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At SHINE, we believe that children should be given the best possible chances in education, no matter what their backgrounds or starting points.

We work alongside teachers and schools across the North of England to nurture great ideas that can help raise the attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We also work in partnership with organisations and funders in the areas of greatest need within the North, kick-starting change that is locally led.

SHINE's mission, vision and values

Trustees, Patrons and Staff

We believe in collaboration. We pool diverse skills and perspectives from our staff, Trustees and Patrons to deliver the best value for children. Meet the people behind SHINE.

Our story so far

SHINE was set up in 1999 by a group of committed philanthropists from the business and finance sectors. They felt passionately that children from low income homes should be given the support they needed to excel at school at beyond.

Since 1999, we have invested £29 million to more than 300 education projects that have helped 1.3 million children from 20,000 schools. More than a million disadvantaged children have benefited from access to SHINE-funded programmes online. 110,000 children have been reached by SHINE-funded programmes in schools.

For our first 18 years, we focused most of our funding and support in areas of deprivation in London. When we started, just 22% of children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the capital were achieving the results to enter further education or get high-quality jobs.

It is tempting to look at education in the North compared with London and look for simple programmes or lessons to apply. However, the reality is more complicated than this. To achieve real impact in the North we have to start by learning more about what the issues are and then empowering the teachers who know the children best.

Fiona Spellman Chief Executive, SHINE

From 1999 to 2017, SHINE played a key role in the turnaround in London schools. We helped hundreds of London teachers to run their own projects to help disadvantaged children to thrive. Over the weekends, after school and during the summer holidays, teachers tested out new approaches in the classroom to become outstanding educators and leaders.

We also identified, funded and then helped to scale up some of the most successful educational programmes across the capital. SHINE was an early supporter of Teach First, IntoUniversity and Every Child A Reader, which have all made a lasting impact on the London education system.

Today, the capital boasts better results than any other region in England. The percentage of children getting good qualifications has doubled. There are also a wide range of other organisations that have been set up to support the educational future of London school children.

Sadly, these same successes have not been felt in all other parts of England. The Northern Powerhouse region is lagging behind London in terms of the school results of disadvantaged children. This is holding back economic and social growth in the region.

Faced with this stark and growing inequality, in 2017 SHINE took a bold decision to leave London and focus on the North.

Since then, we have extended our work across all regions of the Northern Powerhouse, identifying organisations and schools with ideas with real potential to effect educational change across the region. We have already funded more than 30 projects in the North focused on our Ready for School, Bridging the Gap and Flying High priorities, and through our Let Teachers SHINE competition we have supported many more teachers in the region to innovate in their practice and scale-up new ideas.