The summer of 2017 brings exciting new changes at SHINE. As part of a wide-ranging review of our grant making, we have decided to move our office base and focus to Leeds to carry out an ambitious new strategy for the North of England.

SHINE was originally founded in 1999 by a group of committed philanthropists, with much of our work targeting areas in Greater London and Manchester. In recent years, however, research shows that outcomes for London children from low-income homes have improved dramatically.

For this reason, SHINE will invest at least £1 million per year into programmes that target particular issues for the North, where we can apply specialist knowledge and partnerships. Over the next 3-5 years, SHINE will aim to improve educational outcomes in two key phases: the early years of primary school and the first few years of secondary school.

Whilst Let Teachers SHINE will remain a national programme, all other funding will be restricted specifically to the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions.


The move is enthusiastically supported by SHINE’s patrons, including former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex commented: “I am delighted that SHINE is taking the bold step to relocate to the North of England at this time when many children and young people from low-income families are not getting the life-changing benefits of a good education.”

Lord Jim O’Neill, a founding member of SHINE who is on the board of the Northern Powerhouse, is re-joining the charity’s board of Trustees to help realise our vision for the North.

“I am delighted to be coming back to work with SHINE in its efforts to help improve the educational outcomes for the most disadvantaged so that they can reach their potential,” said Jim O’Neill. “The decision to relocate its base and efforts to Leeds and play a key role in a major challenge in the Northern Powerhouse is really important, and for me, exciting.”

Commenting on Lord O’Neill re-joining the SHINE board and our refocus on the North, Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic that Lord O’Neill is re-joining the SHINE team. He will be able to use his expertise to help improve the educational prospects of young people in Leeds and across the North. Tackling educational inequalities is a key priority for us in Leeds through our Child Friendly Leeds work and SHINE’s re-focus on the North will complement that and help raise attainment among low income households.”

We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Fiona Spellman as CEO from August 2017, who began her career as a Teacher in Manchester and who has been with SHINE for several years.

Our new strategy will be published in the autumn of 2017 with the first new grant rounds opening in January 2018.