Grant funding criteria and budget for voluntary sector organisations

Name of grant: Race equality in education: Building collaborative relationships between parent/carers and schools

Grant award for voluntary sector organisations

Total fund of £50,000 for one year from October 2024 to September 2025.

Voluntary sector organisations are invited to apply for a grant either as a single organisation or as a consortium.

Please note: £50,000 funding is available in total.

It is expected that £25,000 of this will be allocated to supporting parents/carers from the Black Caribbean and White & Black Caribbean communities and £25,000 will be allocated to supporting parents/carers from the Black Somali community. If an organisation applies for the full £50,000 grant, then support must be provided for all three parent/carer communities.

Application deadline 23 August 2024.

Section 1: Background

Race Equality Commission

The Ealing Race Equality Commission was established by Ealing Council and chaired by Lord Simon Woolley. It was tasked with listening to people who live and work in the borough about their experiences of racism and putting forward proposals to address inequality. The Ealing Race Equality Commission report was published in January 2022 and includes recommendations in a range of areas including education, health, participation and democracy, policing, income and employment and housing. The demands for change in Education include:

  1. Rapidly close the attainment gap for Black Caribbean pupils.
  2. End the disproportionate rate of exclusions.
  3. Accelerate progress with changes to the curriculum.
  4. Make training for teachers on race equality and unconscious bias part of core training.
  5. Empower parents/carers to play an active role in their child’s education.
  6. Every school should have a lead for race and diversity who is known to parents/carers.
  7. Increase the number of Black teachers in leadership roles.

The Council and the Ealing Learning Partnership fully accepted the demands set out by the Race Equality Commission and an ambitious action plan was put in place for 2022-26 which focuses on the attainment and achievement of three priority pupil groups across the borough:

  • Black Caribbean pupils
  • White and Black Caribbean pupils
  • Black Somali pupils

Why this project is needed

The need for this pilot project was highlighted through discussions with the Race Equality in Education Parent Representative Forum about the disproportionately high rates of suspensions and exclusions of pupils in the three ethnic groups.

The impact of systemic racism and the challenges and barriers that this creates for pupils and parents/carers was recognised. As well as the impact of historic negative experiences of the UK education system experienced by some parents/carers and the impact that this has today. The Forum was keen to develop an approach that would support parents/carers to overcome these challenges whilst at the same time addressing some of the systemic barriers within schools.

Forum representatives highlighted issues such as:

  • The need to improve communication so that parents/carers understand school behaviour policies and the implications for suspensions and exclusions process
  • Ensuring that parents/carers are fully informed of their education rights, especially if their child has a special educational need
  • Improved advice/support for parents/carers about the transition from primary to high schools and helpful approaches for supporting children as they move schools
  • Advice/support for parents/carers about engaging and communicating with staff at secondary schools
  • The need for school staff/leaders to be more culturally sensitive; have improved racial literacy and challenge the stereotypical views of parents/carers
  • Improved communication by schools with parents/carers and an emphasis on the importance of early involvement of parents/carers as equal partners
  • Language barriers for some parents/carers; a lack of interpreters and the inappropriate use of their children to translate

In response to these issues, one year pilot funding is being offered to trial new approaches that focus on empowering parents/carers from i) Black Caribbean and White & Black Caribbean communities and ii) Black Somali community, at the same time as improving the cultural sensitivity and understanding of school staff to support the commission’s priorities around empowering parents/carers and reducing exclusions.

Please note: £50,000 funding is available in total. It is expected that £25,000 of this will be allocated to supporting parents/carers from the Black Caribbean and White & Black Caribbean communities and £25,000 will be allocated to supporting parents/carers from the Black Somali community. If an organisation applies for the full £50,000 grant, then support must be provided for all three parent/carer communities.

Section 2: Service outcomes

Applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposal will contribute to meeting the aims and objectives of the project:


  • To empower parents/carers, improve communication between parents/carers and schools and foster collaborative relationships, with parents/carers as equal partners.
  • To ultimately contribute towards a reduction in the disproportionate rate of suspensions and exclusions for Black Caribbean, White and Black Caribbean and Somali pupils.


The key objectives in relation to parents/carers are:

  • To empower parents/carers to better understand the education system, including specific areas such as behaviour policies and practice, and what they should expect from the school.
  • To improve communication between parents/carers and schools, particularly in relation to a collaborative approach to supporting positive pupil behaviour
  • To ensure parents/carers are aware of the proper process regarding suspensions and exclusions as well as their legal rights.
  • To inform parents/carers about the transition from primary to secondary school, including how to prepare/support their child and how to effectively engage with their child’s secondary school

The key objectives in relation to school staff are:

  • To enhance the cultural awareness of school staff to improve cross-cultural sensitivity when seeking to develop collaborative relationships with parents/carers.
  • To improve the understanding and skills of school staff to foster collaborative relationships with parents/carers for the benefit of children/young people
  • To improve systems/approaches for effectively communicating with parents/carers

The key objectives in relation to the local authority:

  • To better understand the experiences of parents/carers and children/young people and use this to inform the development and delivery of programmes such as Therapeutic Thinking which aim to reduce suspensions and exclusions
  • To highlight challenges as well good practice that can be shared with other schools to inform their practice and address systemic barriers
  • To work with the lead organisation(s) to track progress and the impact of the work and share the findings with key stakeholders

Section 3: Service delivery/activities sought

Grant funding will specifically support the following activities:

  • Design and delivery of advice and support for groups of parents/carers from the priority communities. These sessions may take place in community venues as well as on school sites and may be delivered using a mixed approach of face-to-face and virtual sessions.
  • Please note there is an expectation that Black Somali parents/carers will have opportunities to access services/activities in their home language if needed
  • Design and deliver a programme of training and advice for secondary schools to develop their cultural understanding and improve communication with parents/carers of the priority pupil groups.
  • Liaise regularly with the Manager of the Exclusions team in the local authority and the lead for Race Equality within the Ealing Learning Partnership to share learning and progress.
  • There is not an expectation of 1-1 advice for individual parents/carers, although there may be signposting to other support services that can provide this type of specialist advice.

Section 4: Specific criteria and assessment

In the application form we will ask you to provide information on:

  • Your experience of supporting parents/carers from the priority communities and your understanding of the barriers and challenges faced regarding education
  • Your approach to delivering the activities set out in Section 3
  • The outcomes you hope to achieve and how these will be measured

A panel of local authority officers will meet to consider each application and will use the criteria / weightings below to score each application.


Assessment criteria



Provides relevant activities / services as required by the grants criteria and provides clear budget breakdown and value for money.

Refers to Part B Q3, Q9 and Q10



Understands needs and has identified measurable outcomes.

Refers to Part B Q2 and Q4



Experience, capacity, expertise and knowledge and quality assurance to deliver the relevant activities / services.

If consortium bid – experience of working in partnership.

Refers to Part B Q5 and Q6



Clear plans for communicating / engaging with target groups of parents and schools and other stakeholders and signposting to other sources of support.

Refers to Part B Q7



Promotes community cohesion, equality and diversity and social inclusion. Organisation led by a diverse team. Examples of successful targeting to equalities groups

Refers to Part B Q8


For a grant to be awarded the application must have a score of 70% or above. The organisation with the highest score will get the grant(s). If more than one organisation has the same score, then an interview will be held to decide who to award the grant to.

Section 5: Monitoring and provision of information

The successful applicant(s) will be asked to produce a service plan that will set out plans for the implementing the project, including key milestones against which quarterly monitoring reports will be provided.

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Last updated: 20 Jun 2024

Ealing Learning Partnership