Street Capital LLP. He is past Chairman of the Board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and a member of the boards of the Global Financial Markets Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. Also board member of Room to Read, a global education and literacy organization.
- Justin Bull, Senior Advisor, Copper Street Capital. Bull led the 2015 Sutton Trust’s Alumni project. He was formerly Chief Operating Officer of Corporate and Investment Banking at Barclays and before that at Morgan Stanley.
- Richard Taylor, Co-Head of Banking, Barclays Investment Bank.
- Harvey McGrath, Chair of Big Society Capital, director of New Philanthropy Capital and Deputy Chair of the Mayor of London’s Enterprise Panel. Former Chairman of Prudential plc, Man Group plc, and the London Development Agency. McGrath is also a director of Frontline, which is supported by Ark, Boston Consulting Group and others and aims to reform social work recruitment in the way that Teach First has for teaching.
- Mike Carpenter, Former CEO, Ally Financial. Also founder of Southgate Holdings. Former posts include CEO of Citigroup Alternative Investments, and with Boston Consulting Group.
- Dr Purnendu Chatterjee,Chairman of global investment firm, Chatterjee Group. He was closely associated with Soros Fund Management. Prior to this he was a partner at McKinsey & Company Inc. in New York. The Charrerjee Group's IT arm is involved in suppling services to education institutions.
- Mark Crosbie, Managing Partner, Antin Infrastructure Partners, private equity firm focused on infrastructure investments.
- Marc Gabelli, Managing Partner of Gabelli Securities.
- Christopher Wright, Merifin Capital, a Brussels based investment firm. Also Chairman of EMAlternatives LLC in Washington DC, an emerging markets focused asset management firm and of YIMEI Capital Ltd in China.
- Stephen Brenninkmeijer, Founder, Willows Investments
- David Gregson, Chairman of the Lawn Tennis Association and of Karma Group, a UK marketing services agency. Also Director of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Formerly co-founder and Chairman of Phoenix Equity Partners, a UK private equity business.
- Joe McDevitt, Retired Managing Director of PIMCO. Formerly of the Salomon Brothers.
- Martin Sullivan, Operating Partner, Lightyear Capital
- Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of National Grid plc and Tate & Lyle plc.
- Robert Swannell, Chairman of UK Government Investments, and Chairman of Marks and Spencer Group. He was a Trustee of Teach First.
- Ian Watson, Chairman of Genagro, an investment company which specialises in financing, developing and growing farmland and farmland-related businesses
- Deborah Wolfson, Trustee of the Wolfson Foundation
- Lucy Morris, Trustee of CHK Charities
- James Sainsbury, Trustee of Tedworth Charitable Trust
- Corinne Vigreux, Co-founder of TomTom
- Dr Geoffrey Walker MD, Dallas Nephrology Association
- Website: http://www.suttontrust.com/
- Twitter: @suttontrust
- Address: 9th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
- About Us, Sutton Trust website, accessed July 2016
- Peter Wilby, Big spender, Guardian, March 2007
- Teaching and Learning Toolkit, EEF website, accessed July 2016
- APPG on Social Mobility, House of Commons website, access July 2016
- Higher Apprenticeships better for jobs than university degrees say public – new polling for Sutton Trust/Pearson Summit, Sutton Trust website, July 2014
- Pearson at the Party Conferences, Pearson website, 2015
- Improving the learning of teachers, Sutton Trust website, October 2014
- Premium Policies: What schools and teachers believe will improve standards for poorer pupils and those in low-attaining schools, BSC commissioned report, Jan 2016
- Lee Elliott Major, The American Revolution in Teacher Evaluation, Sutton Trust website, 29 November 2012
- Conor Ryan, Linkedin profile, accessed July 2016
- New School: 3 Ways Technology Will Transform the Classroom, Goldman Sachs website, June 2016
- Education, TCG Digital website, accessed july 2016