Children and Young People

We support the social, emotional and learning needs of young people aged 0-25 at greater risk of being left behind educationally.  We fund work that challenges the public policies and practices that reinforce educational inequality. We are interested in early intervention and long-term support. We welcome unorthodox approaches, work that looks at the whole picture and does not ‘treat’ its users in isolation. We are particularly interested in organisations that make positive changes to the system in addition to alleviating the symptoms within it. For this reason we do not fund routine delivery in schools but rather prioritise work that interconnects school, home and the community and challenges inequality in the system. Where we see a particular gap we may partner with a specialist funder or solicit a cluster of applications.

Over the last five years, we have made £35 million of grants to work in the children and young people sector, £5 million of which was in 2015.  

Funding priorities:

  • Social and emotional development of disadvantaged children and young people

We are interested in the social and emotional development of disadvantaged children and young people as well as their learning. We are particularly interested in work that addresses this development in the earliest years, and also in work that helps young people make successful transitions throughout their childhood and into adulthood. We also support work that offers opportunities to those who did not get the most out of the education system (such as care leavers and pupils with special educational needs).

  • The rights of vulnerable children and young people

We aim to protect the rights of vulnerable children and young people and provide investment to tackle persistent inequalities that are difficult for others to support. We are interested in ambitious, expansive and innovative programmes of work that level the playing field for disadvantaged children and tackle inequalities in the system.

  • Addressing the root causes of low educational attainment and challenging behaviour

We are interested in early intervention and in ambitious schemes that identify and address the underlying issues in children and young people’s lives which prevent them from achieving their full potential. We are looking for holistic approaches and long term impact (e.g. not just getting young talented people into university but also equipping them with the tools to thrive once there).

  • Civic and political participation for young people under-represented in decision-making

We are interested in organisations that can nurture and provide progression routes for young people who are under-represented in decision-making. We support organisations able to help create young leaders and empower them to influence change.  We are looking for work that inspires leadership, enables social mobility and social action and encourages enterprise.

  • Young people leaving care

We have a focused funding stream for work which secures a better future for care leavers - details of what we are looking for, and how to apply are here. We want young people leaving care to be supported by the system and by their networks to feel emotionally stable and be financially secure, and ultimately to make a successful transition to independence.

As a result of our funding, we hope to see:

  • Previously unmet needs are identified and supported. This could include supporting those children and young people not yet identified in policy or services, such as gang-affected-girls.
  • A lasting impact beyond the lifespan of the programme.
  • Campaign work that ‘speaks truth to power’, advances the rights of the powerless and changes policy, including at a local level.
  • More young people taking up leadership roles and becoming involved in civic engagement.