The School Leadership Award is one of the Foundation’s earliest structured programmes, having supported around 1500 young people through their education since its inception in 1978. The Award follows the Foundation’s guiding principles around young people and leadership.

The Rank Foundation offers financial support to a small number of pupils in the Sixth Forms of selected state and independent Schools who, in the opinion of their head teachers, have outstanding leadership potential and whose families are in financial need. The support takes the form of a maintenance grant to support studies after school. Applications for places are made in January of a pupil’s Year 11 (S4 in Scotland).

Whilst at school, award holders attend a leadership event in each of their Sixth Form years and take part in regular online meetings. In each of their summer holidays they spend two weeks working for a not-for-profit organisation, typically one which has very strong links with The Rank Foundation.

These Community Action Placements have proved to be remarkable experiences for our award holders, giving them an awareness of leadership of a very different kind to that shown in schools. Placements also provide insight into aspects of community activity, often in areas of deprivation.

Once the young people have completed their time at school, they are invited to join the Fellowship – an alumni organisation for School Leadership Award holders and invited guests, including those who have completed a Time to Shine internship.