London education charity SHINE is moving to the North of England to provide help where it believes need is the greatest

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From August 2017, SHINE will become the only specialist funder of education to be based and focused specifically on the North of England. It will work to improve outcomes in two key phases: early years and the first few years of secondary school.

Cameron Ogden, Chairman of SHINE, said: “The charity expects to invest at least  £1 million per year in areas of deprivation across the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions.”

The charity, which was founded in 1999 by a group of committed philanthropists to help tackle educational inequality and backed by Sir Alex Ferguson, will be based in Leeds, one of the key centres of the Northern Powerhouse.

Lord Jim O’Neill, a founding member of SHINE who is on the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, is re-joining the board of SHINE to help the charity realise its vision in the North.

“I am delighted to be coming back to work with SHINE in its efforts to help improve the educational outcomes for the most disadvantaged so that they can reach their potential.  The decision to relocate its base and efforts to Leeds and play a key role in a major challenge in the Northern Powerhouse is really important, and for me, exciting,” said Lord O’Neill.  

Commenting on Lord O’Neill re-joining the SHINE board and SHINE’s refocus on the North, Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic that Lord O’Neill is re-joining the SHINE team. He will be able to use his expertise to help improve the educational prospects of young people in Leeds and across the North. Tackling educational inequalities is a key priority for us in Leeds through our Child Friendly Leeds work and SHINE’s re-focus on the North will complement that and help raise attainment among low income households.”

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “I’ve been a keen follower of SHINE’s work and was glad to offer my advice to Mark Heffernan and Jim O’Neill when they launched SHINE 17 years ago. In that time there has been some improvement in school results, particularly in London. However, it’s become clear that there are stark education gaps between the South and North of England.  Your life chances are not only dependent on your family circumstances but also where you live.  That’s why I am so positive about SHINE’s move to the North.”

The move to the North is enthusiastically supported by SHINE’s patrons, who include Sir Alex Ferguson and Sarah Brown.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex said: “I am delighted that SHINE is taking the bold step to relocate to the North of England at this time when many children and young people from low-income families are not getting the life-changing benefits of a good education.”  

 Sarah Brown, President of Theirworld, said: “SHINE has always put its projects at the heart of where it can make the greatest difference with its investment in the potential of young people. Moving their headquarters to Leeds demonstrates the commitment to reaching children and young people across Britain and starts an exciting new chapter working with local innovators and educators so more young lives can shine. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

SHINE funds and develops additional education initiatives, which encourage children and young people to gain the confidence, skills and results they need to succeed at school. SHINE works in partnership with Teachers, primary and secondary schools and third sector organisations to develop innovative projects.

Since August 2000, SHINE have committed £24.5 million to projects helping more than 280,000 children from over 5,000 schools. SHINE closely monitors and evaluates the projects funded to ensure that they make a sustained and positive difference to the young lives they help.

Website: Twitter: @shinetrustuk

Lord O’Neill is one of the founders of SHINE and has been Honorary President since June 2015. He is a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury. He is also a member of and leading advocate for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership