Big Education Challenge

Bold ideas to transform learning

We are so excited to introduce you to the winners and runners up in our first ever Big Education Challenge. These inspiring innovators are collectively addressing issues that matter to many thousands of young people across the country; food insecurity; climate anxiety; special educational needs and disability.

The winners and runners up are thinking bigger than the school day and the school setting, and using innovative approaches to transform education and learning in the UK. Their projects are still at the early stage of development and with our funding and support they will pilot their ideas over two years.

“In launching the Big Education Challenge, we called for ideas that could help transform education and learning and the winners are doing just that. They are challenging assumptions about what education is for, about who gets to lead change, and the nature of the solutions needed.

They have turned their experience into insight and action – testing and bringing their ideas to life. Change takes brave and passionate people working together to make it happen. We can’t wait to see the impact they will have on this and future generations.”

Essie North, CEO, Big Change

About The Big Education Challenge

We launched the Big Education Challenge in 2022, a £1m prize fund to support and reward bold ideas with the potential to transform education and learning in the UK.

The Challenge was created to give both young people and experienced innovators in the UK the support and funding they need to bring their ideas to life, and to show a new way is possible.

We had over 280 submissions from which we selected 15 brilliant finalists with the help from 100 exceptional judges. The finalists, 13 of whom are aged between 18 and 25, surfaced some of the most pressing issues young people face in education today.

The finalists’ learning and support journey

Between May and November 2023, we partnered with The Young Foundation to support the finalists to develop their projects through a bespoke learning and support programme that included peer learning and one-to-one coaching. At the end of this programme, with the help of expert judges, we chose the winning projects. 

The winners and runners up are still at the early stage of development, and will use the funding and support to pilot their ideas over two years.  While these projects are at an early stage, these leaders and their ideas have the potential to impact tens of thousands of young people across the UK.

Meet the Big Education Challenge Judges



We are grateful to our network of philanthropists, trusts and foundations for making the Big Education Challenge a success. The Big Education Challenge £1m prize fund has been made possible by a generous community of philanthropists, trusts and foundations. Big Change relies on voluntary donations to be able support bold ideas and act as a catalyst to transform education and learning. You can support our work by making a donation.

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