Every child has the right to go to school and learn.

Every child in the world has the right to a free and quality education. But more than 260 million children and young people are out of school, and many of them will never get an education.

By 2030 ensure every child completes free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.

 What is the issue?

In September 2016, the high-powered Education Commission, made up of a distinguished group of global leaders, academics, business leaders and economists, warned that global education is in a critical state.

It reported that:

  • Twice as many girls as boys will never start school
  • By 2030, 825 million children in low and middle-income countries will not get the basic secondary-level skills they need for the jobs market
  • By 2030, 228 million children will not be in school
  • 400 million will leave school without primary-level qualifications

The commission has come up with a plan to create the Learning Generation by 2030, the first generation where every child is in school and learning. This can be achieved by transforming the performance of education systems, unleashing innovation, prioritising inclusion of all children, expanding financing and motivating all countries.

How are we fighting for this cause?

All over the world young people, government officials, faith leaders and others are working to make sure every child has the chance to get a quality education.

With several programmes of research, pilot projects and worldwide campaigns, Theirworld and the A World at School global movement of supporters are working together to make sure every child has the right to a safe, free and quality education.

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  • Explainers

    A World at School

    Learn more about A World at School, the global movement that unites people who believe every child deserves to go to school.

    Child labour

    Learn what child labour is and why it affects millions of children all over the world. The work that children do may prevent them from going to school, it may be hazardous, illegal or affect their physical and mental well-being.

    Child marriage

    Learn what child marriage is and why it is a global problem. Understand how it can disrupt girls' educations and the steps that can be taken to tackle the issue.

    Child nutrition (early childhood development)

    An explanation of child nutrition and how it contributes to allowing children's brains and bodies to develop properly.

    Child soldiers

    Those under 18 who are used in the military, whether as fighters or in some other role, are known as child soldiers. Conscripts are denied the opportunity of education.

    Child trafficking

    Find out about the extent of child trafficking and the steps that are being taken to address it.

    Children with disabilities

    Children with disabilities are more likely to miss out on school than other children - and about global commitments to overcome the barriers and give inclusive education to all children.

    Early childhood development

    Learn about how early childhood development supports children’s nurturing care and development from birth to age five- and how Theirworld is campaigning for urgent action to make sure all children have access to the full range of nurturing care.

    Education Cannot Wait fund

    The Education Cannot Wait fund is the first global fund to give vital support to children who are affected by humanitarian emergencies including conflicts, natural disasters and other crises. All children have the right to receive an education, including those in emergencies.

    Education Commission

    Find more information about the structure, objectives and work of the Education Commission.

    Education funding

    Why there is a global gap in education funding and how this threatens the goal of all girls and boys getting a quality primary and secondary education.

    Education in emergencies

    Find out why education is vital to millions of children affected by humanitarian emergencies across the world.

    Education Youth Ambassadors

    Learn about who the Education Youth Ambassadors are and what they do to achieve the aim of good quality education for all children in Pakistan.

    Girls' education

    Discover more about the barriers - such as child marriage and cultural discrimination - that stop millions of girls from going to school.

    Global Business Coalition for Education

    About the Global Business Coalition for Education, which brings the business community together to accelerate progress in delivering quality education to all children and youth.

    Global Faiths Coalition for Education

    Learn more about the work of the Global Faiths Coalition for Education (GFC Education)

    Global Youth Ambassadors

    Global Youth Ambassadors are a worldwide network of over 900 young people in more than 90 countries who are supporting the movement to get every child into school and learning.

    Health and education convergence

    Learn about health and education convergence, where the idea came from and how it works in practice.

    Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations

    On 12 July 2013, Malala Yousafzai spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. It was her first public speech, leading the first ever Youth Takeover of the UN, with an audience of over 500 young education advocates from around the world. Malala's advocacy has since grown into an international movement.

    Refugees and internally displaced people

    Refugees and internally displaced children often do not have access to education or schools. This page defines the difference between refugees and internally displaced people, and describes several ways they may be supported.

    Right to education

    Find out what we mean by the right to education and how important it is that every child is able to get a quality education without discrimination.

    Safe Schools

    Learn about why Safe Schools are important and the measures put in place to help children continue their education during crisis, conflict or after a natural disaster.

    Safe Schools Declaration

    Learn about the Safe Schools Declaration and how it aims to protect students, teachers and education facilities during times of armed conflict.

    Street children

    How children end up on the streets, what that means for their lives and why specific approaches are needed to help them get into learning.

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean for Theirworld as a set of global commitments to end poverty, protect the planet and promote peace.

    Teachers and learning

    The world needs 25.8 million more teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2030. How can this be achieved?

    Technology and education

    Technology offers new learning opportunities for everyone - and children must be learning the digital skills needed for future jobs.

    United Nations General Assembly

    Find out how Theirworld is involved with the United Nations General Assembly, where the countries of the world debate and agree decisions on global issues.


    Learn how the #UpForSchool Petition gathered more than 10 million signatures and now continues to raise awareness for children and young people's rights.

    What is advocacy?

    Learn what advocacy is and how it can be used for positive change. Find out how to go about becoming an advocate.

    Related Campaigns

    See all campaigns
    #YouPromised campaign

    #YouPromised campaign

    Help us to keep pressure on world leaders to deliver their promise to fund education for one million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. If they are not in school, they are at risk of child labour, child marriage and exploitation.
    #RewritingTheCode campaign

    #RewritingTheCode campaign

    Help us to change the attitudes that prevent girls from going to school. We need to give them access to technology to increase their learning opportunities and help them fulfil their potential.
    #UpForSchool campaign

    #UpForSchool campaign

    The #UpForSchool campaign urged people to tell world leaders to keep to their promise to get every child a primary school education by the end of 2015. The #UpForSchool petition collected more than 10 million signatures and was delivered to the United Nations.
    Make Impossible, Possible

    Make Impossible, Possible

    Every child has a dream. Without education, millions of them are impossible. But there is an idea big enough to make the impossible possible. The new International Finance Facility for Education could generate more than $10 billion in funding for education. Let's #MakeImpossiblePossible.

    Related Projects

    See all projects
    Code Clubs

    Code Clubs

    Code Clubs are spaces where girls can learn about technology and develop their skills, confidence and creativity. The clubs help girls to build skills they need in a technology-driven economy and to be aware how critical thinking and leadership can be applied in their own communities.​
    Schools in Turkey

    Schools in Turkey

    The aim of Theirworld's pilot projects in Turkey are to identify cost-effective interventions to get around the economic, cultural and language barriers that prevent Syrian refugees from getting an education.
    Schools in Lebanon

    Schools in Lebanon

    Theirworld has been working in Lebanon to expand access to education through research, advocacy and campaigning, tackling the impact of the conflict in Syria which has left more than one million refugee children out of school.
    Child marriage-free zone

    Child marriage-free zone

    By 2016 this project directly benefitted over 900 girls and women in Pakistan alone. The project empowered youth groups to campaign against child marriages, training marriage registrars on the issue and creating an online resource for information on the issue.