Major grant secures future of RSC Education

Published: 2 December 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Pupils at Nelson Mandela School, Birmingham watching a First Encounters with Shakespeare production, The Comedy of Errors Credit: Sam Allard

The Royal Shakespeare Company has received £7 million from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support the company's work in schools across the UK.

The RSC has also been given a grant of £500,000 to start a study into the impact of theatre-based approaches to Shakespeare's work on children and young people.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation has supported the RSC's national education programme since 2008. The company uses rehearsal room techniques to unlock Shakespeare for thousands of young people, teachers and parents. It targets schools in areas of disadvantage.

Jacqui O'Hanlon, director of RSC Education, said, "this endowment is extraordinary, especially coming in the middle of the hardest professional and personal test any of us has faced.

“It’s particularly welcome as schools face significant challenges in supporting the wellbeing needs of young people as well as ensuring basic skills such as reading and writing.

“This award means we can secure a future for this work, knowing that it contributes towards wellbeing and supports young people to find their voice, discover more about themselves and who they want to be.”

Moira Sinclair, chief executive of PHF, said, “at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, our vision is for a just society in which everyone, especially young people, can realise their potential and lead fulfilling and creative lives. Access to arts and culture in school is an important contributor to that vision, and our trustees see that commitment reflected in every aspect of the RSC's work.”