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ITV, Saatchi & Saatchi extend Upriser partnership to Salford

January 30, 2024

ITV, founding partners of Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative schools’ platform Upriser, has launched a new partnership with Salford City Academy.

Supporting Upriser’s core ambition to inspire state secondary school students with the power of creativity in every corner of the UK, this is ITV’s second creative schools alliance, joining its existing partnership with Kensington Aldridge Academy in London. United Learning has supported the partnership with Salford City Academy, working closely with ITV.

The new partnership with Salford City Academy is ITV’s first outside London, and is located in Salford where ITV’s MediaCity base employs over 700 staff, and houses the iconic Coronation Street. ITV’s first school partnership with Kensington Aldridge Academy, located within a mile of its White City HQ, kicked off last year, and the company plans to create similar partnerships with schools in other cities across the UK to build on this in future.

Upriser is the free creative schools platform founded by Saatchi & Saatchi in 2022 in 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.

Since launching in 2022, Upriser has directly benefited over 3,000 students, and is fast expanding its reach. Following ITV’s appointment as the programme’s founding partner in February 2023 with Kensington Aldridge Academy, Cardiff-based Cowshed Communications, IMA-HOME in Leeds, Leith Agency in Edinburgh, have all signed up as creative schools partners, taking the platform across the UK and crucially, outside the M25 – a key ambition for the programme since its inception.

Designed to inspire with the power of creativity, Upriser offers young people aged 11-18 a 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 a 70-page 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 three year partnership with Harris Academy Greenwich.

Jason Spencer, Business Development Director at ITV, commented: “We’ve already seen the impact that our first Upriser partnership has made and it feels a natural step that our next school should be in Salford. I’m looking forward to working closely with Mel and the Salford City Academy team to build a programme which gives the students as much opportunity as possible to be inspired about considering careers in the TV industry.”

Mel Haselden, Principal at Salford City Academy, said: As a school, we are proud to offer our young people an extensive enrichment provision – alongside an ambitious academic curriculum – that ensures they can benefit from exciting opportunities to broaden their horizons. We are therefore so pleased to be partnering with ITV and Saatchi & Saatchi on this fantastic initiative and to be the first school in the north of England to offer the programme to its students. Giving our young people access to the Upriser programme is a perfect example of how we are opening up the creative industry to our students and, more broadly, encouraging them to think carefully about their futures.”

Sarah Jenkins, Managing Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “Talent is everything in the creative industries, a sector which not only inspires, entertains and sells on a global stage, but contributes an incredible £120bn to the nation’s GDP every single year. We know we don’t currently have the funding in creativity in schools to turbo charge a future talent pipeline, so we need all hands on deck from business, and ITV has been the mightiest of founding partners. Their impact has been fast and furious, and it’s wonderful to see take them find greater reach through their expansive network . To have Upriser land in Salford, an area so rich in creativity and British culture is epic and cannot wait to see what the North West brings to the party.”

Charly Barrett, Strategic Careers Lead at United Learning, added: “At United Learning, we are delighted to be supporting this partnership between ITV and Salford City Academy. Across the Group, our schools are committed to bringing out the ‘best in everyone’ and ensuring each and every young person is supported in successfully taking their next steps beyond school. This opportunity will enable students to explore the range of exciting and engaging roles available to them in the creative industry and help them to consider future career pathways they might be interested in.”

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