SHINE’s Top Tips for completing your Let Teachers SHINE application

Take time to read the criteria and work out if your project fits with what we’re looking for.

  • Projects are led by a qualified teacher currently practising teacher and backed by your school. If successful, the grant will be paid directly to the school. You’ll be running a project on top of your responsibilities as a teacher, so you need to ensure you’ve got the capacity to drive it and the support from your school to attend support sessions from SHINE etc.
  • SHINE’s mission is to accelerate progress for the most socio-economically disadvantaged pupils living in the North of England (we use Pupil Premium eligibility as a general indicator of economic disadvantage). You need to explain how your project will work with and support this demographic.
  • SHINE focuses on raising academic achievement levels, specifically in core subjects (English, maths, and science). How will your project support raising attainment in these areas? We are open to creative ideas that link to other subjects, e.g. how music can be used to accelerate progress in maths. How can arts be used to develop literacy?
  • Fresh ideas that come with a plan of delivery. It helps if you have already researched other organisations and national bodies working in the space of your project. Include this research into planning your application. Explain how your plan idea is different, or an improvement on what is currently practised.
  • Your vision: How and why will this work? How your project can be tested to understand impact and to grow. We want to see projects which, if successful, can be scaled up and replicated easily, whether that be in other schools or areas, or working with a higher number of students.

When you’re sure this is right for you, the application form is online at

Save at the start

Once saved you can access your application from the link in your email. That way, should there be any technical difficulties, we may be able to help.

Word counts

They’re exact, make sure you stick within them. If you’re using bullet points make sure they’re in plain text or are hyphens.

Make time

  • Completing your online application can take time. This year’s competition is open from October 2024 until 23.59 on 15 January 2023.
  • Save a bit of time each week to dedicate to your application.
  • Note the closing date in your diary.


  • Take the time to understand the questions on the application form.
  • Is there any research to back up what you’re hoping to tackle – include this.
  • Are there any national bodies working on your area of interest – what are they doing does it link to your project idea?
  • Find out if there are similar projects that have been trialled – how does your idea complement or build on from these?

Make it clear

  • Is it written in clear English, without technical jargon?
  • Make sure any abbreviations or acronyms are clearly explained at least once and keep them to a minimum.
  • Write your proposal with both people who have specific expertise in your field as well as those who have broader experience in mind.
  • Structure the information in a way that makes sense.
  • Avoid repetition.

The Let Teachers SHINE application form

SHINE’s application form is structured with specific boxes set out to answer questions within.

A4 – Budget: Think realistically about how much your project will cost in terms of time and money. If your application is successful, then we will ask you to provide a budget breakdown to present at interview. Don’t sell your idea short. For the project to be sustainable, it will need to be funded properly.

B1 – Project idea: It should clearly state what you’re going to do and why. On the interactive map on our website, there are some brief, high-level overviews of our projects that could give you inspiration.

D – You and your project: When describing the problem and solution to the problem, it’s important to make sure that these are clear and do link to each other. How is this a new approach? Has any other work been done or piloted by others, e.g. national bodies or associations? If so, include examples in your application. Have you done any piloting work, even on a small scale, that you can tell us about?

When you’re finished

  • Get a second opinion. We recommend getting at least one person who knows nothing about your idea (or even education) to read your application. If they can clearly describe what you’re hoping to deliver and achieve, then you know your application is clearly written and easy to understand. Make sure you’ve given enough detail that we can understand what you’re proposing, how it will be delivered, and whether it is feasible.
  • Check and check again. Re-read the criteria. Does the application clearly explain how it meets the criteria’s key requirements? Does the application make sense and flow? Are there any spelling or grammar issues? Are the answers to each section in the right place?

BEST OF LUCK! We look forward to reading your application.

We are a small team, but we can be contacted on