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Our Need

Supporting where the need is greatest

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Poor children are likely to become poor adults. We believe that a child's life chances should not be defined by their family background. 

We are proud to be disruptors and agents of social mobility: we offer opportunities and enhanced life chances to the children in our care.

“The fact is, if you are from a poor family, if you are black or you are white working class in Britain your background, not your ability, too often heavily influences how far you can go in life. And so our purpose, the reason Harris exists, is to ensure that the types of children who far too often get a raw deal can achieve their potential now."

Sir Dan Moynihan, Senior Executive Principal & CEO

Academic Outcomes

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We are regularly the top performing large multi-academy trust.

  • Three quarters of our secondary academies are currently judged as Outstanding.
  • 71% of our pupils meet or exceed expected standards in Year 6, compared to a national average of 65% 
  • 53% of our students go on to university, compared to a national average of 34%. 24% go to a Russell Group university - double the national average.
  • In the past five years, over 200 students from across the Federation went to Oxford and Cambridge.


What disadvantage looks like in practice

Disadvantaged children rely on their schools: they might not have books to read at home, they might not have gardens to play in; they might not have a quiet place to work; they might be coming to school hungry and going home to burdens that many adults would find difficult to bear.

  • Safeguarding
  • Food bank use
  • Digital access
  • Shoes, clothes
  • Lack of cultural capital and limited ambitions

HarrisSupportUs Header 5Our Challenge

As well as opening new Free Schools in communities with an inadequate educational offering, the Harris Federation is often asked to take over underperforming schools who are not serving the pupils in their care. 

Two thirds of our academies were previously failing and although they improve rapidly once in the Harris fold, this means that these schools have not been providing educational opportunities their pupils deserve and means Harris staff have to work hard to ensure pupils meet required standards and are supported to thrive, at school and beyond.


Our Funding Model

We spend far more on the education we provide than the funding we receive from the Government.

Our Founder, Lord Harris, established our schools to be funded on the same basis as other state schools in England. Our efficiencies allow savings of ~£5mper year, all of which goes back into the education of pupils. However, to offer the kind of education we believe in to all children costs far more: mental health provision, EAL support, our co-curricular provision and the care that disadvantaged pupils need is not covered by Government funding.

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To find out more about supporting Harris, please click here.