The Bridge Group is a
non-profit consultancy that
uses research to promote social equality


About the Bridge Group

The Bridge Group is a non-profit consultancy that uses research to promote social equality.

We do this by supporting organisations of all kinds with independent expertise, research and practical know-how to enable them to make real and lasting impact on socio-economic diversity and social equality.

Our objective is to make real and meaningful change, now.

Our vision is a fairer higher education system and labour market where outcomes are determined by competence and hard work, and not by socio-economic background.

We are an independent charity and are not associated with any political party.

What we do

The Bridge Group conducts rigorous, evidence-based research to ensure that policy-making and practice are built on sound and sustainable principles.

We work with organisations of all sizes across sectors. We bring together data, evidence and our expertise to design practical solutions that result in positive change.  

The Bridge Group brings together policymakers and practitioners to debate urgent issues, with a focus on identifying, informing or designing policy solutions.

Taking a non-partisan, research-driven approach, we engage with influencers in order to further our mission.

Our expertise

We keep research real: we frame the research questions so they are relevant to you and your organisation; and produce practicable recommendations that help you achieve change.

We are experts in gathering, analysing and interpreting data. This includes quantitative data from large national sets, organisational data, and qualitative data from interviews and focus groups.

Our research and recommendations are responsive to context. We have a deep knowledge and understanding of organisational context and national policy drivers and draw on specialist knowledge from our network of Fellows and other experts who contribute to our work.

Why our work is necessary

The link between background and educational and employment outcomes is stronger in the United Kingdom than in other developed countries. It divides our society and hinders our creative and economic productivity.

This link also affects individual lives, from gaining university places, all the way into the sort of careers people have – and how far they progress in those careers.

  • Disadvantaged pupils in state-funded schools are half as likely to achieve a strong pass (9-5) in English and Maths GCSEs as other pupils (24.9% vs 50.1%)

  • Compared to other students, young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are 7% less likely to secure a place at a leading English university

  • Only 6.1% of entrants to leading English universities are from low-participation neighbourhoods

  • Graduates from less advantaged backgrounds are less likely to gain entry to prestigious professions and career pathways, and to be promoted within them

  • Graduates who attended independent schools or who were from better-off backgrounds earn more once employed

  • Whether you are an employer, a university or a policymaker, we can work with you to change this, now.


“The research has been critical to the development of our approach, and
will continue to inform
the development of our
action plan”

Wellcome Trust

Our charitable status

The Bridge Group is a charity and our approach to research and policy is directed by guidance from the Charity Commission. As such, with respect to its research activities, the Bridge Group ensures that: 

  • The subject matter of the proposed research is a useful subject of study, which will contribute valuable understanding to promote the advancement of education and the relief of disadvantage experienced by those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

  • The specific subject matter is not being covered by reputable academic researchers elsewhere, in a way that would duplicate effort wastefully

  • The scope of the subject matter is suitable in relation to the resources and time available.

Our charitable status also impacts our policy work and as such, the Bridge Group: 

  • Is not established for a political purpose. Campaigning and political activity is never the only way, nor the major way, in which we pursue our charitable purposes

  • Never gives support to a political party, nor to individual political candidates

  • Only engages in activities where there is likelihood of these being effective in furthering our charitable purposes, proportionate to the resources committed.

More about the Bridge Group