As School Circle grows as a business it is important that we continue to outline our values and goals as a social enterprise. School Circle has committed to three focus areas where we believe we can make a big impact and will embed purpose into the DNA of our company. It is our mission to:
Tackle the school funding crisis head on
Create connected and resilient communities
Build access to local employment opportunities
Building access to local employment
The steady drop in unemployment is a good news story for the UK. Not only does our economy thrive when more people are earning a living, but not being in work impacts peoples’ income, health and happiness. Yet not everyone with the desire to work is able to gain appropriate, meaningful employment.
This is particularly the case for people with complex lives or additional support needs including people who care for family relatives, single parents and people who are unable to work a traditional 9-5 job.
There are two main challenges faced by people who want to work, but can’t find a job. Firstly, knocking through the inevitable barriers they face from prospective employers, and secondly, a lack of confidence when taking on a new challenge.
School Circle can offer employment opportunities to those individuals who have a desire to work but require more flexibility and a role that suits their circumstances. We can offer flexible working hours, career pathways in an exciting growing social enterprise , progression and training within each role. We firmly believe that given the right support and opportunities, it’s possible for anyone to thrive.
Here at School Circle we are working hard to respond to the challenges faced by people in their communities. A recent study, conducted by the Eden project, identified that disconnected communities cost the UK economy over £32 billion each year in public services. Extensive research has revealed that people feel happier, safer and more content when they live in connected communities and know their neighbours. Across the UK, connected communities are less and less common leaving people often feeling isolated and disconnected from the area in which they live.
A recent study by Sport England, the Active lives survey, demonstrates how people who volunteer in sport are more likely to feel they belong in their area, and people who take part in sport are likely to enjoy stronger social links with other people. This is called building social capital. Social capital can include the benefits gained from active social groups such as: friendship, trust, cooperation and the forming of strong community relationships.There is good evidence to suggest that high levels of social capital can positively and significantly influence people’s health, their educational and workplace performance and their tendency towards criminality. Social capital can ease the demands on public services, improve the lives of the individuals involved, whilst also delivering productivity gains to employers.
School Circle is committed to building social capital by providing spaces where people connect with each other and build relationships. There is strong evidence, according to the charity MIND, that relationships are a major factor in promoting wellbeing. By opening schools, a place people often feel comfortable and familiar, we will create spaces where social connection and social capital can be built upon and prosper. This can help connect unlikely demographics together, including different ages, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. By filling school facilities during evenings, weekends and school holidays with grassroots clubs and classes, School Circle will help to build connected communities by increasing participation opportunities and supporting local groups establish a new and regular client base.
School Funding Crisis
We know that funding plays a critical role in a schools ability to deliver the best possible education for our children but government funding has not kept pace with the rising demands placed on schools and colleges. Schools are having to cope with growing numbers of pupils, shrinking budgets and rising costs. They’re also being tasked with covering essential services like complex special needs education and disability provision with inadequate funding.
School Circle support the Government select committee that is demanding change. Change that ensure schools get adequate funding to provide the best possible education and gives heads and school leaders certainty with a 10 year funding plan.
60,000. That is the number of hours schools in Bristol lay idle every year. Classrooms, sports halls, drama studios and grass pitches all sat there completely unused. These facilities are often the very best in the local community. With over 150k sports groups in the UK and schools sitting on 40% of all sporting facilities in England those customers are desperate to access these facilities but have not been able to yet.
This is a massive missed opportunity.
If these facilities were hired out every year that could bring an additional £2million pounds to the Education sector in Bristol. School Circle is committed to providing our education system with a low risk and completely free business model that will provide a new or increased revenue stream to ever shrinking school budgets.