Calling all teachers and students! Join the #UpForSchool campaign now

Gordon Brown, Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Are you a teacher or a student? Do you know a teacher or student? You do? Then you have the chance to help change the lives of children across the world.

You can be part of a growing movement that is working to ensure that every girl and boy, no matter where they’re born, gets the education they need to thrive.

A World at School has made a special pack to encourage teachers and their students to join the #UpForSchool campaign. We’ve brought together powerful stories, well-designed resources and brilliant drawings by renowned author and illustrator Nick Sharratt to ensure children who are in school have a chance to speak out for children who aren’t.

Click here to find out more about our Teacher’s Pack – and then share the link with any teachers or school staff you know.

The #UpForSchool Petition – a youth-led demand that world leaders keep their promise to get every child into school – already has five million signatures. Our message has been taken to the Pakistani Prime Minister, United Nations experts in New York and to the headquarters of powerful businesses such as Facebook.

Now it’s time to make sure that every school has a teacher who knows about our campaign and is ready to spread the word to the best education campaigners of all – children themselves.

As we mark #WorldBookDay today we should take a moment to imagine those who will never experience the joy of reading a book because they’re unable to make sense of the words on the page. Currently there are 58 million children starved of the chance to learn how to read and write because of the barriers to getting an education.

A World at School Campaigns Director Ben Hewitt said: “It’s not just the chance to change the world that’s getting schools and teachers excited about this campaign. We’re planning to make the #UpForSchool Petition the world’s largest ever petition – and these packs give schools the chance to be part of that world-record breaking attempt.”

Download the Teacher’s Pack here.

One school that has already got #UpForSchool fever is Kelvin Hall School in Hull, England. In November 2014, students travelled to London for the UK launch of the #UpForSchool Petition. They were so inspired by the event that they took the petition back to their school and started gathering signatures straight away. Very quickly they had collected 1000 signatures – the first British school to reach that target.

Two of the Kelvin Hall students then returned to London to hand over their signatures at a special meeting with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education. Emily Foreman, 15, and Josue Kiyabala, 14, also interviewed them at the House of Commons.

After they returned to Hull, Emily and Josue wrote about their experience. Here are their stories:


Emily and Josue with teacher Oliver Wilsea at our London office

Getting the train down to London on a Wednesday morning is not a normal occurrence for me. Saying that, it’s not often I have an interview with the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and a Nobel Peace Prize winner scheduled in my diary either.

On the train, I discussed the questions I was going to ask them both with my maths teacher Mr Wilsea. Thinking about some of the issues associated with the questions, it really reminded me of how beneficial and safe the education I’m given is to me.

I find London very different to my home city of Hull. It’s much busier and far bigger! It was really nice to be able to meet some of the #UpForSchool team in person. I felt really proud when I was asked about Kelvin Hall School.

Coming out of the underground station at Westminster was an experience I’ll never forget. I looked at the Houses of Parliament and got a real buzz for the day ahead!

Meeting Gordon Brown and Kailash Satyarthi was fantastic. It was a great feeling being able to chat to them about how we collected 1000 signatures.

Download the Teacher’s Pack here.

From talking to them also, it’s brilliant to know as well that something is being done to help the most vulnerable young people in the world. Being part of #UpForSchool feels really positive because it feels like I’m part of a big group of people pushing for something that will make the world a much better place.

I hope that the word spreads and more people in more countries sign the petition. The event made me even more keen as an #UForSchool activist – I’m now going to try and collect even more signatures from people in Hull. The whole day was one I’ll certainly cherish for the rest of my life.


Emily and Josue meet Kailash Satyarhti and Gordon Brown

This was an enormously proud and enjoyable day for me. I can say without any doubt that having to wait for the 5:20am Hull to London train in the freezing cold was completely worth it!

Meeting both Gordon Brown and Kailash Satyarthi was a huge honour. As soon as we were introduced, my nerves were settled. They were both extremely welcoming and thanked me for the support I’ve given to #UpForSchool.

Download the Teacher’s Pack here.

It felt a real privilege to then have the chance to discuss global educations matters with them. As an #UpForSchool activist myself, it was an honour to be chosen to ask them various questions on behalf of other young education campaigners from all around the world.

The interview we did was like nothing else I have ever done before. It felt great asking such important questions to two people who are right at the forefront of the cause and who are quite clearly dedicated and passionate about it. They both seem immensely committed to bringing about the change which so many of us think is necessary and right.

Kelvin Hall School students with Sarah Brown at the #UpForSchool UK campaign launch in London

Going over the various issues currently affecting children in other countries reminded me of why I got involved in the campaign it the first place. Some of the answers from Gordon and Kailash highlighted exactly how unfair it is that some children have to go to school in fear of their lives whilst others have to pay fees their parents can barely afford.

After the interview, I handed over the 1000 signatures from my school to Kailash for a photograph to mark the 1.5 million signature milestone – a moment I’ll never forget!

It was really nice to have the chance to chat to them both afterwards too, as well as to others from the #UpForSchool team. I’ve never felt like being part of something as huge as this up until now. The whole day made me even more proud of the fact that my school has helped towards getting to this stage. I hope other schools will now come together also and stand up for the millions of children who are without education or discriminated against.

You can make your voice heard and join the growing movement. Sign the #UpForSchool Petition now.

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