‘Big ideas’ wanted by Teach First charity with City bankers’ cash to help kids in poverty

Hackney Pirates mentor helping child with extra reading and writing [photo: David Mirzoef]

Hackney Pirates mentor helping child with extra reading and writing [photo: David Mirzoef] - Credit: Archant

An education charity has launched a national competition backed by financiers in the City to find “the next big ideas” to make sure no child’s education is limited by poverty or background.

The Teach First organisation is choosing up to five social entrepreneurs to receive a six month full-time salary of £15,000.

The aim is to focus full time on turning their idea to tackle educational inequality into a reality.

It also provides the five award winners with 12 months’ support through an intensive training programme of mentoring and expert advice.

The charity is inviting entrepreneurs with an idea to improve youngsters’ lives to an open event at Bloomberg financial services in Finsbury Square, off Moorgate, on November 17, from 5 to 8.30pm, to get “tailored guidance” on their application.

Among organisations that Teach First supports in deprived areas already receiving help is east London’s Hackney Pirates education social enterprise, which helps 160 children every week with 10,000 extra hours of learning time each year. Its founding Director Catriona Maclay said: “We’ve been given access to research about the issues surrounding educational disadvantage and are now more able to fulfil our own mission of supporting youngsters to develop their literacy, confidence and perseverance.”

One of the schools Hackney Pirates works with is Dalston’s Princess May Primary, whose Assistant SENCO Roz Joseph revealed: “Our boys are now more enthusiastic about reading and taking books home regularly—they have improved all areas of their literacy.”

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Applications for this year’s Teach First competition are open until January 8, for the shortlist of 10 finalists. The five eventual winners are being announced at Bloomberg’s offices on March 30.