Our CEO, Ashley Hodges, looks back on a year of inspiring citizenship learning
This last year presented challenges for many, but our teams have been focused on reigniting services and ensuring that schools across the UK and beyond were able to take advantage of our work. Despite Covid-19 measures lingering for much of the year, I was thrilled to see us build on new digital networks created, as well as return to face-to-face delivery.
In the latter stages of the year, programmes such as Mock Trials and Experts in Schools ran in person, maximising their impact whilst retaining digital reach. Our social action programmes and SMSC Quality Mark engaged over 300 schools to upskill teachers and build their confidence in engaging with active citizenship concepts.
Our impact this year
For the second year in a row, our services focused on supported engagement. We gave time to our schools to help them understand how to use our services, and adjusted timelines to ensure we didn’t rule out those still getting back on track.
We believe this is what schools and teachers need in a challenging landscape. Truthfully, we know it will take many more years of work to help our children and young people regain both learning and skills after the pandemic – but we are ready to play our part.
We were proud to see an increase in the reach of our resources and programmes this year despite those challenges. Here’s a brief summary:
- 600,000 young people reached
- 6000 schools engaged
- 2000 schools used our free resource library
- 865 schools joined our immersive experiences
- 800 volunteers gave their time and expertise
- 20 corporate partnerships
Read our full Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22 here.
Looking ahead to the future
With this being my first full year as CEO, I have tried to build on the foundation set by my predecessors, prioritising stable provision to our schools and beneficiaries, as well as supporting our internal team through a period of significant change.
However, the leadership team and I see an exciting opportunity to continue evolving our work to address increasingly critical issues facing society.
This year we began a review of our long-term strategy. We want to create a greater impact by equipping educators to bring more relevant and inspiring citizenship education to their communities. Our role in making citizenship learning more accessible and approachable is steeped in decades of citizenship education expertise and will be key to how we can continue increasing impact and inspiring experiences of citizenship.
We aim to create shared spaces for building citizenship skills by focusing on this alongside our partners (from courts to media companies to community groups) and the children and young people. This is part of our continued plan to provide immersive, inspiring citizenship education in more state schools and colleges.
I hope you’ll stay tuned for the launch of our new strategic plan in January 2023! Sign up to our newsletter to keep in touch.
Have a great festive period and a prosperous New Year.
Ashley Hodges, Chief Executive