Education

We’re fighting to bring quality education to every child

We believe every child should be able to realise their full potential and grow up to build a better world. In 2017, our education programmes helped 841,000 children.

Around the world, millions of children never see the inside of a classroom – meaning they miss out of life-changing opportunities.

 Other children drop out of school because their classes are overcrowded or their teachers poorly trained. Many, like Venetia whose story is shown in the video below, are robbed of the chance to learn because of conflict; others because they’re a girl, or come from a poor family, or live in a rural area. And for children 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 working tirelessly in the world’s poorest, most dangerous and hard-to-reach places to make sure every child has the chance to realise their full potential and make their mark on the world.

Venetia: The Girl With A Goal

Venetia*, 9, lost both her parents in the war in South Sudan. Scared and alone, she fled to Uganda, where she lives with a foster parent in Imvepi refugee settlement, but had missed almost a year of school. Now Venetia’s back in education. “I am happy to be in class”, she says.

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Worldwide

  • 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

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

Find out more