Too many disadvantaged young people in the North of England fall behind during their first few years of secondary school. According to Ofsted, the main reasons behind this are:

  • A lack of priority given to students at the start of secondary school by many school leaders;
  • Secondary schools not working effectively with partner primary schools to understand pupils’ prior learning and not building on this knowledge; and
  • Extra school funding being used to support intervention activities at GCSE, often compensating for poor quality provision earlier on.

For children who do not reach a good standard of literacy and numeracy at primary school, the transition into secondary school often involves being streamed by ability alongside other low attaining students. Usually they will be taught in smaller groups, but new, less experienced teachers are often assigned to these classes, and so the level of specialist instruction can be limited. Secondary teachers are also trained to have a certain amount of prior knowledge in subject areas and are not required to be expert in teaching more basic concepts.

As a result, the most vulnerable, often lowest attaining pupils can get stuck in a spiral of poor progress and low motivation, leading to attendance issues, behavioural challenges and sometimes even exclusion.

Our Bridging the Gap fund supports high quality, specialist teaching programmes which enable better transitions to secondary school for those who have not met age related expectations at primary school.

Submit your idea for Bridging the Gap funding

Before you let us know about your idea for a Bridging the Gap project, please read our Application Guidelines, our FAQs, and take a look at examples of projects which have won funding in previous years.

If you have an idea which you think may meet our funding criteria, please use the below enquiry form to submit a basic outline detailing the following points, in no more than 3-4 paragraphs:

  • An overview of the project and its aims, specifically related to academic attainment in maths, literacy or science;
  • How it would meet SHINE’s core priorities;
  • The number of beneficiaries and schools it would reach; and
  • The overall project budget and size of request to SHINE.