The Laurel Trust is a recently formed charity founded to support research and innovation for schools and academies in areas of multi-deprivation including opportunity areas.
We have just successfully completed our pilot year with thirteen imaginative projects in diverse geographical areas from Blackpool to Kings Lynn to the East Sussex coast.
This year we will be funding further projects that will make that make a crucial difference to children’s lives and that excite and interest us!
All projects will need to demonstrate impact in the short-term but also build capacity and capability for longer term sustainability.
They should not only add to the local context but be capable of being disseminated regionally and nationally to benefit the wider school-led system.
The intention of the Laurel Trust is to create strategic partnerships with schools to secure improvement in the quality of teaching, learning and leadership thereby widening opportunity and reducing disadvantage.
It wishes to do so through action-led school-based research, innovation and evidence-based developments which focus on securing equity and closing the gap. We will therefore be inviting grant applications for funding from collaborations of primary schools, early years settings and special education in areas of deprivation, challenge and disadvantage. Projects need to be focused explicitly on meeting the needs of disadvantaged children.
Why areas of multiple depravation and disadvantage?
Low social mobility and lack of educational opportunity is one of the biggest social challenges of our time.
There is a very large research-base to show that children from families living in poverty do less well in early life, fall behind their peers in school and have more employment and mental health problems throughout adult life.
Underpinning all the work of the Laurel Trust are our inclusive values of:
EQUALITY, BELONGING, DIVERSITY, RIGHTS OF PARTICIPATION, RESPECT, HOPE, TRUST, COMPASSION, COURAGE and JOY.
We expect the communities of schools that work with us to reflect and practise these values.
The Trustees plan to open another round of applications for funding in the late Spring. This year the Trustees wish to award grants for research and innovation which focus on children with special education needs and disabilities.
Those who wish to join an online conference can email Maggie Roger for the log-in details.
Case studies from two of the pilot projects can be viewed below...