Education Alliance for Life Chances: We Are Go For Launch!

To mark the launch of Bradford's Education Alliance for Life Chances, 400 practitioners and stakeholders came together, developing a mandate and pledge of support to tackle inequalities and improve social mobility.

Our launch event was held at Salts Mill, Shipley, on July 12th 2022.  It was clear that practitioners and stakeholders from Bradford's schools, health services, police, the Local Authority, voluntary services, universities, faith leaders and businesses backed the Alliance's approach.

Introducing the Education Alliance for Life Chances

Bradford is a unique place to live, grow up, work and be an active citizen. However, the evidence is clear: current systems for delivering public services can be fragmented and challenging to navigate - especially for families already experiencing disadvantage. The long-term consequences of disconnected services results in poor social mobility and long-term ill health of children growing up in disadvantaged communities – and the costs to individuals, families, and health & care systems are more than our district can bear.

We want to tackle childhood inequality and improve social mobility for all of Bradford’s children and young people.

Our challenges

The challenges brought by childhood inequality in Bradford are massive in scale and have complex causes.  Bradford is ranked the fifth largest authority after Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester (Bradford Council Population Data, 2022). It is also the country’s youngest city with the fourth highest percentage of people under the age of 16 in England.  Already low, Bradford’s educational and health outcomes were made much worse by the Covid pandemic. Disadvantage and deprivation have deepened, creating wide gaps in learning and health outcomes between children living in different areas of our district. 

The story so far

In 2018, the Bradford Opportunity Area was launched. It had £15,000,000 in funding with the aim to improve the social mobility of Bradford’s children and young people. In 2022, Bradford Opportunity Area published a 12-point plan to improve social mobility and lessons learned programme, with the Education Alliance for Life Chances securing a partnership board commitment to continue to work together and develop a plan for its legacy.

After our launch event in July 2022, we set our strategic mission, ambition and intent; secured EALC's Governance and aligned with the Centre for Applied Education Research; expanded our partnership board to 20 different representative organisations from across Bradford; and secured funding to employ a dedicated staff member.

In July 2023 we secured a new partner hosting organisation for the Education Alliance for Life Chances, Bradford Birth to 19. In Autumn 2023, we will develop the EALC Strategy and Income Generation Plan to enable EALC delivery to put us on a financially sustainable footing.

Our approach

Stakeholders have come together to address these issues within the Bradford District through the following actions:

  1. Creating a formal partnership to bring together schools, health services, police, the Local Authority, voluntary services, regional universities, faith leaders and businesses to support ‘whole system’ approaches to improving social mobility. 
  2. Developing a Research & Development centre, based at the Wolfson Building in Bradford, that works with and through schools to support evidence-based approaches to improving life outcomes for children and young people. 


Photography by Simon Wiffen

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Kathryn Loftus.png

Kathryn Loftus
Director, Education Alliance for Life Chances

Formerly Programme Director for the Bradford Opportunity Area, Kathryn was born and educated in Bradford and has held a number of Local Authority management roles across Sheffield, Kirklees and Bradford. These roles included policy development, service delivery, and programme management, and in the last 10 years oversaw local authority organisational re-design, transformational service change and Children's Services Improvement.

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