Closed Fund

Equity in Education Fund 2022-2025

Supporting equal access to education for young people from minority groups experiencing disadvantage.

What is the Equity in Education Fund?

The “Equity in Education Fund” aims to support not-for-profit organisations working to enhance access to education for young people experiencing educational disadvantage based on their cultural identity or geographical location. Many students from vulnerable, minority communities and students living in poverty face a greater degree of educational disadvantage when compared to young people in the general population. Students who leave school early are much less likely to find well-paying jobs, and are at more risk of poverty as access to education is heavily linked to socioeconomic status.

Our evaluation with the National University of Ireland, Galway shows that standard formal education does not work for all young people, so it is important that we look for creative solutions that offer equal opportunities to education while understanding the many factors needed for young people to succeed.

Recognising the critical role education plays in the social and economic lives of young people in Ireland, this Fund will support not-for-profit organisations focused on enhancing educational engagement and improving formal and non-formal educational outcomes for young people from Traveller, Roma and Migrant/Refugee backgrounds as well as those experiencing rural disadvantage.

Specifically, this Fund will support projects that offer innovative solutions to socio-economic disadvantages that impact education. The fund will:

  • Support young people experiencing marginalisation with greater access to education at second level
  • Support young people facing intersecting disadvantages to engage in formal and non-formal education. Non-formal education refers to education that occurs outside the formal school system for eg: participating in forums and chat rooms, performance support, coaching sessions and games
  • Support young people to become leaders in their communities

This is a three-year €1,250,000 fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with a private donor and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

How Does It Work?

The Equity in Education Fund will provide a package of awards and support to innovative not-for-profit organisations that are enhancing educational engagement and improving formal and non-formal educational outcomes for young people from Traveller, Roma and Migrant/Refugee backgrounds, as well as those experiencing rural disadvantage. Specifically, this Fund will support projects that offer innovative solutions to socio-economic disadvantage that inhibits young people from engaging fully in education. The fund will:

  • Support young people experiencing marginalisation with greater access to education at second level
  • Support young people facing intersecting disadvantages to engage in formal and non-formal education
  • Support young people to enhance their 21st-century skills in digital literacy, leadership and critical thinking skills

There will be 4-5 awards available in total, and each Awardee will receive a cash grant (to a maximum of €67,500 and a minimum of €50,000 per annum, for 3 years), mentoring support and placement on Rethink Ireland’s three-year capacity building programme.

Who can apply?

The Fund seeks applications from not-for-profit organisations that work with young people from Traveller, Roma and Migrant/Refugee backgrounds as well as those experiencing rural disadvantage.

Eligibility and Criteria

Projects must meet both Rethink Ireland’s criteria and the specific criteria for the Fund, as set out below:

Rethink Ireland Core Criteria

There are two sets of core criteria: project criteria and applicant criteria

Project Criteria

The project must:

  • Address a critical social issue
  • Be innovative in an Irish context
  • Must be based on the island of Ireland and must make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland
  • Must have the potential and desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement)
  • Must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must come from an entity that has a ‘not for profit’ legal form, for example:

  • A company limited by guarantee
  • A Charity or other not-for-profit legal forms

Fund Criteria

  • Projects must work with young people from Traveller, Roma, Migrant/Refugee or Rural Communities.
  • Projects must be providing educational support at second level.
  • Projects must address one or more of the social determinants of education for Traveller, Roma, Migrant/Refugee, or Rural Communities by incorporating one or more of the below into their programme delivery:
    • Youth Leadership
    • Social Capital (building networks and opportunities for advancement)
    • Wellbeing

Additionally, the project should meet one or more of the criteria below:

  • Projects that work to engage/re-engage these target groups in second-level education or provide support to keep them in second-level education.
  • Projects that work to address/mitigate discrimination/inclusion issues faced by young people from these communities in education settings.

Advantageous criteria

  • Projects where there is representation from the beneficiary community in positions of leadership
  • Projects that address wellbeing in a holistic way, integrating the social determinants of education
  • Projects that work to support members of the Traveller, Roma or Asylum seeker communities to be employed in education roles and become role models in education

Advantageous criteria for projects working with Traveller and Roma Target Group

  • Projects working to facilitate cultural competency for enhancing representation of the Traveller and Roma communities in the education and youth sectors
  • Collaboration between community-led organisations and youth/education projects

Advantageous criteria for projects working with Migrant/Refugee Target Group

  • Collaboration between community-led organisations and youth/education projects
  • Collaboration focused on supporting young people in education who also live in Direct Provision

Advantageous criteria for projects working with Rural Communities Target Group

  • Collaboration between community-led organisations and youth/education projects
  • Collaborative projects seeking to address rural disadvantages for young people and education

Which projects won’t qualify?

Projects that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Research projects
  • Projects seeking funding for capital assets (such as buildings, vans or equipment)
  • Projects promoting or aligned with a political party
  • Projects that only accept participants of a particular faith or religious denomination
  • Projects focused on animal welfare
  • Projects based outside the Republic of Ireland
  • Projects led by people under 18 years of age
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started
  • Projects providing scholarships or subsistence payments

Which applicants cannot apply?

Applicants that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Applicants under 18 years of age
  • Commercial companies
  • Rethink Ireland staff, directors and their immediate family members
  • Any philanthropic donors supporting this fund
  • Individuals, statutory or public bodies, local development companies, LEADER companies, companies limited by shares, and organisations that are funded 100% by state bodies or agencies and continue to be in receipt of that funding.

What does the fund offer?

This three-year Fund will provide a range of supports to community and voluntary sector organisations through cash grants and non-financial support.

  • Cash grants between €50,000 and €67,500 each year for three years
  • A business supports package
  • A place on our capacity building Gamechanger Programme – The programme is a 3-year executive level management training in workshop format which is delivered in close collaboration with strategic consultants and communication experts
  • Project performance management which will include consultant support and guidance.

How do we apply?

Applications to the Equity in Education Fund have now closed.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted during the week beginning 25th April 2022, and invited to interview.

Interviews will take place between Tuesday 3rd – Friday 13th May 2022.

 

 

Frequently asked questions

What can cash grants be spent on?

You may only spend the grant on the project which won the award. Rethink Ireland will agree on the specific use of the grant with you.

Please note: you cannot use the grant to pay off debts or buy land, buildings or equipment and it cannot be used for subsistence or scholarship payments to beneficiaries.

If my organisation has already or is currently getting a grant from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?

Yes. If you have previously been funded or are currently being funded by Rethink Ireland, you can still apply to The Equity in Education Fund with a new project.

Who will decide who wins the awards?

Final decisions are made by the Board of Rethink Ireland.

What is the selection process?

The selection process includes the following stages:
Stage 1: Open call for applications (Feb 17th 2022 – Apr 7th  2022)
Stage 2: Review of applications
Stage 3: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview – week beginning 25th April 2022
Stage 4: Interviews (Tuesday 3rd – Friday 13th May 2022)
Stage 5: Final checks on short-listed applicants
Stage 6: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board – June 2022
Stage 7: Inform successful applicants – June 2022

Can organisations make multiple applications?

Yes, organisations can make multiple applications. These applications must be for different projects.

If my organisation is funded by a Government/state agency (HSE, TULSA, and so on) are we eligible?

Yes, you can apply if you are in receipt of funding from a government or state agency. However, if your organisation is 100% funded through state sources then you are not eligible to apply.

What are the social determinants of education?

Social determinants of education are conditions in the lives of people and where they live that affect their ability to be able to engage in education. Examples of social determinants of education include:

  • Physical Health – health culture, medical conditions, diet, access to healthcare
  • Social Environment – education culture, trauma exposure, social cohesion
  • Economic Stability – unemployment, family job security, access to resources
  • Physical Environment and Community – homelessness, access to internet, access to study space, concentration of disadvantaged groups, transportation and structural barriers
  • Psychosocial Health – mental health, trauma
  • Self Motivation – attention focus, lifestyle choices, critical thinking skills

What are examples of Youth Leadership?

Youth leadership programmes work to enable young people to develop skills and qualities that will help them to become role models and leaders among their peers and in their communities. Youth leadership skills include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-awareness

Here is an example of a Youth Leadership programme developed by GoodPush.

What are examples of social capital?

Social Capital refers to the collective importance of relationships and networks between people and organisations to pursue shared objectives, and how these networks can help support communities and groups of people. Examples of social capital are any benefit that is derived from interaction between members of a social grouping or society.

What is Rural Disadvantage?

There are additional barriers and issues in rural areas, particularly around access to services and resources. Rural deprivation factors are often considered ‘hidden needs’ because they are not concentrated enough to attract attention and resourcing. Rural disadvantage is described according to (a) well-being (general indices, income, prices, poverty, unemployment, health and education), and (b) service deprivation (income security, health, education, welfare and essential services).

Any further questions?

Rethink Ireland will be hosting a number of application sessions online on March 3rd and March 16th to answer any questions that you have.

Contact the Equity in Education Team at equityineducation@rethinkireland.ie

Terms and Conditions of the Fund

By applying for The Equity in Education Fund, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process.
  • You are eligible to apply. This means that your organisation meets the criteria for Rethink Ireland and, as described.
  • You have the right to apply. This means that you hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.
  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted.
  • Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process such as external reviewers unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • The Awardees must take part in publicity about the grant. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Directors may select an alternative Awardee.
  • Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.

Contact the Equity in Education Team at equityineducation@rethinkireland.ie