Reaction to UK pledge at Global Partnership for Education Conference

In reaction to the UK Government’s pledge at the Global Partnership For Education conference in Dakar, Send My Friend to School released the following statement:

Over 300,000 young people from across the UK – from Orkney to the Isle of Wight – have campaigned tirelessly with the Send My Friend Campaign over the last year to call on the UK government to play its part and invest in education for the world’s poorest children. Today the UK government announced that over the next three years it will provide £225 million in funding to the Global Partnership for Education– the world’s only organisation dedicated solely to improving education in poor countries. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, we believe it falls short of the ambition necessary to tackle the growing crisis in global education.

 Together, we called for the UK to pledge $500 million (approximately £360m). Therefore, whilst we welcome the government’s commitment announced today, we believe a higher pledge would have sent a strong signal of the UK’s commitment to leading the world in tackling the global  learning crisis. It is undoubtedly commendable that the UK has maintained their position as one of the largest donors to GPE, and that their pledge of £225 million is an almost 50% increase in comparison to the current annual contribution. But it has not gone far enough and in the process has missed an important opportunity –  which in real terms means less children in school, less teachers trained and less textbooks provided.

 The UK has been a leader on global education and we urge the Government to remain committed to improving the learning of the world’s poorest children. Every day that we wait we are missing out on educating the future leaders of tomorrow.