What is Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s Education Fund?

Ireland is renowned for having one of the most highly educated workforces in Europe. Yet, the education system that delivers this is not without its faults, leading to regular media debates about whether it fit for purpose for the 21st century. It is clear that some groups of students are just not able to succeed in the system as it is currently designed, as the specific challenges that some students face are just not catered for – whether by design or due to lack of resources. These challenges may include socio – economic circumstances, physical or mental health issues, or a variety of other reasons that may impede someone from thriving in the education system when they are in competition with other students.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s Education Fund recognises that while these challenges exist, communities and organisations around Ireland have identified innovative solutions to address these issues. Whether these solutions are school-based programmes, out-of-school programmes, or run by third level institutions, these projects are aligned in promoting educational advancement and creating a culture where educational disadvantage should not hinder educational opportunities. With our Education Fund, we intend to support these solutions to grow and impact as many people as possible.

Some examples of the kinds of solutions we are looking for are listed below:

  • Academic Assistance & Guidance: “College Possible” in Minnesota, USA provides academic support in disadvantaged schools throughout ACT and SAT test preparation, provides academic assistance, financial aid consulting, guidance in the college transition and support to college degree attainment.
  • “Peer Support and Creating Supportive Environment”,  College Advisory Corps in North Carolina, USA positions first generation graduates from low-income or under-represented second level schools as College advisors, creating an awareness of the cultural possibility of education.
  • Apprentices or Training: Other projects may concentrate on assisting students, who are not academically focused, on achieving accredited skills through apprenticeships and training courses.  

Interested in applying to our Education Fund? A few points to note…

It is not a requirement to offer QQI level 6 accreditation as part of your solution, but you must be able to demonstrate that your work acts as a bridge or pathway to this accreditation.

The education fund is open to all projects that use pro-active intervention with second level students to keep them on the Education ladder.

You can find more information, the detailed criteria, and how to apply on our website here: http://www.socialinnovation.ie/our-programmes/education-fund.


Aisling Redmond

Social Innovation Fund Ireland