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UK announces 50 per cent funding boost for schools in the developing world

Department for International Development’s new education plan includes focus on improving teacher quality

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Department for International Development’s new education plan includes focus on improving teacher quality

The government has pledged £225 million to support education in the developing world.

The money represents an almost 50 per cent increase in the UK’s contributions to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). 

The funding is part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) new education policy, which was announced today. It has three priorities:

  • Supporting efforts to drive up the quality of teaching in developing countries
  • Supporting education systems to stand on their own two feet, using resources effectively to ensure children learn
  • Prioritising children with disabilities, children affected by crises and hard-to-reach girls


The three years of funding will mostly be focused in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and aims to keep 880,000 children in school each year for three years, train 170,000 teachers, build 2,400 new classrooms and distribute more than 20 million new textbooks.

Funding boost for young people

In a statement, DFID said the money would “reduce the risk young people are forced to turn to crime or to search for a better life outside their own country – which directly impacts the UK”.

Ms Mordaunt said: “It’s a terrible waste of potential that half the world’s children leave primary school unable to read or write because the quality of teaching is so poor.

“We need an education revolution, but to succeed in tackling this global learning crisis, we will not just need to be open-hearted – we need to be hard-headed too.

“The UK will lead the way by supporting countries’ governments to fundamentally overhaul their education systems to make sure they can ultimately step up and provide a good education for their own people.

“All children deserve a decent education to make the most of their talents and to help lift themselves and their countries out of poverty – building a more prosperous and more stable future for us all.”

DFID said one-third of its pledge will be “conditional on GPE reorganising to focus on key improvements”.

It said these included making sure education systems are making better plans for teaching provision, improving methods for testing students’ progress, and making more grants conditional on countries raising teaching standards.

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