Need

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*. SSF 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**. SSF’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.

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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***. 84% of SSF 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.

SSF promotes gender equality. 70% of girls say sexism affects most areas of their lives and makes them feel disempowered****. By playing lead roles in Shakespeare, SSF 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, SSF 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*****. 43% of our audience members say that they come to their local theatre for the first time. Georgie, SSF student from Mill Hill County High School, describes her experience with SSF 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

*British Chambers of Commerce, 2014, BCC Workforce Survey 2014

**DfE, May 2017, Special educational needs: an analysis and summary of data sources

***ONS, May 2016, Persistent Poverty in the UK

****Girlguiding, 2016, Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2016

*****Arts Council England, 2016, Taking Part 2015/2016: Theatre

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