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We think global, but act local

We’re taking the best ideas from around the world and adapting them to solve UK issues, because we know that big change only happens if we do things differently.

We fund in the areas where there is critical need, where we can add value, and where there is an opportunity to bring about systemic change. Big Change back pioneers who have a vision and are already striving to deliver transformational change. Our project partners think big, take leaps and make things happen because they understand there’s no time to waste. Together, we can accelerate the change we all want to see to deliver a future in which all young people thrive.

We support project partners that are pre-start up or at small scale, but have the potential to scale nationally. As well as granting money, we are also committed to working alongside our project partners, to understand their needs and work collaboratively to help achieve them.



We specialise in three areas of development:

1. Creating conditions for impact and learning

We support our project partners to be set up to gather the insights and information necessary to demonstrate the importance of their work, and generate learnings not just for themselves but for the sector as a whole.

2. Driving demand and visibility

We support project partners to boost their profile within the education and learning space, and help them leverage their impact and insights to increase the sector’s demand for their interventions.

3. Building a wider network of support

Through helping project partners clearly articulate their impact and boost the visibility of and demand for their intervention, we look to set them up to widen their network of supporters – including other funders.

2019 Focus areas

Early development & parents

The right support before the age of five is critical; any gaps at this age will only widen as time goes on. Children who qualify for free school meals arrive at primary school four months behind their peers; by the time they leave secondary school that attainment gap is 18 months.

That’s why we back projects that target early years education, including helping parents provide an emotionally safe, cognitive-stimulating environment at home to support early childhood development and have a positive impact on future academic success.

Inclusion as strength

Exclusion from school leaves young people vulnerable research suggests formal school exclusions are higher among those who most need the support of an inclusive, mainstream learning ecosystem. Young people often feel excluded in other ways in our constantly changing world, with mental ill health, isolation and loneliness on the rise.

We want to strengthen inclusion by creating a system that is responsive to the needs of all children to give them the support they need to thrive in the world and shape a better future.

Teachers & leaders as agents of change

Teachers and school leaders are often the agents of change our learning ecosystem so urgently needs. Yet teachers are leaving the profession in increasing numbers, recruitment targets are routinely missed and many that stay say they feel demoralised, under-valued and over-worked.

We’re working to understand the culture, leadership and environment that will empower teachers to be agents of positive change and deliver a broader education that allows all young people to thrive.

Previous focus areas


Around 50% of pupils from areas of socio-economic deprivation enter schools with language skills below those expected for their age, while 57% of teachers say they have not received any training in oracy. Half of surveyed employers say they are ‘not satisfied’ with school leavers’ skills in communication. Oracy has a unique potential to leverage positive change for all young people, irrespective of their circumstances, age or background.

Teachers Thriving

Most of us can recall our favourite teachers and how they impacted our experience of school for the better. We all know just how important teachers are. But 40% of new teachers leave the profession within five years of qualifying and they are fast becoming the most stressed workforce in the country. This means that our children are losing talented individuals who genuinely want to make a big difference to young lives.



Focus area:

Apply For Funding

We focus on projects with the potential to resolve issues that prevent young people from thriving and realising their full potential. We are currently taking funding applications in the following issues areas: Early Development Inclusion as Strength Teacher and Leader Agency Do you have a big idea? Find out if your project is eligible for Big Change support.

Apply for Funding