Interview with Phil Avery, Bohunt Trust

The implications on education, especially for the most vulnerable young people in society because of COVID-19 have been far-reaching. Teachers have adapted quickly, delivering lessons to both key worker and vulnerable children in the classroom and online for students at home.  

 As part of our commitment to #closingthegap in July, our Education Team delivered live teaching days to over 500 young people. During our visit to Bohunt Horsham we caught up with Phil Avery, Director of Education at the Bohunt Trust. 

“We are not sure what the long-term effects of COVID-19 will be yet as it’s still playing out. However, there are things that we are already worried about from what we are seeing. Firstly engagement, we have a number of students who have found it difficult to engage at all with learning. Then there are other students who have struggled to engage in a productive way with learning as they haven’t got that trained adult to support them all the way through. For both groups we are worried about the attainment gap and their ability to re-engage.’’ says Phil. 

Recent research suggests up to one fifth of pupils, which is the equivalent of two million young people in the UK, have done less than an hour’s schoolwork at home each day, and just 16% of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are taking part in daily lessons. 

“In September we are so looking forward to being back with the students. However, many students will have missed chunks of learning, When back, we will be able to see how wide the learning gaps are and we’re going to have to come up with innovative solutions to be able to close them. Those innovative solutions are going to be helped greatly by the mix of inspiration and high-quality science learning seen on STEM Crew and the live teaching sessions.’’ Explains Phil. 

STEM Crew is our digital education platform providing free resources. Through, the investment and belief of our initial funders, the 1851 Trust now has a proven model delivering exciting and highly engaged science lessons in 35% of UK schools, reaching +150,000 young people each year, many of whom are from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  

“At the Bohunt Trust we believe we are providing a fantastic education. That means striving for great exams results, but for us, education is far more than that. It’s about the opportunities we can give young people to learn about careers, it’s about teamwork and leadership, it’s about how that all comes together to produce something that’s incredible for the students long in to the future.’’ 

“Our normal school days tend to look traditional with learning across subjects such as science, maths and technology. But the real-world learning does not work so well in those neat silos. You need to bring subjects together through multi-disciplinary learning. In the real world you won’t be working on a project as an individual, you tend to be working as part of a team and normally you’re not working on things that are known, you’re trying to work towards the unknown, trying to do something different, something better. Therefore, working with STEM Crew is crucial to what we are trying to develop in young people, because it is ambitious, multidisciplinary learning. It is working with the materials and role models on STEM Crew that allows our young people to thrive.’’ 

Phil finished our conversation with ‘’we want to create students that are game changers and that is what the 1851 Trust is all about.’’

To find out more about STEM Crew visit 

Ark Charter Academy receive support from INEOS TEAM UK to help provide vital learning resources for home-based learning

Ark Charter Academy receive support from INEOS TEAM UK to help provide vital learning resources for home-based learning 

  • INEOS TEAM UK has donated £10,000 to the Ark Charter Academy Portsmouth, through the international INEOS Community Fund.
  • This grant will be used to provide IT devices to disadvantaged students in the critical year 10 cohort to ensure their studies remain uninterrupted, despite the COVID-19 crisis.
  • To mark the donation, the 1851 Trust, INEOS TEAM UK’s official charity, organised a virtual STEM Crew Teaching Day for Ark Charter Academy Portsmouth with resources inspired by INEOS TEAM UK’s America’s Cup challenge.

INEOS TEAM UK has donated £10,000 in support of the Ark Charter Academy, Portsmouth, through the international INEOS Community Fund. This donation will be used to provide vital IT devices to disadvantaged young learners so that they can continue their studies from home for the period of the Coronavirus crisis.

The grant from the INEOS Community Fund will be used to provide students in the critical year 10 cohort with IT devices that enable them to access educational support ahead of their GCSEs, and to ensure students have access to resources which provide mental health and wellbeing support. In doing so, this grant will fill the critical gap created by the COVID-19 crisis, and ensure vulnerable students remain supported during this difficult time.

To mark the donation, the 1851 Trust, INEOS TEAM UK’s official charity, organised a virtual Teaching Day for Ark Charter Academy Portsmouth on 8th July, where they hosted a STEM lesson for the year 10 pupils. The digital lesson focused on “forces” and implemented resources inspired by INEOS TEAM UK’s America’s Cup Challenge.

Emily Morey, Principal of Ark Charter Academy, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from INEOS. This grant will enable the Academy to support its most vulnerable and deprived students, ensuring our curriculum is inclusive and equitable. From parent surveys, we know that access to the internet is not the biggest barrier, but that access to an appropriate device is. Without a device, those students, currently in Year 10, will be further disadvantaged in their learning towards GCSE examinations. For many, these exams will be a defining moment in their academic life; impacting on their opportunities and potential for adult life.”

The £1M International INEOS Community Fund was established by INEOS Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe in March 2020 in tandem with the company’s COVID-19 “Hands On” campaign, which set up new production lines to provide millions of bottles of free hand sanitiser per month to hospitals and frontline healthcare. The fund enables INEOS sites across the world to support the charitable organisations doing vital work in their local communities at this particularly difficult time.

Ben Cartledge, CEO of the 1851 Trust, said: “Disadvantaged families and children are facing countless challenges at this difficult time. Insufficient access to IT devices should not jeopardize a student’s access to education. We’re mobilising to ensure that the Ark Charter Academy has all the tools required to support those most impacted and at-risk. As an education charity, we are committed to do what we can to help ‘close the gap’ for pupils everywhere through our programmes. It has been a pleasure to be able to support Ark Charter Academy at this difficult time.”

STEM Crew launches INEOS 1:59 Challenge resources

Free digital education resources launched taking young people into the science behind Eliud Kipchoge’s history-making INEOS 1:59 Challenge 

  • On 12th October 2019 Eliud Kipchoge became the first person in history to break the legendary sub-two-hour marathon barrier, recording a time of 1:59:40.2.
  • Kipchoge was supported by the INEOS 1:59 Performance team, led by Team INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, who applied scientific knowledge and high performance principles to give Kipchoge the best possible chance of success.
  • INEOS and the 1851 Trust have launched three new free digital education resources aimed at young people aged 11-16 on STEM Crew inspired by the science behind Eliud Kipchoge’s history making moment.

INEOS and the 1851 Trust, a charity committed to taking science beyond the textbook by engaging young people in the cutting edge technology of high performance sport, have launched three new free digital learning resources inspired by Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub-two-hour marathon.

Whilst the INEOS 1:59 Challenge was undoubtedly first and foremost a feat of incredible human achievement, to provide Kipchoge with the optimal conditions required to take the 26 seconds off his previous attempt at breaking the barrier required a significant amount of innovation and scientific expertise.

The work of the INEOS 1:59 Performance team, led by Team INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, combined the brightest minds in high performance sport to ensure that from the course selection and optimisation, to the weather analysis, to the aerodynamics and more, no stone was left unturned.

The digital education resources, aimed at 11-16 year olds and available for free online today, take young people into the INEOS 1:59 performance team and explore the science and theory that went into giving Kipchoge the best possible conditions to make history in Vienna.

The three challenges focus on three key aspects of the huge task Kipchoge and the INEOS 1:59 Performance team faced; the pacemaker strategy, nutrition and course selection. Students can put themselves into the roles of the 1:59 Performance team and investigate what it takes to do something that has never been done before and run a sub-two-hour marathon by carrying out engaging hands-on practical work in physics, biology and maths.

The resources include class-facing presentations, activity and lab sheets as well as a project workbook to guide students through the challenges. All lessons are fully linked to the UK National Curriculum and are completely free.

Eliud Kipchoge said:

“The INEOS 1:59 Challenge combined science and sport to prove that no human is limited. Sport can inspire, bring positivity and unify people and I wanted to bring that message to the whole world.

“To help me make history I had a fantastic team behind me with a lot of expertise in science and high performance. It was important to me that Challenge left a legacy for the future generation and it is great that INEOS and the 1851 Trust are now using the science behind 1:59 to educate children across the world

“Without the scientific and technological knowledge of my team and the INEOS 1:59 team I would not have been able to make history in Vienna.”

INEOS 1:59 Challenge CEO and TEAM INEOS Team Principal Dave Brailsford said:

“Eliud is a once in a generation athlete and in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge it was our responsibility to use our knowledge to give him the best possible conditions which would enable him to make history and prove that no human is limited. That is why we had some of the brightest minds in high performance sport work closely together with Eliud’s brilliant team.

“A huge amount of science and high performance principles went into the project, covering everything from the pacemaker formation through to the decision to hold the event in Vienna. It was always Eliud’s dream to leave a legacy and it is brilliant to see INEOS and the 1851 Trust now take the learnings from the Challenge and turn them into educational resources to inspire young people across the world.”

Covid-19 Impact: Ben Cartledge, CEO

As for many charity and business leaders 2020 has not unfolded as expected for Ben Cartledge (CEO) and the young people the 1851 Trust supports. 

“In 2019 we reached 150,000 young people online and provided 7,500 sailing experiences to those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. We were well positioned to support even more young people in 2020, with the 36th America’s Cup build up giving supporters and partner schools even more reasons to get involved.” explains Ben.

Then in a turn of fate that could not have been imagined at the beginning of 2020, Covid-19 forced the closure of schools nationwide. The implications on education, especially for the most vulnerable young people in society have been far-reaching. One fifth of pupils, which is the equivalent of two million young people in the UK, have done less than an hour’s schoolwork at home each day, and just 16% of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are taking part in daily lessons.

“The attainment gap is something we have always been acutely aware of through our sailing and roadshow programmes, with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds being up to 19 months behind by the age of 16. As soon as schools closed, we began to look at what we could do to support young people at this difficult time.”

The education team fast tracked STEM Crew projects including the new pupil portal and developing a range of new remote learning projects. “As home learning has become the new norm for many, we have seen a massive 150% increase in daily activity and 1,044 people accessing the pupil portal in the first two weeks” explains Ben.

However, the team at the 1851 Trust are aware that the return to school will bring a host of new challenges.

Many of the young people at our partner schools will have had no, or very limited contact with any education since March. Without additional support the UK’s young people are facing a shortfall, not just in learning, but also in the self-belief and skills needed to enter further education or employment and to thrive in today’s technology driven world.”

With the help of partners, the Trust plans to adapt its previously successful programmes to the new demands of schools, teachers, and students to ensure fewer young people are left behind.

Young people’s futures should not be defined by Covid-19. We must deliver programmes that re-engage young people, especially those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, with school-based learning after months of limited engagement. In due course our outdoor and interactive experience will act as an antidote to the months spent inside, giving young people the opportunity to spend time with peers and get excited by learning again.”

Despite a challenging outlook, there is still opportunity. In May, British Science Association research highlighted a marked uplift in young people who would now consider working in a scientific field as a result of COVID-19 – with 37% of young people now more likely to consider a scientific career.

Ben Concludes:  “to prevent the long-term impact of Covid-19 on their futures it is vital that young people re-engage with all aspects learning, including communication and self-belief. Along with our partners, 1851 Trust has an important role to play in this. If we can get it right, there is an opportunity to inspire a much wider audience of young people about future opportunities science and technology can bring. That is still something to be excited about.’’

Read our full commitment to #closingthegap here.