National learning Initiative Children's University achieves £50,000 funding to develop character education
“We’re so pleased that Nesta have chosen to support our work to evaluate the development of skills in the extra-curricular space. Being beneficiaries of the Future Ready Fund will help us to evaluate and develop our digital offer in secondary schools."
National learning initiative, Children’s University has been named as one of ten UK projects awarded £500,000 funding by Nesta UK to develop social and emotional skills, and resilience in young people.
As part of the Future Ready Fund, early-stage, high potential interventions focused on developing social and emotional skills, can apply for funding. Nesta's initial open call gained over 300 applicants - charities, schools, social enterprises, for-profits and colleges - submitting work for projects across the UK. The ten successful projects include Football Beyond Borders, Voice 21, and Empathy Lab and have been chosen for their potential to expand their work and achieve long-term, sustainable impact.
The grant award means that Children’s University can further develop their digital platform so that teachers and activity provider partners can better understand engagement in activities and skill development, and adjust provision as a result as well as expanding their focus into secondary schools - something the charity was not able to progress previously.
Projects will also receive non-financial support from the fund’s evaluation partner at the University of Sussex, led by Professor Robin Banerjee. The team at Sussex has considerable expertise relating to young people’s development, particularly in the context of social and emotional skills. They will support grantees to develop their evaluation approaches to better understand how their interventions improve the targeted skills.
This innovative and ambitious cohort represents Nesta’s commitment to developing a broader education system that is serious about supporting wider skills alongside academic success. Over the next year, Nesta will be working with evaluation and research teams, as well as new partners, to develop the Future Ready programme further.
Helen O’Donnell, CEO, Children’s University says, ‘“We’re so pleased that Nesta have chosen to support our work to evaluate the development of skills in the extra-curricular space. Being beneficiaries of the Future Ready Fund will help us to evaluate and develop our digital offer in secondary schools. The impact of these activities is proven to be positive which is why we’re committed to creating a level playing field of opportunity and opening up access to children of all backgrounds.”
Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “We've been delighted to support the Children’s University Trust as they developed their new digital Passport to Learning. By providing free co-working space and access to peer support, through our partnership with The Federation and Luminate, we help innovative social enterprises and charities like Children's University Trust to build their digital capabilities for greater impact.
"This new partnership with NESTA provides an exciting opportunity for the Children’s University Trust to scale this work, helping even more young people benefit from improved access to activities that increase their confidence and skills."
Lisa Atherton, Relationship Manager, The Federation comments: “We are thrilled to support Children’s University in our Federation community, to watch them grow and to develop a brilliant Passport to Learning in a national mission to inspire young people to gain confidence and skills to flourish in life, regardless of their social or economic background.
And now their expansion into secondary schools means that even more young people can benefit from support and developing their potential beyond the classroom”.
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