SHINE’s bustling event on Monday saw key players from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) and a broad range of SHINE’s supporters across education, business and politics unite under one shared goal – to achieve a step change in education outcomes for the most vulnerable young people across the North.

The event marked SHINE’s move to the North of England and saw speakers address and champion the charity’s goals to tackle educational inequality between children from low income homes and their wealthier classmates, and ensure that disadvantaged young people across the most deprived areas in the North are given a fair chance to succeed. SHINE Trustee and NPP board member Lord Jim O’Neill kicked off the speeches by highlighting SHINE’s move into bold new territory as the first charity specifically tackling educational inequality across the Northern Powerhouse. Lord O’Neill said: “Research tells us that a dozen private schools in London and the Home Counties secure more places at Oxford and Cambridge universities than Birmingham and all the major cities in the north combined. This is incredibly unfair – we need to level the playing field for young people in the North.”

MP for Manchester Central and former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell MP spoke about how vital it is to get the early years right for the most vulnerable children and celebrated SHINE’s new focus on investing in high quality interventions during this critical phase. She said: “Ministers must refocus early years policy to tackle the disadvantage gap to boost social mobility and improve outcomes for all children.”

Inventor of the award-winning Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS) and SHINE grantee Bruno Reddy provided guests with an insight into how projects like TTRS, supported by SHINE, can boost attainment for the most vulnerable children. Bruno also highlighted how important it is to aid smoother transitions between primary and secondary school for disadvantaged children, which will be a key area of SHINE’s future work.

Chris Dyson, a Leeds-based headteacher who has transformed Parklands Primary School in Leeds, shared his experiences of helping children to achieve against the odds. He celebrated SHINE’s move to the North and the charity’s commitment to making a difference where it’s needed most.

Finally Jake Berry MP, Director of the NPP, highlighted how investing in education and skills across the North is vital to the social, cultural and economic prosperity of the region and how crucial it is that policymakers and influencers – from across all political parties – work together to achieve better outcomes for the region. He said: “This is bigger than politics. It’s time that we all unite to improve education and boost skills in the North.”

The evening was a tremendous success and we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to the event.

To find out more about SHINE’s vision across the Northern Powerhouse, please download our report.

If you would like to make a donation to SHINE, you can do so today on our donation page.

Our trustees pay for all our operating costs so 100% of any donation will go towards supporting the children who need it most.