Lewis Hamilton speaks out as Sky announce £1m investment in Mission 44

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Sky have donated £1m to Lewis Hamilton’s Mission 44 anti-racism foundation. The initiative will help tackle high rates of school exclusions among black students as part of a new two-year partnership.

Sky are committed to achieving racial equality and have invested £30million towards making a difference in communities impacted by racism and use the power of its significant voice and platform to highlight racial injustice.

This is set to build on the Hamilton Commission which showed the high exclusion rate among young black students and its impact on their education as a result.

The seven-time F1 world champion, whose car number is 44, is using his platform to elicit change and more opportunities for ethnic minorities in the sport and wider society.

Mission 44 aims to support, champion and empower young people from marginalised groups in the UK to succeed by narrowing opportunity gaps with a focus on education and employment.

According to Mission 44 research, black Caribbean students are 2.5 times more likely to be permanently excluded compared with their white counterparts.

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Sky’s partnership with Mission 44 includes four initiatives aimed at tackling the issue, such as introducing a ‘Preventing exclusions’ grant.

This will include grant funding for Multi-Academy Trusts to invest in interventions that reduce school exclusion rates. 

They also plan to implement a ‘Scaling impact’ grant to support high potential or high impact interventions that prevent exclusions or improve trajectories of excluded students. 

In order to amplify the voices of a group of excluded students to discover what support they need to achieve positive outcomes, the partnership hope to launch an ‘Included’ research project.


Sky endeavour to lead an early-career insight programme to offer information, advice, and guidance on opportunities in the broadband and telecommunications industry for students at risk of exclusion and students who have already been excluded from mainstream education.  

Hamilton, the founder of Mission 44, said: “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.

“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.”

The foundation’s CEO, Jason Arthur said: “Preventing school exclusions is an issue of social justice.

“Excluded students often must contend with a range of complex social and economic challenges, such as poverty, racism and mental ill-health, that cause them to face both disadvantage and discrimination in our education system.

“I’m delighted that Mission 44 will be working with Sky to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable learners in our education system.”   

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