Mission & values

Our mission

Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF) is a cultural education charity that gives young people across the UK the confidence to succeed in life.

The world’s largest youth drama festival lies at the heart of SSF’s transformative process. Every year, we work with thousands of pupils from every community, background and school type across the UK. Months of preparation culminate in exhilarating performance evenings in professional theatres nationwide; a night which can give confidence and self esteem to last a lifetime.

Our carefully tailored programmes, curriculum resources and standalone workshops improve teamwork and educational attainment. 97% of teachers say their students work better together as a team and 81% report improvements in academic attainment.

We engage diverse groups, including those with special educational needs and from minority ethnic backgrounds, and are passionate about reaching those living in areas of deprivation. With us, children gain the crucial skills they need to succeed in life. As Yusuf, aged 10 puts it: “In the future it helps you with a job, if you didn’t do this you may not have the guts.”

By delivering these results in every type of school, we promote social inclusion and improve life chances. SSF knows that the unique power of Shakespeare really can transform lives.

Our values

Our values are a statement of intent, embodying the visceral, energetic and ambitious way in which we work to fulfil this mission.

Aspirational: With us, people achieve the impossible. By using difficult texts, professional theatres and a rigorous, supportive process we make learning ambitious. We make sure confidence flourishes as people exceed their own expectations.

Experiential: We offer a visceral, real, and enriching approach.  Months of preparation culminate in a rare and exhilarating event.

Diverse: We embrace the diverse characters, styles and stories of Shakespeare and ensure it is accessible to the widest range of people and places. We make Shakespeare relevant to all who encounter it.

Uniting: Shakespeare wrote of both royalty and rebels; we believe his plays are the best way to bring people together; from uniting a cast to bringing a community into a theatre.

Thrilling: We show that playing Shakespeare is not just fun, it can also be terrifying, hilarious and deeply moving. Everyone involved learns more about what it means to be human.

Transformative: We know that what we do has the power to changes lives.

97%
of teachers told us they developed strong leadership skills

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
95%
of special school teachers saw an increase in their students' resilience

We believe Shakespeare is for everyone. Every year children from very different backgrounds come together to perform on the same stage.

About our impact
79%
of special school teachers saw an increase in their students' confidence

We believe Shakespeare is for everyone. Every year children from very different backgrounds come together to perform on the same stage.

About our impact
87%
of teachers would strongly recommend the Festival to a colleague

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
As a result of the Festival process,
97%
of teachers are confident working with Shakespeare

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
As a result of taking part in the Festival,
97%
of teachers think they will stay in teaching for longer than 5 years

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
98%
of teachers developed a strong relationship with their students through the Festival process

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
97%
of teachers told us their students were better able to express themselves

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instil curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
86%
of teachers reported that their students' academic attainment improved

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
93%
of teachers told us the Festival improved their teaching

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
86%
of teachers said that their students' behaviour improved as a result of the Festival

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
95%
of teachers stated that students were more enthusiastic about learning

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
86%
of teachers reported that attainment in English improved

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
10%
of participants have English as an additional language

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
11%
of participants have a statement of educational needs

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
12%
of participants are eligible for free school meals

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
27%
of participants are minority ethnic

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
More than
1,000
schools participate in the Festival

We work nationwide - from Aberdeen to Aberdare, Carlisle to Clacton.

About our impact
Our young people will perform in front of
65,000
people nationwide

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact
In 2018 we will work with up to
30,000
young people

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact
96%
of teachers said that their students were resilient as a result of the Festival

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
95%
of teachers reported that their students were better able to empathise with each other

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
99%
of teachers said that their students increased in confidence

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
97%
of teachers agreed that their students were better at working together as a team

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
94%
of students are more likely to seek out new opportunities

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
More than
250,000
young people have taken part in the Festival

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Learn more about us