The gap between the communication and language skills that children from low income homes have in the North of England, compared to their wealthier peers, can be as large as 19 months. Children from more affluent backgrounds hear, on average, 30 million more words than children from less advantaged backgrounds by the age of three.

Studies show that a child aged below five who has a limited vocabulary and difficulty communicating will not be ready for school, and will then lag behind other children for the rest of their time in education.

The early years is therefore a critical phase to get right if we are to make a long-term difference to outcomes at school in the North.

Our Ready for School fund identifies and spreads best practice in the development of early communication and language skills, helping to ensure that all children in the North are given the best possible chances from the earliest stage.

Submit your idea for Ready for School funding

Before you let us know about your idea for a Ready for School 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.