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ITV named founding partner for Upriser

February 20, 2023

Creative company Saatchi & Saatchi has announced ITV as its founding partner for Upriser, the free creative schools platform that it launched at the end of 2022.

ITV is the first major name to be announced, with a number of other partners currently being matched and onboarded at schools across the UK as part of the Upriser programme. Initially partnering with  Kensington Aldridge Academy, located near ITV’s new White City HQ, ITV intends to expand the partnership to schools in other cities, including Manchester, within its network as 2023 unfolds. Additional creative partners will also ensure a presence for the platform in Leeds and Newcastle by late spring.

Upriser is Saatchi & Saatchi’s response to what the agency describes as a ‘creative crisis’: a sustained lack of funding for creative and cultural programmes in school – equating to just £9.40 a year per student – which is on track to deal a devastating blow to the UK’s creative output due to a lack of future talent coming into the industry.

Designed to inspire with the power of creativity, Upriser offers young people aged 11-18 a real, tangible introduction and route into the creative industries. To scale the platform across the UK, Saatchi & Saatchi are inviting any British creative company that wants to facilitate meaningful change to enrol as a school partner.

Partners who sign up are matched with schools local to them, and work closely with Saatchi & Saatchi to implement a long term, meaningful programme within that school, tailored to each company’s specialisms, skills and capabilities. Partner businesses and schools are also given access to an open-source playbook, which offers a sustainable blueprint of multi-layered 1:1 mentoring programmes, lesson plans, workplace visits and other creative initiatives, and is informed by Saatchi & Saatchi’s two year partnership with Harris Academy Greenwich.

Kate Waters, Director of Client Strategy and Planning, ITV said: “So often, school-focused initiatives from businesses look great, but end up being a flash in the pan. So when we learned about Upriser – and specifically that Saatchis expected us to make a long term commitment to the programme and our partner school – we quickly knew this was something we needed to be a part of. We often talk about the power of TV and this is a real opportunity to create change through a sustainable platform. We are delighted to be Saatchis’ founding partner and, as we move to ITV Commercial’s new home at White City, to be a real part of a community by working with our new neighbours at Kensington Aldridge Academy.”

James Waller, Assistant Principal, Kensington Aldridge Academy, commented: “We are thrilled to be a part of the Upriser programme. Working with a large, creative company such as ITV will provide exciting, informative and enriching experiences for our students and many of these have already started. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the programme is that there is a genuine commitment on both sides to make a long lasting and sustainable seven year partnership that is rooted in both the academic and pastoral strands of the curriculum. We are looking forward to maximising the potential of this fantastic opportunity.”

Franki Goodwin, CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi, added: “We’ve been clear from the start that we can’t implement meaningful change by ourselves. This is a problem that needs the weight of our entire industry thrown at it, and we could not have hoped for a better founding partner than ITV. Not only are they a household name with a nationwide network, their team has also quickly proved themselves to be exactly the kind of people we need in the programme – upbeat, driven, kind and determined to drive change. We’re excited to see the impact they have.”

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