At SHINE, we believe that education should be life’s great opportunity – the time when every child’s talents and potential can be recognised and then realised, regardless of their background.

But too many times, for too many children, this is not the case. In fact, statistics show that outcomes at school are strongly correlated with incomes at home. For example, children from lower income homes are almost twice as likely to leave primary school with lower than expected English and maths, compared to their wealthier peers. They’re then much more likely to fall short in their GCSEs: closing off options, cutting dreams short and costing our economy and society dearly.

In response, SHINE develops and supports programmes to help level the playing field. Each year we:

  • Run a national funding competition for teachers called Let Teachers SHINE. The competition supports some of the brightest minds in teaching in England to develop new ideas to raise the educational attainment of disadvantaged children across English, maths and science. Find out more about Let Teachers SHINE.

We also run targeted funding opportunities for the North of England, specifically the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions. These fall into three main strands:

  • Ready for School: Evidence shows that a disadvantaged child in reception who has limited vocabulary and difficulty communicating will not be ready for school and will often lag behind their peers for the rest of their time in education. We support ideas that focus on the development of early language and communication skills, which are proven impact on later literacy achievement, mental health outcomes and employability
  • Bridging the Gap: Research currently shows that too many disadvantaged children in the North of England who are low attaining at primary school fall behind during the first few years of secondary school. We invest in ideas that support better transitions from primary to secondary school for the most vulnerable learners
  • Flying High: The highest attaining students from low income homes also face challenges during the transition into secondary school. We support initiatives which ensure that the highest attaining pupils at primary school access the right level of challenge and support at secondary school to help them to thrive

Find out more by reading about our current funding opportunities in the North of England. You can also read our Vision for Education across the Northern Powerhouse report.

SHINE in brief:

  • SHINE: Support and Help in Education was founded in March 1999 to help disadvantaged children and teenagers in England improve their academic performance
  • We support innovative, teacher-led and school-based programmes that complement and supplement the school curriculum, for the benefit of children aged 4 –18
  • We rigorously evaluate the projects we fund to ensure the most effective intervention into young lives and the best possible value for money
  • We invest time in identifying areas where we can make a difference and finding out what works and why. This helps us to replicate our most successful projects elsewhere, enabling many more children to benefit from tried and tested techniques
  • At the same time, we continue to seek out new and innovative projects to fund
  • Because SHINE’s trustees cover all our annual operating costs, every penny we receive from our supporters reaches the projects we fund
  • Since August 2000, SHINE has invested more than £25 million into projects that have created opportunities for 400,000 children from more than 6,000 schools to achieve their potential

Find out more about how we work, or read our annual accounts, and other corporate information.