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Transform the UK education system

Class 13 is an award-winning charity training and supporting schools and teachers to develop policies and pedagogical practices that actively challenge systemic inequity.

We believe that the biggest barrier facing young people in education today is teacher perceptions due to deficit ideology.

Our training encourages education professionals to engage in critical reflection to recognise, understand and dismantle deficit ideology and build a more equitable practice. The education system has been trying the same approaches and initiatives for decades, and they aren’t working. We don’t believe we will begin to see the necessary transformation until we challenge teacher perceptions of young people and change school policies.

Unlike other projects, we aren’t focused on building young people's resilience as we don’t believe resilience should be necessary to access education. Instead we want to transform schools into dynamic environments that affirm young people’s inherent capacity for success.

What we’re fundraising for

Class 13 has been trying to obtain significant funding for almost three years, with little success. The feedback we receive from unsuccessful applications often suggests either a misunderstanding of what we are trying to achieve, or a misunderstanding of how racism and inequity manifest in the education system, and therefore what effective solutions for tackling that need to look like.

We want to produce a body of research and supporting materials to define, explain and demonstrate what we are trying to do and why it is needed.

This would consist of two pieces:

White paper – A manifesto explaining our vision and how we believe our approach to teacher training can transform the whole school experience for young people.

Research paper – A more academic positioning of our theories and frameworks including a review of existing reports that cite the need for solutions like ours.

It’s our hope that together these two pieces will clearly demonstrate our ambitions, explain the theories that underpins our work, and generate the significant funding needed to support our mission.

The contributors and cost

To create the main body of work, we will partner with Dr Shivonne Gates, Social Researcher and Impact and Evaluation Specialist with extensive expertise in theory of change; Natasha Samrai, writer and facilitator with experience using consultative methods to enact institutional transformation across a range of spheres, alongside experienced teachers.

We also plan to request forewords from leading thinkers in anti-racism and education to give academic positioning and grounding to our propositions.

We are an organisation that insists on equity. It is important we pay people for their time and expertise. Factoring in the research required, writing, editing and design, alongside the foreword contributions, we’ve costed this project at £12,000.

Our work is having an impact

In 2022, we supported 248 professionals working with young people across education and youth work settings. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

  • 86% of teachers said their understanding of how deficit thinking relates to their practice had improved.
  • 71% of teachers reported an improvement in their confidence in having conversations about racism with colleagues.
  • 78% of teachers developed tangible actions for their classrooms.

While it is encouraging to receive feedback from participants about how our work is improving their practice, without substantial funding, it will be difficult for us to roll this out further.

Your support to create these two papers will be invaluable for helping us to help funders understand what we are trying to do and continue the Class 13 mission for transforming the education system for all young people.

In solidarity,
Class 13


Class Thirteen
Class 13

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