The Laidlaw Foundation
Laidlaw Schools Trust is generously supported by the Laidlaw Foundation, which invests in the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented in order to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality and develop a new generation of leaders.
The Laidlaw Foundation currently supports four programmes:
- Sponsoring the Laidlaw Schools Trust to provide inspirational education to transform lives
- Developing a new generation of diverse leaders who embrace research-based decision making and ethical leadership, through the Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research programme
- Ensuring more women reach senior executive level by providing MBA scholarships at London Business School and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School
- Empowering women in business through higher education by supporting the most disadvantaged and excluded women access degree courses at Trinity College Dublin.
Support for Laidlaw Schools Trust
The Laidlaw Foundation provides funding for the Laidlaw Schools Trust central team. This significantly reduces the amount of money each of our academies needs to spend on, for example, human resources and IT - leaving more resources available for teaching and learning.
Most importantly, the Foundation provides additional funding per pupil so that every child benefits from the LST Difference: an approach to developing the whole child in and outside of the classroom that ensures that they enjoy school, aspire and attain.
The Foundation also sponsors a range of special initiatives, some of the most recent of which are outlined below.
Devices and dongles
Support from the Laidlaw Foundation allowed us to provide Chromebooks for students to access remote learning while they were learning at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also enabled us to supply dongles to families without internet access, helping them to overcome barriers to learning.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Laidlaw Foundation provided funding to top up Free School Meal vouchers for our families, and supplied vouchers where they were not funded by the Government, for example during school holidays and for our nursery children.
Covid support for families
In addition to Food Vouchers, funding from the Laidlaw Foundation allowed us to provide extra support for families in financial difficulty, including food parcels and help with utility bills, to ensure that our most vulnerable children had access to basic necessities.
Trust-wide school improvement support
Support from the Laidlaw Foundation allows us to drive school improvement by sharing best practice across the Trust, facilitating collaborative working, developing our staff and ensuring we consistently deliver inspirational learning.
Thanks to the Laidlaw Foundation, we are able to provide additional capacity for key curriculum areas in our schools. This includes teachers and teaching support staff to help facilitate teaching and learning and drive key interventions.
Teaching and Leadership Centre
The Foundation has funded a £3.2m new Teaching and Leadership Centre at Sedgefield Community College. The state-of-the-art building will provide a place for PGCE students from Durham University to continue their teacher training and become a hub for teaching and leadership excellence in the North East.