Our volunteers work with young people on literacy and employability projects to support them as they gain confidence and develop essential skills for life after school. Our initiatives reach more than 700 children and young people.
We provide students with placements across legal and business services teams to inspire them to think about a career in the profession. In 2013, we developed a successful joint legal work experience initiative with ITV, which we helped grow into what is now known as the Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP). It is now a charity and involves over 90 organisations and 300 young people across the country.
We are proud to be a founding member and are represented on the working committee of PRIME, a sector-wide initiative to provide fair access to quality work experience.
Some of the highlights of our education initiatives include:
- Tutoring: Working in partnership with educational charity The Access Project, we launched the Key Project at Central Foundation Boys’ School in 2012 to help its students achieve places at top universities. Since its launch, five times more students are now going to the most selective universities.
- Mentoring: our volunteers help students make decisions about university progression and write their personal statements for their university applications. The number of students at our partner school who progress to selective universities has risen from 13% in 2012 to 47% in 2017.
- Careers and employability workshops: Volunteers share their advice and career experience to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the diverse range of roles available in the City.
Words are the tools of a law firm’s trade and we understand how crucial literacy is to social mobility and even life expectancy. We work with the National Literacy Trust, a charity that helps disadvantaged children and young people gain the literacy skills they need to succeed. NLT’s research has found that children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England.
We are a member of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, which sets out our commitment to help tackle the UK’s unacceptably low levels of literacy. We fund the National Literacy Trust’s annual literacy survey of 49,000 children and young people aged 8 to 18, the only one of its kind. It forms the backbone of the charity’s strategy and campaigns, as well as being used by participating schools to inform their literacy strategies.
Our Reading Partners volunteers offer much-needed reading support to primary school children and have done since the project began in 2000, making it our longest running non-legal volunteering project. 80% of children on the scheme are meeting or exceeding their age expectations for reading.
As Executive Headteacher of both Moreland and St Luke’s Primary schools, I highly value and appreciate everything that Slaughter and May do. Just before writing this comment I attended the final of the Slaughter and May Football League and prize giving. The excitement on the children’s faces, their team spirit and the young professionalism they demonstrated was a total joy to witness. As you know, Islington is a borough of two halves and the majority of children in both my schools are from underprivileged backgrounds. One parent said: ‘this is the highlight of our year. We will never forget this.’ What you do as an organisation has a massive impact upon this EC1 community - more than you will ever know. Ann Dwulit, Executive Headteacher, St Luke’s and Moreland Primary Schools