Fair Chance Fund
finds 15 schools

It has been quite a week at Ivy House thanks to the brilliant NatWest Group. Via The Fair Chance Fund, NatWest have given 15 schools the opportunity for pupils to take part in The Ivy House Award and teachers to gain places on the award-winning Life Leader programme. All places are fully funded by NatWest.

This means the world to us and is completely aligned to our mission to put human development at the heart of education – giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to thrive – both in work and life. For us this means proactively enabling social mobility and embracing diversity, so that that your background will no longer be the key determinant of your success. Change that creates a collaborative, resilient, purpose-led generation; young people who create lives they love and make a meaningful contribution to our communities, organisations and society.

The Fair Chance Fund has been set up to achieve that mission, making the game-changing leadership and life skills learned in The Ivy House Award available to all students, irrespective of their background or the school they go to.

The NatWest Group have partnered with us to fully fund 1,000 places on The Ivy House Award over two years, as well as supporting teachers from each school with their  personal and professional development through our Life Leader programme. The response we had from schools was incredible, and although we would have loved to give funding to each and every deserving school who applied, we had the very hard job, in the first instance, of selecting only 10.

To give you an idea of just how hard the decision was, here are some of the things we read in the applications:

“We are made up of a diverse cohort very much serving our local communities and our key value is to leave no student behind and provide them with an entirely inclusive education with a clear focus on personal development opportunities. This would make a huge impact on our communities allowing some of our most disadvantaged students the ability to develop key transferable skills for their post-18 routes.”

“A significant number of our young people come from a disadvantaged background including a high number of Looked After children. We profoundly believe that the circumstances of a young person’s life should not determine their access to opportunity or be detrimental to their life chances. We believe in equality and we think that this project could boost self-esteem, aspiration, self-believe and leadership in an identified group, providing them with additional support to help overcome their social, economic or personal barriers.”

“Participating in The Award would help our students to stand out when applying for university, apprenticeships and jobs in the future, but more importantly it would help them to become more rounded, reflective individuals, which will ultimately help them to live more fulfilling lives. Many of our students could never dream of participating in a programme alongside students from Eton and Charterhouse and this will hopefully help them to have the confidence to see they can achieve the same things as anyone else can.”

So, you can understand why the NatWest Group and Ivy House teams felt the need to bend the rules a little and selected 15 schools to take part – so that we could reach as many students as possible with this amazing opportunity.

We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome the following schools to the Ivy House family from January 2021:

  • Rothesay Academy, Isle of Bute
  • St Stephen’s School
  • Craigie High School
  • Girvan Academy
  • Dromore High School
  • North Chadderton Sixth Form College
  • Northallerton School and Sixth Form College
  • Richmond School and Sixth Form College
  • The Bishop of Winchester Academy
  • Wardle Academy
  • Churchill Community College
  • Chesterfield High School
  • Barnwell School
  • Dagenham Park Church of England School
  • Emmanuel College, Gateshead

Helen Cook, Chief HR Officer of NatWest, said this of the opportunity: “NatWest is thrilled to be able to support students, no matter what their background, to take part in The Ivy House Award; a programme that will make a game-changing difference, not only to their careers but also their lives. At NatWest we are committed to supporting local communities to thrive in practical ways, like helping to develop critical future skills. Working with students and teachers in this way enables us to do just that.”

Please join us in congratulating the first schools to benefit from the Fair Chance Fund and thank NatWest for being the first partner to help us make our dream a reality.

If you’d like to know more and would value a conversation, just let us know.

By Ivy House London
3rd December 2020

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