We are delighted to announce that SchoolOnline are finalists for the Lloyds Bank Purpose Before Profit Award! This is a real honour for us and a fantastic achievement.

Here we answer all your burning questions about our finalist status and why purpose before profit is so important to us at SchoolOnline.


1. What is the Purpose Before Profit Award?

  • The Octopus Electric Vehicles Purpose Before Profit award is part of the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards.
  • The past year has been one of the most challenging for individuals, communities and businesses.
  • This award celebrates the businesses who have focused their attention away from their day-to-day operations and instead worked on providing support for their local communities.
  • Furthermore, it pays tribute to the organisations that have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.


2. What is The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards?

  • These awards have been designed to celebrate the resilience, innovation and creativity of British businesses.
  • They celebrate several worthy businesses. These range from innovative new start-ups to established industry names. These businesses also include private, public and third sector organisations.

Purpose Before Profit: Our latest achievement

3. What is SchoolOnline’s ethos?

  • Our company’s ethos is: Level the playing field.
  • We want to do this by ensuring all students have access to high-quality exam tuition.
  • Further to this, our goal is to optimise students’ exam outcomes and future life opportunities.


4. Why are SchoolOnline finalists for the Purpose Before Profit Award?

SchoolOnline was developed to provide a solution to the inherent inequalities that exist in the way students prepare and achieve outcomes in their key exams at GCSE and KS2.

  • Our purposeful mission is fundamental to how we operate as a company.
  • It is at the heart of every interaction we have.
  • This ethos is something that our staff- both executive and junior- feel quite passionately.


5. Our Teacher Panel

It’s not just the people that work within SchoolOnline who feel strongly about this. Over the last year, we have built a broad Teacher Panel, with representatives from across the teaching community at both KS2 and GCSE levels, in both high achieving schools as well as schools under special measures. These teachers believe SchoolOnline serves a vital purpose in helping to close the educational divide.

Purpose Before Profit: Our latest achievement

– Simon Tomlinson, GSCE English teacher and examiner.


5. Purpose before Profit in action

  • 2020 and 2021 have been extraordinary years for many reasons, but particularly in education where children have really suffered.
  • Numerous 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 therefore how our Pay It Forward campaign started.


Pay It Forward

  • We saw a need to provide educational support to schools and children on a long term basis.
  • It slowly became clear that much of the promised government funding was not going to come through, or that it would be hampered by the lack of qualified in-person tutors available.
  • SchoolOnline also recognised that this pandemic had generated a huge sense of goodwill in the community. It then became clear that people were anxious to help those adversely affected.

Our Pay It Forward campaign provides an efficient and effective way for businesses both small and large to help fund the provision of our award-winning tuition platform to schools in the business’s local community.

How does Pay It Forward work?

  • We work together with these businesses to use their donation to cover our cost base (providing licences heavily discounted against our normal prices).
  • We then provide schools with fully-funded access to digital tuition that can make an immediate impact on their students.
  • This was a significant shift for us as a company, having only gone to market commercially in January 2020, and meant we had to entirely review our business model.
  • Ensuring children and teachers could have access to our powerful platform, to help them at a time when they were most in need, was not difficult to sell to our investors, who were already firmly committed to our ethos.
  • It is truly purpose before profit in action.


Has this “purpose before profit” initiative been a success?

  • We have had enormously positive feedback from both the businesses that are supporting and schools that are being supported.
  • 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”.

– Baker Labels

How has it helped Schools?

The feedback from the many schools that have become involved as a result of this initiative has been empowering.

Purpose Before Profit: Our latest achievement

To conclude, Pay It Forward has been key in our ability to connect with local communities and schools. This initiative has helped us to make a real difference. We strongly believe Pay It Forward will be a lasting part of our business model. The damage to children’s education during the pandemic has been immense and the government provision of catch up insufficient to close the gap for many children.

If you would like to read more about the other awards that we have been nominated for, head to our blog here.