David Johnston

CEO, Social Mobility Foundation

David is Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which runs programmes of mentoring, internships, university application support and skills development to help young people from low-income backgrounds enter universities and profession as well as the Social Mobility Employer Index, which ranks the country’s top employers for social mobility. He joined SMF having been the Director of Future, a charity which supports organisations working with young people and which is the sponsor of Pimlico Academy, a secondary school for 1300 pupils in the heart of London.

He was previously Coordinator of the Oxford Access Scheme, where he ran a range of one day and residential programmes for 10-18 year olds to raise their aspirations and encourage them to consider higher education and the University of Oxford. During his time at the OAS, the number of young people reached by its activities increased from 3,000 a year to 7,000 a year.

In December 2012, David was appointed to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, established by parliament to monitor progress made on improving social mobility and child poverty by the Government and other key actors, such as universities and professions. In 2015 he was reappointed to the revised Social Mobility Commission, stepping down in December 2017. He also has 10 years’ experience of being a governor of various educational institutions including academy schools and a sixth-form college.

In the 2018 New Year’s Honours list, David was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Mobility and Education.

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