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The Skills Builder Partnership - Education

location_on United Kingdom

We work with our partners to help everyone build the eight essential skills for success...

The Skills Builder Partnership works to ensure that one day, everyone builds the essential skills to succeed. We bring together more than 800 organisations towards that collective mission, including educators, employers and other impact organisations. We all use the Skills Builder Universal Framework which which brings social and emotional learning to every stage of life.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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March 14th, 2023
It has never been more important to invest in building a set of essential skills in our children and young people: the ability to communicate effectively, to creatively solve problems, to manage themselves and to work well with others.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

The Skills Builder Partnership works to ensure that one day, everyone builds the essential skills to succeed: teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, creativity, listening, speaking, aiming high, and staying positive. These are the skills that underpin social and emotional learning. However, there is still a gap - affecting academic, life and employment outcomes.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The Skills Builder Universal Framework underpins the education work of the Skills Builder Partnership. For educators, the Framework can be used to support learners to understand their existing skills, see what progress looks like, join the dots and capture success.

Tools like the Skills Builder Hub use the framework to support educators to explicitly teach and assess the essential skills with learners of all ages. Programmes like our Accelerator support schools to embed the framework and principles through training and tools for educators.

The Skills Builder Partnership is composed of schools and colleges, non-profits and employers. Membership brings multiple unique benefits, including the ability to structure skills development, initiate sustainable organisational change, access and contribute to best practice and create systemic change. To achieve our mission, we align skills-focused organisations, provide high-quality content and influence national and international policy.

How has it been spreading?

The Skills Builder Partnership brings together 800+ education institutions, employers and leading non-profit organisations from 18 countries around a common approach to building eight essential skills.

In 2021, the Partnership delivered 1,468,611 opportunities for individuals to boost their essential skills. This combined the 187,783 individuals who built their essential skills through programmes that were run in schools and colleges. It includes a further 65,504 who benefited from our products across 23 countries. However, it also includes the wider impact of 1,215,324 opportunities for individuals to build their essential skills through approved programmes of partners.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you want to find out more, then visit our website for more details about our approach and programmes, as well as the full Universal Framework. You can also sign up for our free monthly newsletter for the latest news across the Partnership.

If you want to explore our tools and resources, sign up to the Skills Builder Hub, Benchmark and Launchpad platforms for free via our website.


Global Accelerator: The Surin Academy
The Surin Academy is an inclusive school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that champions hands-on and personalised learning for every child. The school supports learners in the Primary and Secondary phases. They have been working with the Skills Builder Partnership since 2019.Keep it Simple: Teachers in Primary and Secondary are focusing on consistently using the language of the skills with students during lessons, especially focusing on Listening and Staying Positive. Teachers are ensuring that the language of the skills is a present part of the learning process.Start Early: After a successful launch in the Secondary phase, the school are now focusing on ensuring that there are clear opportunities for students to learn, apply and reflect on the essential skills across both Primary and Secondary phases.Keep Practising: Students in the Secondary phase are using Skills Passports to support their reflections of using the essential skills. Teacher training has focused on simple ways to highlight how essential skills are being used in the classroom and help students to acknowledge this."The steps are simple, clear and organised. Each step comes with additional supportive activities that help teachers to further improve students' essential skills. The programme has made teaching essential skills a lot easier for teachers." Dr. Aliyah Baharuddin, Skills Leader
Accelerator: Hornsey School for Girls
Since 2018, Hornsey School for Girls has been working on a strategic approach to building essential skills. They recognise that in a rapidly changing world, equipping students with essential skills is the best way to empower them in any career. In 2020, Hornsey School for Girls achieved the Skills Builder Silver Award.Integrated curriculum: The school has a three-year plan for embedding skills and careers experiences, allowing them track progress. Essential skills have been integrated into tutor time, where staff deliver aspects of the PSHE curriculum. Department leads are also building essential skills teaching into their subject.Use of resources: All teaching staff have been introduced to the plan and resources, including what best practice looks like. Teachers use short activities from the Skills Builder Hub, which require minimal preparation and encourage reflection. Wall displays are prominent, and teachers highlight and reward students applying skills, like great Leadership and effective Problem Solving.Engaging experiences: A common language around skill development with students, teachers and external visitors. In conjunction with the school’s focus on STEM and meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks, they bring skills to life with Challenge Days, and inspiring Trips to local employers - as well as organising for professionals to speak to students about their journey and how they use essential skills every day."If you’re a teacher, you can see the benefit immediately… A name for each skill and a way of demonstrating and assessing its use makes all the difference."Chimene Peddie, Skills Leader & Assistant Headteacher
Accelerator: William Tyndale Primary School
William Tyndale Primary School has been working with us since 2013 to pioneer a deeply integrated, long-term approach to essential skills education. It's now the platform for all parts of the curriculum. In 2020, William Tyndale Primary School achieved the Skills Builder Gold Award.All-ages approach: It’s crucial to start young, so the school has structured a whole-school programme so that all students - from Nursery to Year 6 - develop the eight skills explicitly and measure progress year on year. This means that all students can articulate their strengths and focus tightly on what they need to learn.Integrated curriculum: The school has built the approach into various aspects of school life, making sure students see the relevance of essential skills across the curriculum. For example, the skills are incorporated into debating and oracy, and are referenced regularly in assemblies.Engaging experiences: The programme includes a range of experiences to bring skills to life, including Challenge Days, Trips to Employers and Projects. The school has even created its own classroom projects and developed connections with local employers as a way to further build and contextualise essential skills."We’re supported by a strong team of education professionals who understand how schools work… The programme is easy to follow, easy to implement, and, most importantly, easy to make sustainable." Tanya Watson, Headteacher

Implementation steps

Check out the Skills Builder Universal Framework

Click here to explore the Universal Framework

The Skills Builder Universal Framework breaks down each of the eight essential skills into teachable and measurable chunks. It provides a rigorous framework for building skills for any age.

The interactive framework tool gives advice on how to build the skills across different settings and for different stakeholders across the Skills Builder Partnership, including educators, employers, impact organisations, parents & carers and individuals.

Explore the Accelerator programme

Click here to get involved

Developed with more than 200 leading organisations, the Accelerator is the flagship programme of the Skills Builder Partnership. We work together to develop and implement a complete strategy for teaching skills in your institution. In 2020, the Skills Builder Accelerator included 420 leading schools, colleges, special schools and alternative settings. The programme includes training and support for the Skills Leader, tools and resources for your colleagues, and real impact for your students.

Benefits for you

  • Join a national cohort of Skills Leaders and network across two full days of training
  • Develop your expertise in building essential skills
  • Design a programme with real impact, with support from the Skills Builder team
  • Lead a strategy to transform your institution's approach to preparing every student with the essential skills to succeed

Benefits for your institution

  • Gain the Skills Builder Award as recognition of best practice in essential skills education
  • Demonstrate your investment in students’ wider personal development
  • See tangible progress with data from teacher assessments and student self-assessments
  • Tailor your training sessions to address the needs of your teachers and support staff
  • Embed sustainable strategies to achieve long-lasting change across your institution

In 2021, we are excited to pilot the Global Accelerator for educators outside the UK.

Read our research

The Skills Builder Universal Framework and the wide partnership of organisations adopting it provide a new opportunity: to focus and consolidate the evidence base around essential skills – both why they matter, and how they can be most effectively built. 

Read our research into how essential skills can support and influence life, education and employment outcomes below:

  • How do essential skills influence life outcomes? An evidence review: LINK
  • Essential skills and their impact on education outcomes: a quantitative analysis of the British Cohort Study: LINK
  • Better prepared: Essential skills and employment outcomes for young people: LINK 

If you would like to find out more, then please contact James at james.prideaux@skillsbuilder.org

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