Learning poverty affects almost 250 million children around the word, stifling their life chances. It is estimated that up to 80% of children in low-income countries remain unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of ten. We empower and upskill teachers so that more children will learn better.
We envisage a world where all children receive a quality education and maximise their full potential, allowing them to contribute to the sustainable development of their societies.
We promote quality education in lower-income countries by building teacher capacity and confidence through innovative, digital, high-impact training. Together with governments and local partners, we are transforming education and changing lives throughout the Commonwealth.
Formally known as the Commonwealth Institute, we are a well-established, leading charity that champions education across the Commonwealth. Today, our digital platforms reach teachers in underserved, often rural communities around the world; providing them with much needed, bite-size professional development courses. Click below to read more about our story.
First formed by royal charter in 1887, the Imperial Institute promoted closer links between the countries of the British Empire. It aimed to develop commercial and industrial resources and advance the commercial and industrial education of its people. It hoped to unite the citizens of the Empire.
In 1958, the Imperial Institute became the Commonwealth Institute, fostering greater awareness and understanding of the Commonwealth and its countries through exhibitions, educational and cultural activities.
The Commonwealth Education Trust was established as the successor trust to the Commonwealth Institute, with the exclusive purpose of advancing education in the Commonwealth.
Over our first ten years, we invested in long-term educational projects that encouraged innovation in education, and sharing of experience and best practice across the Commonwealth. We funded The Centre for Commonwealth Education, a ten-year collaboration with the University of Cambridge that built sustainable capacity and developed good practices in school leadership, pedagogical expertise, and initial and continuing teacher education.
Our innovation continued as an early Coursera partner, where we published our MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which provided much needed teaching materials to tackle global teacher shortages.
In alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education, we launched our Teach2030 programme for teachers in underserved communities.
Our innovative EdTech platform and courses combine meaningful technology with local support structures, helping teachers to develop their day-to-day foundational skills and digital competencies. This ultimately improves the learning outcomes of the children they teach.
We are proud to be part of the Commonwealth network of 54 member countries. We receive guidance on issues related to the Commonwealth through our three rotating Commonwealth Council Advisory Trustees. Alongside our highly experienced educational technology team, we are governed by our Trustee Board who are leaders in education, business, and philanthropy. We could not do our work without the significant financial and advisory support of our Founders Circle and extensive educational network.
As a UK-based charitable organisation with global reach, we are transparent and accountable to our donors and programme partners. Our most recent annual reports and independently audited financial statements are available here: