Salesforce.org pledges grants to UK non-profit organisations, School 21 and Ada, to ensure young people from all backgrounds are future ready

LONDON, UK - 31 October, 2018 - Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), today announced $1 million in grants to School 21 and Ada to train the UK’s educators and equip young people with the skills that will help them thrive in the 21st century. The grants to School 21 and Ada will be used to support new programmes at both institutions as they nurture the talent and leadership skills needed for the jobs of the future.

Valued at $500,000 each, the grants will support the School 21 Innovative Leadership Development Programme and the Ada Apprenticeship Scheme. The grants underscore Salesforce.org’s ongoing commitment to help ensure the workforce of tomorrow is equipped with the skills and experience to enter the professional workforce, especially in tech careers.

The grants will also complement Salesforce UK’s commitment to volunteering with both organisations to support their education and apprenticeship programmes.

Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “Developing the next generation of tech talent is vital if we are to maintain our position as a world-leading digital economy.

"Through Salesforce.org's grants and our Digital Strategy we will continue working with industry to inspire the talent of tomorrow and give some of the country’s brightest young minds the chance to learn digital skills and thrive in the future workplace."

Ebony Frelix, EVP & Chief Philanthropy Officer at Salesforce.org said: “At Salesforce.org, we’re focused on equality for all youth and work to support organisations that prepare leaders and arm the next generation with the skills they need for tomorrow’s jobs. School 21 and Ada could not be better positioned to provide teacher training and nurture new talent for the UK’s workforce to ensure that young people have access to these opportunities regardless of their gender or background.”

Andrew Lawson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, UK at Salesforce added: “When we talk about IT skills, the conversation often overlooks the teachers who are tasked with delivering the skills to the next generation. These grants will help ensure that the UK cements its place as a digital leader, by supporting teachers and students of all backgrounds, highlighting the range of exciting opportunities that technology presents. We are excited to be working with School 21 and Ada to support a better, more equal world for everyone.”

Supporting teacher development and new learning models

School 21 is a pioneering 4 to 18 state school in Stratford, East London, for children from all backgrounds.

The grant, which continues Salesforce.org’s ongoing support of the school, will help create and launch the Innovative Leadership Development Programme (ILPD) to build courageous and innovative leadership within schools. It will be available for teachers at some of the most disadvantaged schools, providing them with tailored one to one coaching, experiential learning in authentic contexts, and peer review of leadership in practice. Crucially, it will help participants of the programme share their innovative practice across the education sector, in order to ultimately create systemic change.

Through open source online modules, the programme will also be scaled to reach teachers around the globe, supporting School 21’s vision to prepare children of all backgrounds for success in the 21st century.

Peter Hyman, Co-Founder of School 21 and Co-Director of Big Education, said: “We are incredibly grateful and excited to be a part of Salesforce.org’s commitment to create a future-ready workforce and fulfill our goal of ensuring children from all backgrounds have the opportunities to shape the world around them. We want schools to be filled with leaders who feel supported to take courageous decisions and implement innovative ideas for the benefit of their students. By investing in the school leaders of tomorrow through this programme, we will ensure more young people have access to an education fit for the 21st century.”

Accelerating apprenticeships for all

Ada, the National College of Digital Skills, is a specialist college which inspires the students of today to become the digital pioneers of tomorrow. Its apprenticeship programme creates opportunities for students of all backgrounds to learn relevant digital skills to pursue their dream jobs in the technology industry.

The grant will help Ada grow its apprenticeship programme, with the goal of recruiting 35% of apprentices from low-income backgrounds by 2019. Through new programmes, enhanced support for students and deeper employer relationships, the funds will help to increase the reach of Ada’s learning model and enroll 350 apprentices by the end of 2019.

Aligned with Salesforce.org’s ethos of creating equal opportunity for all, Ada will also support employers in designing their recruitment and selection practices to ensure more representation from diverse backgrounds. In addition, Ada will work with employers to develop plans for these individuals to promote their success once onboard.

Mark Smith, CEO at Ada said: “We are incredibly excited to partner with Salesforce.org to enable our students today to become the digital pioneers of tomorrow and support them in finding their dream job. Salesforce.org’s passion for ensuring people from all backgrounds and walks of life are given the same opportunities, completely chimes with our beliefs and the core value of our organisation to use technology as a tool for social mobility. We are stronger together and I’m excited to inspire the next generation of diverse entry-level tech talent by expanding the breadth of our apprenticeship programmes.”


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About School21
School 21 is a state-funded, non-selective school for 4-18 year olds in Stratford, East London. It is an innovative school, committed to doing things differently for the 21st century.

School 21 is trying to reimagine education by focusing on educating the whole child on head (academics), heart (character and well-being) and hand (generating ideas, problem solving and making). At School 21, Oracy (speaking skills) is at the heart of the curriculum, teaching and learning are interdisciplinary, and wellbeing is prioritised, through a sophisticated coaching curriculum.

In 2014, School 21 was graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted, and in its first year of GCSE results was placed in the top 5% of schools in the country for progress. It has been awarded the status of an Ashoka Changemaker School, a Character Award from the Department for Education, and was the first UK institution to feature as a case study on the global education network, Edutopia.

School 21 has recently launched its Multi Academy Trust, Big Education, to promote the effective collaboration of innovative schools.

About Ada
Ada, The National College for Digital Skills was announced by the Prime Minister in December 2014 as an initiative to deliver the skilled workforce of the future and abolish long-term youth unemployment. Ada’s mission is to design curriculum with employers “to produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

Ada’s goals are that within 5 years, the London campuses will be educating over 1,500 students and apprentices per annum and, to honour their commitment to becoming a truly national college, plans will be finalised for a campus outside of London, probably in the North West of England where there is a tech hub that could support the needed level of industry involvement. Additionally, the College is focused on using digital skills as a tool for social mobility. Within 5 years, over 50% of their students and apprentices will be young women (to address the gender imbalance in the sector) and over 50% will come from low-income households.

Ada is a specialist institution providing high level digital skills training, which is practically useful as well as academically stretching. Their mission is to work with industry to design and deliver an education that empowers all its students, especially women and those from low-income backgrounds, to progress into highly skilled digital roles and lead flourishing lives
 

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