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Competition offers £15,000 for teaching ideas

The education charity Shine is offering teachers money to develop teaching strategies that boost the achievement of disadvantaged students

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Teachers are too modest. It may not seem it when you peruse Twitter, but the vast majority of teachers do excellent things every single day and never tell a soul about it.

While commendable, this modesty is problematic. If we are to truly ensure that every single child achieves, then we cannot operate in silos: sharing good practice is integral to good teaching.

Incentivising this sharing of good practice is tough – teachers are busy, workload is worse than ever – but the charity Shine may have the answer: £15,000 for teachers to develop and share their ideas.

"Since its inception in 2012, the competition has celebrated teachers who are using imaginative and practical initiatives to raise attainment in literacy, numeracy and science among disadvantaged students," says Shine chief executive Paul Carbury. "Teachers up and down the country are operating under the radar, doing original and exciting things to engage and progress disadvantaged pupils. Now it’s time to shout about those fantastic ideas."

It works like this: the competition, Let Teachers Shine, opens for applications today (26 February). Teachers have to fill in a short form explaining their teaching idea and detailing how it helps disadvantaged students in particular, as well as how the £15,000 (or less - the award is up to £15,000) would be used. After the closing date a team of judges analyse the applications and a total of £150,000 is shared out between the ideas they feel have most potential.

"Those that receive funding will be partnered with a mentor from one of the charity’s sponsors and embark on a year-long project to implement and scale up their project," says Carbury.

The programme has so far awarded grants to 44 teachers, including Colin Hegarty, a maths teacher from Preston Manor School in London who was awarded funding for his flipped maths classroom project in the competition's inaugural year. Colin has gone on to receive more Shine funding and is also one of the top ten finalists for this year’s Global Teacher Prize.

Winners of the 2015 competition include Katie Gibson of Minsthorpe Academy Trust in West Yorkshire, whose interactive, portable green-screen technology has improved the written and oral literacy skills of children through bringing creative writing to life by placing pupils in the situations they are writing about.

This year’s programme is now open for entries and applications can be submitted up to midnight on the 17 April. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in May 2016 with the winning teachers announced in June 2016.

For more information about Let Teachers SHINE, and to enter for free, visit SHINE’s website.

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