Why our work is crucial

We know that confidence, collaboration and articulacy are essential in life. 88% of firms believe school leavers are not prepared for work and 57% believe this is due to a lack of these skills.1 Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation provides a unique solution. 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.”

Adults with learning disabilities in the UK are particularly marginalised. In 2015-2016 only 5.8% were in paid employment.2 Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s work tackles the barrier of low aspirations and communication skills; 100% of special school teachers said that their students exceed expectations through our process.

43% of people who left education without any formal qualifications experienced poverty at least once between 2011 and 2014, double the percentage of those with a degree or higher.3 84% of Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation teachers say their students’ attainment in English improves and 95% agree that students are more enthusiastic about learning. Of those teachers, 90% tell us the Festival improves their teaching.

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation promotes gender equality. 70% of girls say sexism affects most areas of their lives and makes them feel disempowered.4 By playing lead roles in Shakespeare, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation girls learn to step up and speak out. “Doing this raised my confidence beyond the limit because I feel like I can do anything.” says Blessing, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation student from Greenfields Primary School.

We know that access to the arts can inspire social change and transform cultural horizons. Only 26% of adults in lower socio-economic groups engaged in theatre in the 12 months to 2016.5 43% of our audience members say that they come to their local theatre for the first time. Georgie, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation student from Mill Hill County High School, describes her experience with Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation as inspiring her to: “appreciate the fact that something like Shakespearean language can bring people of different nationalities, ages and abilities together.”

"One of our Year 5 girls was a selective mute when she entered school. So, for her to feel able to perform a speaking part in Year 5 is an amazing achievement. It greatly increased her confidence. Since the production, she has become more willing to participate in school and has taken part in a music festival." Gill Marks, Teacher, Thomas Hinderwell School, North Yorkshire