This is a good-practice guide to support schools to more effectively commission innovative services, especially those which aim to tackle educational inequality.

Commissioning Futures: A Guide for Schools provides guidance to school leaders who have increasing autonomy to commission external services to help improve student outcomes. Previously, minimal guidance had been available to support schools in doing so.

Commissioning Futures incorporates a wealth of expertise and insights from headteachers, teachers, innovators, social financiers, think tanks and charities, and draws extensively on The Young Foundation’s practical experience running The Young Academy – an accelerator and investment fund for social ventures tackling educational inequality.

The guide aims to enhance school leaders’ understanding in the following areas:

How working with external providers, particularly those offering innovative services, can help schools address the specific challenges for their school;
Identify sources of funding to enable schools to commission services to tackle inequalities in their environments;
The key principles and steps of effectively commissioning and implementing innovative services.

Education & Employment Social finance & ventures

Posted on: 4 May 2018 Authors: Amanda Hill-Dixon,


The Young Foundation

The UK’s home for community research and social innovation.

Visit The Young Foundation

Peer Research Network

Driving quality and innovation in peer research. 

Visit our network

Institute for Community Studies

A new kind of research body with people at its heart. 

Visit our research institute

© The Young Foundation 2022