£455,000 Grant Launches Exciting New Education Partnership

The Steve Morgan Foundation has joined forces with the education charity Teach First to help unlock the potential in the young people of Merseyside.

An official launch event to mark the new partnership was held yesterday at the Tate Liverpool gallery, including speeches from Foundation trustee Sally Morgan and Teach First CEO Russell Hobby, a panel discussion featuring a group of top education experts, and a poetry reading from one of the country’s best loved poets, Roger McGough.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has made a grant award of £455,000 over three years, which will help Teach First increase its influence in Merseyside, including a particular focus on Wirral.

Current figures show that in Merseyside only 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals pass the EBacc (a statistic based on exam performance), compared to 66% of those not eligible – which are both lower than the national averages. 

The Steve Morgan Foundation will be supporting the education charity with funding over the next  three years to expand its reach in Merseyside to support more schools, teachers, leaders and pupils to thrive.

With the Foundation’s support, Teach First are seeking new partnerships with schools serving disadvantaged communities in Merseyside, in the hope of doubling the number of trainee teachers over the next three years.

Teach First is also looking to partner with these schools to provide the range of leadership programmes they offer to schools working the hardest. 

These include support to build stronger school leadership teams; training for current teachers to move into more senior positions in schools and gain a National Professional Qualification (NPQ); and training for middle leaders to develop a long-term school-wide careers strategy.

Steve Morgan, Chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said:  “The Steve Morgan Foundation is committed to improving life chances for children and young adults across our region, starting with education. 

“My fellow trustees and I are delighted to be supporting this initiative to help pupils thrive in schools with strong leadership and excellent teachers and we are very much looking forward to growing our partnership with Teach First.”

The partnership was launched at The Tate, bringing together local headteachers and teachers, charities and local authority representatives for a special networking event. 

As well as the poetry reading from Roger McGough, and a presentation from Will Staynes from the ‘Very Telling’ agency about how schools can promote their work via the media, there was the panel discussion and debate around  how the community can work together to drive up attainment in Merseyside – to give every child the best possible chance to succeed.

The panel was chaired by Reuben Moore, Teach First’s Executive Director for Programme Development and comprised Sir Iain Hall, co-founder of Future Leaders; Russell Hobby, Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation and Tony McGuinness, Headteacher of All Saints Catholic High School.

Russell, CEO of Teach First said: “It’s fantastic to partner with the Steve Morgan Foundation, as we team up to get behind the hard-working schools of Merseyside. 

“The area’s schools and teachers are already working tirelessly to help all their pupils thrive, but there’s more that could be done to support them.

“Recruiting inspirational teachers and getting them to where the need is greatest is the first step.

“But we also need to help whole schools to thrive – so that all teachers and pupils can flourish. 

“I believe this partnership is a great step forward to unlock the potential in all of Merseyside’s young people.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation’s support is linked to an initiative the Foundation is spearheading to tackle attainment in the area. 

Out of 152 local authorities, Wirral – within the Foundation’s areas of support – was ranked in 152nd place for school attendance. 

For the project to have the best chance of success, the Foundation believe that the Wirral area will need quality teachers and leaders.

Teach First has now recruited over 14,000 teachers and leaders, has over 60 head teachers in their alumni and has supported over a million pupils. 

Last year the charity recruited its largest ever cohort with 1,735 trainee teachers to work where the need was greatest, including 150 trainee teachers to work in over 70 schools, located in the North West’s most disadvantaged areas. 

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