Sparking Success CIC: What are we all about?

A brief description of the organisation:

Sparking Success CIC is a non-profit company set up with the aim of helping to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students across the UK.

I am an ex-Assistant Headteacher and MAT disadvantaged champion with 13 years of experience working with some of the UK's most deprived students. My passion is to do more for them and to create greater equality of education across the country. My track record and work in this area is excellent. I was asked to help out at Ian Ramsey Academy in Stockton after they were placed into special measures in 2014 and soon after was offered the job as Assistant Headteacher there. I installed new pastoral, attendance and behaviour systems that helped to turn the school around and have used much of this experience in my planning of Sparking Success.

When I took on the role of disadvantaged champion to work across a Multi Academy Trust I began an intense period of research that has seen me work with and learn from the likes of Sir John Dunford, Durham University and the Education Endowment Fund. I have studied systems from other countries and come up with an adaptable plan of what I should work to improve outcomes in the UK. My extensive research in this area has hastened my desire to do more.

My company will offer two things. Firstly, school based support that can be bought on a termly, two termly or yearly basis. This aims to remove or reduce barriers to learning for disadvantaged students, namely: well-being, attendance, engagement, aspiration and achievement. Our packages include a variety of things ranging from mindfulness, mentoring, workshops, postcode analysis, rewards, equipment, guest speakers and improving shared community aspirations.

Secondly, we offer local community pop up events, inspired by similar engaging flash events from Brazil, these incorporate skills workshops using local businesses and volunteers, guest speakers, music, local services and much more. They aim to increase individual's investment in their own futures and that of their communities.

There are many consultancy firms, literacy based companies and inclusion experts offering schools the golden bullet to close the achievement gap. All of these operate for profit and none of them are centered around putting everything back into boosting the life chances of these children. We are different. The methods that we use work, we want to take the pressure off school leaders so that teachers can teach. We are not interested in working for profit. Any money made will be re-invested back into those schools and areas that buy in to our service.

Success, ingrained.

What we want to achieve with funding?

We want to get going on a larger scale. Your funding would allow us to get into more schools to support more children. Our packages are adaptable to the needs of the school so we can start to make a positive and measurable impact on whatever they need. It could be that they have poor attendance among disadvantaged students or low levels of self-esteem, your funding would allow us to get into more schools and remove or reduce these barriers for some children. Our dummy runs in our current schools have seen measurable impact on attendance figures, increased uptake in extra-curricular clubs, engagement in lessons and so on. Your funding will allow us to market these packages, improve them and get working in many more deprived areas, making a difference to countless lives.

We want to create a buzz about achievement, about doing well, not just for yourself but for your community. That is why we want your funding to help us to stage our pop-up community events, inspired by similar ones in Brazil. Here young people get engaged with events that inspire, engage and inform. Young people should aspire to invest in their communities and that’s what this area of our work aims to do. Local businesses can become involved and offer skills sessions, local musicians can show-off their skills, business mentors can guide would be apprentices and so on. Your funding will allow us to engage venues, market events, hire equipment and so on.

The anticipated outcome of our school based support is that over the first two years we will work in around 50 schools in the first year and 100 in the second year. This means that we will be having a positive impact on roughly 37,500 students in the first two years. This should lead to improvements in engagement, behaviour, attendance, health and well-being, aspirations, self-belief, resilience and achievement, amongst others.

Our target for community events is 30 in the first year and 60 in the second year. This should lead to many young people investing in their local areas. We want to engage volunteers to work with us on these events and grow as a company by involving school leavers in our plans.

How will any funding be spent?

The grant will be spent on our first two-year project of getting the company marketed and into schools so that we can grow through the feedback of clients. We need to invest in the resources that our packages will offer, such as equipment packs for some students and attendance guidance packs for our postcode analysis service. Some money will go towards overheads and core costs. Our community pop-up event project will also receive a share of this funding so that we can get these into deprived areas.

Sparking Success CIC

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