We've received a major grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) to support the future of our work in schools across the UK.

The grant includes a £7 million endowment, with the annual income generated by it used solely to support our work with young people, teachers and schools.

Alongside the endowment is a £500 000 grant to enable us and our partner theatres and schools to start a study into the impact of theatre-based approaches to Shakespeare‘s work on learning outcomes for children and young people.

We hope the research can make an important contribution to the case for arts rich schools and understanding the value and impact of arts-based learning, particularly for children experiencing disadvantage. The research questions will be developed collaboratively, and school-led research hubs established nationally. The research builds on a long-held commitment by PHF and the RSC to teachers as researchers.

audience of school children in a school hall watching  a man in sandy cropped trousers and a waistcoat perform
Pupils at Nelson Mandela School, Birmingham watch First Encounters with Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors.
Photo by Sam Allard © RSC Browse and license our images

We target schools in areas of disadvantage and ongoing academic research confirms the positive impact our education work on the life choices of the students involved.

Securing the future

Our Director of Education Jacqui O’Hanlon said: “This endowment is extraordinary, especially coming in the midst of the hardest professional and personal test any of us has faced. It is particularly welcome as schools face significant challenges in supporting the wellbeing needs of young people as well as ensuring basic skills, reading and writing. This award means that we can secure a future for this work, knowing that it contributes towards wellbeing, supports young people to find their voice, and discover more about themselves and who they want to be."

Chief Executive of PHF Moira Sinclair said: “We hope that a long-term endowment will help to ensure the future sustainability and innovation of the RSC's education programme and its continued reach out into communities across the country, especially now. And vitally, we are providing resource to build a rigorous evidence base to demonstrate its impact and benefit. This, in turn, will provide tangible outcomes to support the wider creative sector and help make the case for cultural education practice at the heart of all our schools."