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Project information

Aspiration for All

Every child should be ambitious for their future. Regardless of background, age or ability, every child should believe they can, and will, succeed in life.

Support the 2019 Shakespeare Schools Festival and give young people across the UK a chance to believe in themselves. Give a child a chance.

December 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: Shakespeare Schools Foundation

Shakespeare Schools Foundation logo
  • Need


    Disadvantaged young people are not getting the opportunities they need to succeed. There is a vicious circle of disadvantage, low academic achievement and a lack of ambition. In England, just over a third of children on free school meals achieve the expected grades at Key Stage 2. Research found that students from low income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree. Yet a BBC report found that 90% of schools have cut back on arts subjects.


    The Shakespeare Schools Festival shows young people that success and self-belief is for everyone, not just those at the top of the class. Our mission is to reach more disadvantaged young people, helping those from low income backgrounds strive for success. Last year, 99% of teachers said that their students confidence increased and 90% said they were more engaged in learning as a result of the Festival. We want to see every child in every school have the opportunity to exceed expectations.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Promote life skills and aspiration.


    » We will provide essential access to a creative process where young people gain confidence, develop soft skills and become more ambitious.

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased confidence, resilience, team-working and communication, reported by the young people and their teachers.

    Aim 2

    Raise educational attainment


    » We give children the chance to shine. For those who disengage and disrupt classrooms, this experience transforms their approach to school.

    What success will look like

    Success will be improved educational outcomes for those who take part in the Festival.

    Aim 3

    Provide a unique cultural experience for young people from all backgrounds.


    » We give primary, secondary and SEN students a fun, exciting introduction to Shakespeare and their local professional theatre.

    What success will look like

    Success will be reaching a diverse demographic of young people and delivering a successful Festival experience to every participant.

  • Impact


    The Shakespeare Schools Festival will combat the vicious cycle of disadvantage leading to low academic achievement and lack of ambition. We will show every young person that they can achieve something amazing and aspirational. Success will be at least 20% of participating schools located in the areas ranked in the top quintile on the Multiple Index of Deprivation and more than 80% reporting an increase in life skills, academic attainment and ambition.


    School sign-up is challenging and there is a risk we won't reach our target schools. We have an experienced team managing sign-up, who have developed strategies using years of experience at SSF.

    There is a risk that schools might drop out of the Festival. To limit the chances of this happening, we have regional coordinators who support schools at every step of the Festival process. We have developed resources and advice to help in any situation.


    We will send donors a personal letter thanking them for their support and informing them on the success of the campaign. We will follow up with a Christmas Card, our Impact Report and Annual Report. With their permission, we will also add them to our mailing list and invite them to special events.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £25,900 One Festival Coordinator One regional specialist who manages the Festival, giving logistical & creative support to schools
      £2,500 Travel costs Coordinator costs for travelling to the workshops, rehearsals and performances
      £1,600 Office facilities Office facilities our coordinator will need in order to carry out their work
  • Background


    The Shakespeare Schools Festival takes place in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We engage with inner-city, urban and rural schools and theatres across the UK. In 2018 we have five theatres in Scotland, twelve theatres in Wales, one in Northern Ireland and 110 theatres in England.


    We work with young people aged 8 to 18, of any ability and background.

    In 2017:
    27% of students were from minority ethnic backgrounds
    12% of students were on free school meals
    11% of students spoke English as an additional language
    11% of students had a statement of Special Educational Needs

    Teachers and parents also benefit from our Festival programme. Teachers get specialised training and parents access a unique cultural experience, often for the first time.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Shakespeare Schools Foundation is an energetic education charity. Since we began with four schools and one theatre in Wales, we have steadily deepened our impact while expanding our reach.

    Our proven record for changing young lives is what inspires and drives us. We live and breathe our values, which embody the ambitious way in which we work to fulfil our mission: to transform lives through the unique power of Shakespeare.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Regional Coordinators

    We have seven Festival Coordinators who provide regional expertise and support for participating schools. They consistently go above and beyond.

    Specialist Managers

    Our Management Team are specialists in their fields, determined to give the best experience to all our beneficiaries and stakeholders.

    Creative Associates

    We work with over 100 freelance creative practitioners who work directly with our schools, delivering workshops and inspiring creative practice.

    Trustees And Advisors

    Our Board of Trustees, Advisors, Patrons, Ambassadors and Teachers give expert support to SSF, ensuring we are ambitious and successful.

Hear from SSF Patron Christopher Eccleston about why our cause is so important.

When reading in class he sat staring in different directions and would not engage. I gave him a role and he learnt the words. In class he began reading independently, including reading aloud. His mother says he is now reading at home, 2-3 short books per week!

A teacher from Gravesend tells us about a child in year 5 who could barely read before SSF gave him the confidence to read and learn.