SHINE: Support and Help IN Education

SHINE: Support and Help IN Education

At a glance


  • Education

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Who we are and what we do

SHINE was established in 1999 by a group of committed philanthropists who wanted to improve the educational attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since then, SHINE has invested more than £25 million in programmes that have benefited 400,000 children from 5,000 schools.

Our mission is to raise the attainment of children from low income homes. We do this by providing seed funding and incubator support for creative solutions to address educational challenges. We support early stage ideas and then work closely with grantees to understand their impact and scale-up the most effective approaches.

SHINE’s vision is for all children to achieve the best possible qualifications so that they can leave school with real choices for their future lives. To date, SHINE’s main geographic areas of focus have been London and to a lesser extent Manchester, with some national programmes. However, the current educational research identifies that many of the areas of greatest educational need are outside of London.

In 2017, SHINE relocated to Leeds in order to concentrate our future efforts on the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions. Building on the wider momentum of the Northern Powerhouse, we want to achieve a step change in education outcomes across the North, and ensure that all children are given a fair chance to succeed.


The scale of the educational challenge across the Northern Powerhouse is both significant and longstanding. Research shows that seven out of the ten worst performing local authority areas for good or outstanding schools are in the North. There is also a bigger difference in attainment between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils relative to London.


Overall the North of England performs relatively well on primary school attainment for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, but there are significant issues in both the Early Years and during the first few years of secondary school. In the North East for example, 90% of children attend a good or outstanding primary school but 40% of secondary schools are deemed by Ofsted to be failing.

On the basis of this research, and through consultation with a broad range of stakeholders in the region, SHINE has decided to focus in on the following three strategic priorities:

  • Ready for School: supporting children in the early years to develop the skills they need to access the primary school curriculum, with a priority focus on improving communication and language skills.

  • Bridging the Gap: helping secondary schools to more effectively support the progress of low attaining students to ensure that they develop the literacy and numeracy skills needed to access the secondary school curriculum.

  • Flying High: supporting high attaining students on entry to secondary school to sustain their academic progress and achieve the top grades at GCSE.

In addition, we will continue to grow Let Teachers SHINE as a core part of our work, in order to find more of the brightest and best teachers with great ideas to help tackle educational inequality. This programme will remain a national competition in order for us to ensure the broadest possible range of ideas from all over the country.

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