RISE is a new think tank, part-funded by the University of Bolton, to conduct research into education and social mobility policy and practice, in the Bolton area, and nationally.

Given the current emphasis from government on the levelling up agenda, we believe this is the time for a new think tank that focuses on developing policy geared towards the northern regions. We are not politically affiliated and aim to make contributions that influence policy and practice and contribute positively to social mobility in action.

RISE definition of Social Mobility

“Ensuring fairness across society so that all children have access to equal opportunities and skills, regardless of background, achieve a positive change in socio-economic status, health and wellbeing. An adult’s occupation and income should not relate to where they started in life but to their aspirations, how hard they work and their achievements.”

Key Features

There are three key features that define and distinguish the work of RISE:

  1. RISE is driven by the unrelenting moral purpose ensuring that we create within our early year’s settings, schools, colleges and universities, the learning conditions where every student and young person can reach their potential – wherever that may lead.
  2. Secondly, the University of Bolton Group is uniquely placed to address this agenda by encompassing the full range of education provision, pre-school setting, all through 5 – 19 school on the University Campus, a University Partnership Multi Academy Trust, the merger with Bolton College and the acquisition of the Anderton Outdoor Centre.
  3. Third, RISE is an action-oriented think tank, committed to high impact strategies formed from a combination of existing and new evidence-based approaches. Our strategies will be implementation friendly, reflecting the focus on moral purpose, raising aspirations, and improving access to high quality education, enhancing attainment and, ultimately, achievement in social and economic terms.

RISE will produce evidence-based policy and practice guidance to inform the provision of more meaningful chances and choices improving the quality of life and future social mobility for all children and young people.

  • Choices / Skills –the capabilities and life skills individuals have, acquire, and develop to enable them to exert control over situations that confront them in terms of overall life-course, health and wellbeing, employment and career, security and happiness, engagement, and contribution to society.
  • Chances / Opportunities –the range of opportunities that individuals have access to that enable them to become increasingly socially mobile and personally fulfilled. This means opportunities for creative, cultural and physical development as well as equal access to education, training and the workplace.

In Summary

  • RiSE is a regionally based organisation that will influence national policy on social mobility.
  • Driven by moral purpose, rooted in inclusive educational practice and research the RiSE team will work in partnership to promote and inform social mobility.
  • The RiSE research framework, based on a model generated by the World Economic Forum, will standardise rigorous research practice across all phases of education.
  • RiSE is committed to collaborating with business, university and third sector leaders to understand and change the social mobility landscape
  • RiSE will focus our work to generate a future that provides social mobility for all.


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