Sunderland children get £10million boost to help unlock their potential

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Picture submitted by SHINE.Picture submitted by SHINE.
Picture submitted by SHINE.

Children in Sunderland will get a leg up to a brighter future after £10million was granted to help secondary schools in the city unlock children's full potential.

The funding comes from SHINE, an education charity which works alongside philanthropists, teachers and schools to break barriers holding back children in the North of England.

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The charity game-changing 10-year fund for Sunderland secondary schools is the charity’s largest-ever investment in one place.

Helen Rafferty, interim CEO of SHINE, explained: “With the support of our local partners, we want to remove the barriers to success that students across Sunderland face.

“Every child in the North of England has the right to reach their full potential and our schools are bursting with young people with the skills, intelligence, creativity, and passion to succeed.

“However, many years of post-industrial decline, lack of access to the best opportunities, and limited support for the most vulnerable have left generations of students in Sunderland without the pathways to the success they so richly deserve, and without the aspiration or expectation that they can live engaging, fulfilling lives.

Picture submitted by SHINE.Picture submitted by SHINE.
Picture submitted by SHINE.
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“We will work with the fantastic teachers and initiatives already tackling these challenges, we will seek to understand the foundational issues that limit students from being able to reach their full potential, and we will provide long-term funding to develop and share the solutions.

“Our aim is to unlock the potential of every student in Sunderland and open up a future of opportunity and success for the young people of this fantastic city.”

The new fund will be locally led, and respond to what schools, leaders and the community in Sunderland know about the barriers and needs, and about the solutions and partnerships already working here.

Picture submitted by SHINE.Picture submitted by SHINE.
Picture submitted by SHINE.

In the first stage of the fund, SHINE has partnered with the University of Sunderland to commission a city-wide scoping exercise over the next few months.

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This will ask stakeholders across the city about their understanding of the challenges faced by children in the city’s secondary schools, and about what they see the solutions to be.

Children too will be asked what barriers they face in their learning.

Dr Rafferty said: “This work is critical in helping us to decide how this substantial funding will be directed over the next 10 years.”

SHINE is particularly keen to hear from headteachers and school leaders who will be eligible to apply for funding later this year.

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Data shows that while children in Sunderland frequently do well at primary school, compared to their peers elsewhere in the country, they have often fallen behind by the time they reach GCSE age.

Dr Rafferty added: “We know that 5 good GCSEs unlock future potential and open up real choices in students’ lives. We want every child in Sunderland to thrive. And we know that schools and teachers hold the key to this success.

“This is why we will be targeting our £10 million of additional funding over the next 10 years at projects that secondary schools develop to support children in Sunderland to reach their full potential.”

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