Sky has established a two-year collaboration with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s philanthropic foundation, Mission 44, to address the relatively large number of school exclusions among Black students in the United Kingdom.

Lewis Hamilton’s foundation, Mission 44, will receive more than £1 million over the course of the two-year collaboration, which is part of Sky’s £30 million commitment to combating systemic racism.

According to a representative, Lewis Hamilton is personally motivated to assist address unfair exclusion rates as a result of his own school-based behavior management experiences.

“His foundation, Mission 44, aims to support, champion, and empower young people from underserved groups in the UK to succeed by narrowing opportunity gaps with a focus on education and employment,” the Sky spokesman said.

“Research from Mission 44 shows that Black Caribbean students are 2.5 times more likely to be permanently excluded compared with their White counterparts.”

Sky’s cooperation with Mission 44 includes efforts targeted at addressing the problem, including grant money for Multi-Academy Trusts to invest in school exclusion reduction activities.

It will also assist the ‘Included’ research project, which will amplify the voices of a group of excluded students in order to find out what kind of help they need to succeed.

Sky will lead an early-career insight program that will provide information, advice, and guidance on opportunities in the internet and telecommunications industries for students who are in danger of being excluded from mainstream school as well as students who have already been excluded.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, the founder of Mission 44, remarked: “Understanding and addressing issues that lead to young people being excluded from school is really important to me.”

“Having experienced unfair exclusions during my time at school, I understand how upsetting and stressful it can be.”

“When we launched Mission 44 last year, implementing initiatives such as these was a personal priority and I am grateful to have the support of Sky to help Mission 44 take action,” the seven-time Formula 1 world champion continued.

“Through this partnership, I hope we can deliver meaningful change by arming schools with the proper strategies to support and empower young Black students, instead of giving up on them.”

Announcing the collaboration, Sky’s Group CEO, Dana Strong, said: “We are passionate about tackling racial injustice and welcome the opportunity to partner with Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mission 44 to champion and empower young people.

“We hope our partnership will support Mission 44’s work to improve the experience of Black pupils and support them to succeed at school and beyond.”

Sky announced its goals for ethnic diversity and representation in its UK workforce in January 2021.

Sky wants 20% of its staff in the UK and Ireland to be Black, Asian, or ethnically diverse by 2025, with at least a quarter being Black. This goal applies to Sky’s executive team as well.

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