Education Charity Teams Up With Barclays In Pilotlight Programme

Services For Education, the Birmingham education and training charity that works with most of the city’s schools, has been awarded support from Pilotlight to receive specialist backing from business mentors and finance specialists as the charity delivers a five-year programme to extend its reach, and support more children and adults in Birmingham.

Pilotlight, founded in 2003, helps ambitious charities and social enterprises thrive by harnessing the skills of experienced business experts who coach and support leaders of charities and social enterprises to develop their business skills, strengthen their organisation and increase their impact.

Services For Education is working exclusively with senior business leaders from Barclays, which has partnered with Pilotlight for more than 10 years.

Established in 2012, Services For Education has a turnover of some £7m and delivers music and education training programmes throughout the city-region. Now, with the support of Pilotlight and Barclays, Services For Education is embarking on developing systems that enable better understanding and predicting of revenue and cost streams for current/new products and services to improve long-term decision making.

Part-funded by the Arts Council, England, Services For Education includes the Music Service – one of the largest in the country that teaches music to 38,000 children – and the School Support Service which provides expert and professional training and development to teaching and support staff in 570 schools. It employs more than 200 people and recently announced the appointment of three more trustees from business and the arts to join its existing board of five.

Sharon Bell, CEO of Services For Education, said: “We’re an innovative organisation that has achieved a high reputation for the quality of our teaching and training. Like many businesses, we are facing both short and long-term challenges some of which result from the pandemic. Key to our long-term and continuing development is getting a better understanding of the cost and revenue of our services and training programmes so we can make more informed long-term decisions.

“We are really pleased that Pilotlight has agreed to support us and even more delighted and grateful that a senior and experienced team from Barclays has agreed to work with us.”

Ed Mayo, CEO of Pilotlight, said: “I’m thrilled that Services for Education is joining Pilotlight to build on its vital work. Pilotlight’s Setting Directions programme, delivered in partnership with Barclays, brings extra skills and expertise to support frontline charities across the UK. I look forward to seeing the very real impact that this can have during these challenging times.”

Debbie Phillips, Head of Citizenship for UK and Europe at Barclays said: “We’ve been partnering with Pilotlight for 10+ years to support charities playing an essential role in the communities in which we live and work. We’re delighted to be supporting Services For Education with their outreach programme, and we’re looking forward to working with them to make a positive difference to children and adults in Birmingham.”

Services For Education is one of 19 charities across the UK to be recently selected to join the Pilotlight programme. Eight of those charities have worked with Pilotlight previously. Since 2003, Pilotlight has worked with more than 750 charities and social enterprises to enable them to develop and grow their services. Partner businesses give their time freely and generously to enable charities and social enterprise companies to develop sustainably and grow.