We are delighted to announce that SchoolOnline has been shortlisted for a new positive social impact award as part of The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards. We are finalists for The Lloyds Bank Positive Social Impact Award. This awards programme celebrates the resilience and innovation of the UK’s best businesses. We are honoured to have been shortlisted.
Attracting a variety of organisations, it is the largest and most comprehensive business awards programme in the United Kingdom. These awards celebrate businesses that found new ways to support their communities and employees and thrive during times of hardship.
What does it mean to be shortlisted for The Lloyds Bank Positive Social Impact Award?
As a finalist, we are now part of a year-long programme of content and networking. This prestigious awards ceremony will feature over 1,000 business leaders. It involves meeting like-minded individuals and networking with the best in the business on a national scale.
Now we have been shortlisted, SchoolOnline will undergo a judging process. We will be scrutinised alongside some other incredible businesses that are also finalists for this Positive Social Impact Award.
It is an honour to be nominated amongst so many other fantastic businesses all making an incredibly positive social impact.
What positive social impact have we been making?
2020 has been an extraordinary year for many reasons, but particularly in education where children have really suffered. A number of studies point to students across all ages having regressed a significant number of months of learning.
During the early stages of the pandemic when schools were scrambling to adjust to the need for online learning provision, we, along with many of our peers, offered free access to our platform.
However as the situation progressed, we became aware of a need for a longer-term, sustained approach to supporting children and schools in need that would work alongside our existing business model and not negatively impact our sustainability as a company – this was how our Pay It Forward campaign started.
As the pandemic progressed, we saw a need to provide tuition support to schools and children on a longer-term basis. It slowly became clear that much of the promised government funding for catch up tutoring was either not going to come through, would be held up in red tape, or would be hampered by the lack of qualified in-person tutors available.
Furthermore, we recognised that the pandemic had generated an enormous amount of goodwill amongst the community. It was clear people were anxious to help those who had been adversely affected.
Pay It Forward in action
Baker Labels, the UK’s leading trade label printer, are one of our many supporting businesses, making their contribution to support GCSE students at The Bobby Moore Academy in Stratford. Baker Labels got involved in our Pay It Forward campaign, as they recognized the severe disruption to education that COVID has caused.
“This support is paramount in reducing the damage to student’s education. It should be made accessible to as many students as possible”.
Such has been the positive impact that we have seen our engagement with schools, after starting our B2B marketing in September 2020, increasing from approximately 10 schools in Autumn 2020 to nearing 100 schools this Spring.
How has Pay It Forward impacted SchoolOnline?
- Pay It Forward has been paramount to our ability to connect with local communities and schools and make a real difference.
- It has also been key in protecting our cost base and ensuring our viability as a company.
- Fundamental to the launching of this campaign was our CEO, Eddy Chan. Eddy has a passionate desire to democratise access to top-quality education.
- During the pandemic, the EdTech landscape was rapidly changing.
- We sought a way that would both help us succeed in our purposeful mission while protecting our shareholder value.
- We also wanted to enable communities to come together at a time when the government was arguably failing children.
The Pay It Forward campaign will be a lasting part of our business model. The damage to children’s education in the pandemic has been immense, and the government provision of catch up insufficient to close the gap for many children.
We are so pleased to have been shortlisted for this award and look forward to the finals in early November. We will continue to make a strong positive social impact on children’s education and further our mission to level the playing field for all.