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.
In the past two years we have supported 22 imaginative projects in diverse geographical areas including Northumberland and Sheffield, the rural and coastal areas of Suffolk and Blackpool.
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 including opportunity areas. Projects need to be focused explicitly on meeting the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.
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 had planned to open another round of applications in May 2020 and to invite schools in areas of deprivation and disadvantage to apply for funding for creative research and innovation projects. In the light of the current coronavirus outbreak they have decided to postpone this round understanding the extremely complex situation in which schools find themselves.
As soon as the crisis is over they will start the planning for a new round of applications and full details will appear on our website. At the moment we are uncertain when that will be. We will post an update as soon as we are able to do so.
In the meantime the Trustees wish to send their best wishes to schools, heads and teachers who are working so tirelessly on behalf of their children and families.
Bill Goddard: Chair of Trustees
Current Research Projects
This year, in partnership with schools, we have a variety of creative research programmes supporting vulnerable children, their teachers and in some projects parents/carers.
The projects are happening in areas of deprivation across the country from Blyth in Northumberland to Devon.