A girl takes part in classes which are part of Save the Children’s Alternative Basic Education programme (ABE) for Somali refugees.


Fighting to bring quality education to every child

Education can transform lives

In 2016, our education programmes helped 6.2 million children around the world.

Too many children are missing out on life changing opportunities. We’re working in the world’s poorest, most dangerous and hard-to-reach places to make sure children have the chance to fulfil their potential.

Millions of children never see the inside of a classroom. Others drop out because their classes are overcrowded or their teachers poorly trained.

Children in disadvantaged communities are most at risk of missing out. Many are robbed of the chance to learn because they’re a girl, or come from a poor family, or live in a rural area. And for those whose worlds have been turned upside down by conflict or environmental disaster, education offers stability and hope.

In the UK, too, children’s lives are shaped by their education. The poorest children do less well at school than their wealthier classmates and low literacy is linked to low pay and unemployment.

This has to change. We're determined to ensure that every child, everywhere in the world, gets a high quality education and the chance to write their own futures.

Venetia: The Girl With A Goal

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  • 124 million children and young people have either never started school or have dropped out, and the number is rising.
  • 1 in 6 secondary school age children are not in school.
  • Almost half of children who are not in school are in countries affected by war or disasters.

In England

  • 23% of children do not reach the expected level of language development by the age of five.
  • One in three children living in poverty fall behind with their education.
  • Only 27% of children from poor families get five or more good GCSE passes, compared with 55% of their peers from wealthier families.

Around the world

RwandaAlongside the Rwandan government, we’re pioneering a new approach to improve the nations’ literacy levels. We’re increasing the number of quality children’s books, setting up reading clubs and supporting parents and teachers.

EmergenciesAfter a disaster hits, children always tell us the same thing: they want to get back to school. We’re making sure that education is a fundamental part of our emergency responses. In 2014, we helped 440,000 children in conflict-affected and fragile states enrol in primary education, 170,000 of them for the first time.

Child refugees: We’ve teamed up with the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Pearson to shine a light on efforts to provide education to the world’s refugees. We want to identify the projects with the most promise of contributing to wider change, then document and promote them.

SyriaIn war-torn Syria, children missing out on school are increasingly at risk of being dragged into armed groups, early marriage or child labour. We're helping keep them safe by supporting them to get back into education.

Girls’ educationLearning can be a lifeline for girls. It makes them less vulnerable to early marriage and more able to live independent lives. In Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we’re giving thousands of girls the support they need to stay in education.

PhilippinesOur First Read programme is giving parents in the Philippines the knowledge, skills and resources they need to support their child’s early learning and development.

In the UK

FASTFamilies and Schools Together is an award-winning early-intervention programme that brings parents, children, teachers and the community together, to make sure children get the support they need to fulfil their potential at school – and in life. 

Read on. Get On: Our national campaign aims to ensure every child in the UK gets the support they need to read well and fulfil their potential.

Families Connect: Our Families Connect programme builds on feedback from parents looking for more help to support their children’s learning in three key areas: literacy and language development, numeracy and emotional development.

Over the course of eight weeks, parents learn how to support their children’s education at home by doing a series of fun and engaging activities.

The Power of Education

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