'Big Tick' Award for the Key Project

Slaughter and May has been awarded a 'Big Tick' as part of the prestigious Responsible Business Awards 2014, run by the charity Business in the Community. The firm was recognised in the Education category for the Key Project, a major social mobility programme at Central Foundation Boys’ School, an inner-city school in Islington, that helps students get into top universities.

The 'Big Tick' is the first level of accolade in the Responsible Business Awards, the UK’s longest-running and most respected awards scheme recognising businesses that are making a positive difference to society and to the environment.

Mark Bennett, a partner at Slaughter and May, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised for the Key Project. We have been inspired by the outstanding results that have been achieved during the first two years of the project. In that short time, 14 students have met their offers from Russell Group universities compared to none in the three years prior."

Slaughter and May’s Key Project was launched in January 2012 in partnership with The Access Project, an educational charity, and Central Foundation Boys’ School whose 900 students speak 34 different first languages and more than 70% have claimed free school meals during their time there.

Students can gain a place on the Key Project in Year 9 and are provided with weekly tutorials throughout their GCSE’s and A-levels to enhance their academic achievements, confidence and articulacy. To date, 90 Slaughter and May volunteers, made up of partners, associates and Business Services staff, have provided tutoring and 150 students have benefitted from the Project. Over 1,450 hours of tutoring have been provided to Central Foundation students in this academic year alone. A-level students on the programme are offered high quality work experience placements, career guidance and UCAS application mentoring.

Stephen Howard, the Chief Executive at Business in the Community, said: "All year round, responsible businesses across the UK are contributing towards more resilient communities, stimulating local economies, creating diverse, skilled and healthy workforces and addressing skills shortages - yet these activities rarely get attention. The Responsible Business Awards shine a much needed spotlight on the powerful impact of business. Each of the companies recognised are playing their part to build a new contract between business and society and a more sustainable future for us all. I congratulate Slaughter and May for its 'Big Tick', which is a powerful symbol of business doing more to bring about change."