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Programme Areas

Grants are categorised into four Programme Areas: Formal Education, Informal Education, Access to Education and Capacity Building.  These Programme Areas encompass a wide breadth of projects and organisations that help children and young people, either by providing them with opportunities or addressing specific needs directly, whilst also emphasizing the Charity’s mission to support children and young people through education. Funding priorities are crucial to the Charity’s grant-giving as it underpins its entire mission and portfolio.

Formal Education

Education is the priority for John Lyon’s Charity.  It is our goal to help children and young people across the Beneficial Area to have access to a high quality and imaginative learning environment.  We seek to raise the aspirations, broaden horizons and provide opportunities for all children and young people, to break the link between social disadvantage and educational underachievement while encouraging parental engagement in children’s learning.  ‘Formal Education’ will have a primary focus on learning or skills acquisition, taking place during the school day or in a school environment. For example, young people participating in these projects will be working towards specific goals, such as attainment or qualification and the project ‘subject’ will be correlated to the National Curriculum. 

Informal Education

Whilst children spend the majority of their time at school, a significant proportion of their lives is spent in their communities.  Young people never stop learning but they learn through doing.  Young people who do not engage with formal learning pathways can often find that learning through different mechanisms or processes are far easier to access.  Often these programmes use fun and engaging activities to keep young people interested.  Young people can choose where to spend their time and so it is in these informal settings that organisations have to work very hard to ensure that their offer is what young people want to spend their free time doing.  It is a balancing act to get the right mix of engagement activities as well as things that inspire young minds and ensure that they get the most out of their spare time.  

Access to Education

To make the most of school and educational opportunities, children have to be ready and fit to learn and engage in the range of activities on offer.  For the vast majority of children, the standard school system largely meets their needs at a time when they are ready to engage.  However, for a significant majority there are barriers to accessing education that need to be overcome in order for them to even begin thinking about their learning.  We seek to support organisations to provide early intervention and support to these children and their families to help them then engage with mainstream education.

Capacity Building

John Lyon’s Charity believes that all grantees should have access to high quality Capacity Building opportunities to be able to grow and understand their organisation as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Charity takes its responsibility towards the organisations within the Beneficial Area very seriously and it seeks to provide support beyond the financial to help organisations become resilient to the various challenges that they face and be more sustainable for the future. This will enable organisations to respond and deliver to the needs of children and young people in the most effective way possible.