The Educational Wealth Fund is a national endowment fund in the UK, established with the aim of creating inspiring learning environments for all children. As Chair of the EWF, Sir Peter Birkett leads the way in the creation of empowering, inspirational and creative learning environments for all children living in the UK. Sir Peter has a long and well-respected career in education, having established the UK’s first college-led federation.
The EWF national endowment fund, which is the first of its kind in the UK, aims to provide schools with both the resources and the ideas to generate learning environments that challenge and inspire children, beginning with attracting and retaining the very best teaching talent. An outline of the road to becoming a teacher in the UK can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.
A key aspect of the vision of the EWF is the introduction of resources that inspire children to want to learn, creating environments full of beautiful, imaginative and engaging provisions to make learning fun. These include warm, comfortable libraries reflective of the significance of learning to society and its development.
Part of the battle in improving access to education for all is the division of the demographic divide – not all children currently have access to facilities such as art galleries and museums. The EWF aims to bring world-class artwork by local and national artists into learning environments, giving all children the opportunity to be inspired.
Further objectives include introducing physical aids to learning such as life-size dinosaur skeletons, planetariums, climbing walls, immersive 4D rooms, and proactive sustainable development facilities.
The embedded infographic looks at some top sustainable development ideas for UK schools.
Studies have shown that pupils who are taught by good teachers in bad schools attain better outcomes than those taught at a good school by a bad teacher. Student teacher relationships are one of the key drivers of educational success, so recruiting the right teachers is essential if schools are to deliver the best possible education to all pupils.
The emphasis in recruitment is therefore not simply to encourage more people to train as teachers, but to encourage the right people to train. Those who have the ability to inspire confidence in young people, whether those children come from rich homes or more disadvantaged backgrounds, are those that the EWF seeks to attract into the UK teaching profession.
The EWF aims to draw in the best people driven by the right values as comprehensive teachers in the UK, as well as recognising and addressing the challenges and stresses faced by those already working in the teaching profession.
Income inequality in the UK has risen considerably over the past few decades and the statistics show that children from poorer backgrounds are significantly less likely than their better off peers to attain good academic results.
Children in receipt of the Pupil Premium are far less likely to continue their education as far as university, and those in receipt of free school meals are statistically only 50% as likely to achieve a minimum of five GCSEs graded A* to C as those who are not.
Unsurprisingly, this translates into noticeable differentials in levels of income as adults. The elite professions, such as barristers and doctors, are dominated by those who previously attended either grammar schools or private schools. The EWF therefore works to redress the balance and provide state schooled children with the same advantages as their richer peers.
Some more examples of this can be found in the attached short video.