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Child Education

Every child has the right to learn

Our child education programmes reached 9.2 million children in 2022.

Millions of children never see inside a classroom. Others drop out due to overcrowding, conflict, or simply because they're a girl.

Here in the UK, the poorest children do less well than wealthier classmates - and low literacy is linked to low pay and unemployment.

A lot can get in the way of education. But from Leeds to Liberia, a love of learning is universal. Children know it's key to a world of possibilities.

We ensure children keep learning no matter what. Whether recovering from natural disasters, facing violence, or at risk of child marriage.

And in the UK, we're improving early years learning and keeping childcare costs on the political agenda.

How we're helping Sandhya

 Sandhya 13, plays with her classmates in a Save the Children supported school.

‘I want to say one thing, that after my education, when I become a lawyer, I’m going to call up Save the Children to thank you for helping me to be a lawyer,' says 13-year-old Sandya, from India.

At 10, Sandhya had to drop out of school to pick chillies with her mother. The work hurt her skin and eyes, and she was at risk of child marriage.

A Save the Children Community Worker encouraged her mother to let her return to school. Now, Sandhya's top of her class. And she's a passionate advocate for stopping child marriage – she even prevented one of her friends from being forced into it.

Education offers hope to kids whose worlds have turned upside down. And it’s a world of possibility for girls like Sandhya.

That’s why we’re working around the world to help children keep learning, making friends, and building their futures.

  • 124m children/young people have not started school or dropped out
  • Over a quarter of a billion children are out of school
  • 420m children will not learn the most basic skills.
  • 23% fail to reach expected levels of language development by 5
  • 1 in 3 children living in poverty fall behind with their education
  • 27% of children from poor families get 5+ good GCSE passes, compared to 55% of peers from wealthier families.

Here's a few of the things we're doing;

  • Child refugees: Working with the UNCHR & Pearson to shine a light on efforts to provide education
  • Families Connect:  Building on feedback from parents looking for support in literacy/language development, numeracy & emotional development
  • Girls’ education: Giving thousands of girls the support they need to stay in education in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the DRC.
  • Philippines: Giving parents the knowledge, skills & resources they need to support their child's early learning and development
  • Rwanda: Increasing the number of quality children’s books, starting reading clubs & supporting parents and teachers
  • Syria: Keeping children safe by helping them return to learning
  • UK: Putting childcare costs high on the political agenda & shining a light on the importance of a skilled early education workforce.

Related reports and blogs

Save our Education: Protect every child’s right to learn in the COVID-19 response and recovery
We are facing an education emergency. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 1.6 billion learners were out of school. For the first time in human history, an entire global generation has had their education disrupted.

Time to Act: Providing refugee children the education they were promised
This report shows that it is well within our means to provide a quality education to every last refugee child - by including refugees in national education systems, improving the quality of education for refugees and host community children and by allocating modest additional financing shown through our costings.

Lessons in Literacy: 8 principles to ensure every last child can read
Drawing on evidence from 35 programmes in 22 countries, this report sets out 8 principles for effective literacy action.

Read our blog: Close the financial gap to prevent irreversible impacts of lost learning

Find out more