ABOUT US

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.

ABOUT US

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.

OUR Vision

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.

OUR Mission

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.

OUR Values

EQUALITY
SUSTAINABILITY
INCLUSIVITY
PEDAGOGY AS THE DRIVER
TECHNOLOGY AS AN ENABLER
PARTNERSHIPS TO BUILD CAPACITY

OUR HISTORY

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.

OUR PEOPLE

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.

OUR FINANCES

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:

Board of Trustees

Jeff is the Head of Sustainability and a Partner at Slaughter and May, specialised in sustainability and corporate transactions. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Heartlands Academy in Haringey. He was, until 2020, co-chair of UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development.
Jeff Twentyman
Chairman
Betty has had a varied career working for several nonprofit organisations in events, project management, fundraising and business development. Originally from Cameroon, she enjoys engaging philanthropists, private investors and entrepreneurs with a common interest in improving the lives of others.
Betty Abeng
Trustee
Mark has worked as an adviser to private equity groups and investors for over 30 years. Mark founded merchant banking group Maizels Westerberg in 1992. He was Managing Director of Doughty Hanson, Chair of LM Glasfiber and started the African venture capital firm 8 Miles with Bob Geldof. Mark co-founded the think tanks The Centre for Social Justice and B Labs (UK). In March 2015, he was appointed to the board of the BBC. Mark was a member of the Prime Ministers G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force in 2014–2015. Mark currently serves as the Chairman & CEO of Time Partners, where he oversees all aspects of the business, leveraging his deep relationships with fund managers, thought leaders and private market experts across the world.
Mark Florman
Trustee
Alex is a strategy consultant with over a decade of experience in the education sector. Previously, he worked at the British Council as a Head teacher in the UK and Global Business Development Director in China. He is the author of two books, Lifting Our Heads, (2013) on school leadership; and Classroom In The Cloud: Seizing The Advantage In The Blended Learning Revolution(2014) on the importance to schools of developing a digital learning strategy. He believes that every human interaction in schools should have a learning outcome in order to create a slightly more perfect community moment by moment, and conversation by conversation.
Alex McGrath
Trustee
Andrew is a retired banker, who is now involved in several roles in education and support for disadvantaged children. He is also a trustee of Outward Bound, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and (until 2020) the Melanesian Mission. He is a governor of two academy schools in Hackney which are part of the Mossbourne Federation, and is chairman of its finance committee.
Andrew Cartwright
Trustee
Matthew is co-founder and MD of Whitebeam Strategy, a boutique corporate advisory firm specialising in the education, technology and financial services sectors. He advises clients on strategy, technology (especially data and analytics), mergers and acquisitions. He began his career as a strategy and technology analyst and has also worked as a teacher of English.
Matthew Dixon
Trustee

The Commonwealth Council Advisory Trustees

Under the Trust Deed the countries of the Commonwealth are members of the Commonwealth Education Trust’s Commonwealth Council.
We have three Advisory Trustees who rotate and advise the Trustee Board on matters relating to the Commonwealth. 
HE Mr Joseph Cole
His Excellency the High Commissioner to London for Malta
Philip Parham
The United Kingdom Commonwealth Envoy
 HE Yamina Karitanyi
Her Excellency the High Commissioner to London for Rwanda
 

Our Team

It was as a teacher in a very challenging environment where she discovered her real passion; meaningful education technology. The potential to significantly increase engagement and learning outcomes inspired her to work in this fast-paced space, across many countries gaining extensive experience in the deployment of international educational technology programmes. She believes in the power of teachers and the untapped potential of that resource that is in every classroom across the globe.
Kat Thorne
Executive Director
Over twenty years teaching ensures Eleanor has a true understanding of challenges faced by teachers, and what good classroom practice looks like in any setting worldwide. Her desire to support teachers in low-income countries means she has spent considerable time in schools, observing and discussing with teachers their classroom practice and how CPD materials could help.
Eleanor Sykes
Education Lead
Alexandra is an education, teaching and learning specialist, who is passionate about the English language. She supports content and course writing, editing, and proof-reading.
Alexandra Starr
Educational Advisor
Jess is a PR and communications expert supporting the recruitment and management of the recently launched Ambassador Programme for the Teach 2030 platform.
Jess Tomlinson
Teach2030 Ambassador Coordinator
Gill joined the Trust after a twenty-year career with a multi-national FTSE 100 company. She is an experienced company secretary and a trustee and treasurer of Scallywags Parent Partnership Nursery.
Gillian Young
Trust Secretary
Originally from South Africa, Ryk is a London-based platform developer who has been responsible for guiding Teach2030 platform development since its inception.
Ryk Melck
LearnDash Expert
Chaangu is a passionate education professional and former secondary school teacher based in Zambia, now working in education technology.
Chaangu Kashewe
Narrator
Adam is a proactive and talented marketeer who supports a range of marketing and technical tasks including the development of specific features of the Teach2030 platform.
Adam Barton
Marketing and Technical Advisor