1 Million Fund For Innovators With Ideas To Replace Education
£1 Million Fund For Innovators With Ideas To Replace Education
Today, a £1 million gift fund was launched to recognize bold ideas with the potential to transform education and learning in the UK as new research reveals that two thirds (64%) of 18-25 year olds feel that educational methods do not prepare them for live or work. The Big Education Challenge is run by Big Change, a charity that catalyzes change in education by supporting new initiatives that plan students to thrive in life, not just trials.
This launch coincides with the release of new research that reveals how young people (18-25 years) feel failed by educational systems that do not adequately plan for their future, or put their needs first. Three-quarters (73%) of young people think that school lessons do not reflect what they expect and need to understand for their lives.
The data shines a light on the need for new models and innovation in education as nearly eight in ten British adults (76%) believe teachers should be given the time, resources and support to introduce new learning approaches that can work for their students.
Seven in ten (71%) of adults in the UK think the government has failed to capitalize on opportunities to replace education post-pandemic, but change is still needed, and three quarters (75%) think our country needs a bold long-term vision for education that can contributed by all resident chapters.
Meanwhile, it is observed that the school system is unable to adequately support those facing challenges, as 61% of British adults stated that the current educational system does not adequately cater to students with special educational needs and 64% believe that the educational system when this doesn’t adequately serve students struggling with their mental health.
The Big Education Challenge will draw on more than a decade of experience from Big Change and the first-hand experience of young people and social entrepreneurs to help transform education and learning for the long term.
Holly Branson, Trustee and Founder of Big Change says: “The future of young people will involve constant adaptation and discovery – in environments and work tasks we can barely imagine today. Teachers do a great job every day in the classroom, but broader educational methods that don’t change much over a period leave far too many young people behind or left behind.
“That is why it is so important that we undertake work towards transforming educational methods, and why, above all, we hope the Big Education Challenge will attract social innovators from education and beyond with the bold inspirations that have the potential to replace them.”
The Big Education Challenge consists of two prizes:
· Breaker Prize (up to £300,000) for young people aged 18-25 with a bold idea or new project.
o Up to 10 finalists will be awarded a grant of up to £10,000 to further develop and test their ideas.
o One of these finalists will be up for £50,000 to fully test their inspiration, with up to two runners up receiving £25,000 each.
o In addition, finalists will benefit from a generous £100,000 allowance to develop and test their new ideas before final judging.
Game Changing Prizes
(up to £700,000) for individuals with a track record of leading innovative projects or approaches with positive social effects.
o Up to five finalists will receive a grant of £50,000 to further develop and test their ideas.
o One of these finalists will win £200,000 to fully test their idea, with the two runners up earning £150,000 and £50,000 respectively.
o In addition, finalists will benefit from a £50,000 expert contribution to develop and test their ideas prior to final judging.
This challenge will support bold new inspirations that support young people to develop and plan them for their future. These may include ways to make learning more inclusive, relevant and enjoyable, new projects that offer more of the right to education to young people and teachers, ways to integrate learning and evaluation, and involving the wider population in supporting education and learning.
Caireen Goddard, Senior Director of Impact at Big Change said: “Our research reinforces the view that our outdated, one-size-fits-all practices need to change, and that change must be led by the people who know best the methods.
“That is why we launched the Big Education Challenge – to catalyze and accelerate shifts in education, and we believe that bold new ideas can come from opposing people and areas. This challenge will help reach a more diverse range of innovators – with different life experiences, careers and areas of ability – to set new ideas and projects that offer new ways things are possible. We need to direct our perceptions towards long-term educational transformation, not piecemeal reforms. And transformation only happens when you transfer power.”
Entries must be submitted by midnight on 8 February 2023. Finalists for both prizes will be announced in early March 2023.
For more information and to find out how to enter prizes, visit
About Big Changes
Big Change’s vision is to envision a society where everyone young is made to rise in life, not just trials. As a UK-based charity, we act as a catalyst for transforming education and learning. We do work in partnership to understand, advocate for, and open support for transformation, working at the grassroots and the grassroots, locally, nationally, and globally. In the UK we concentrate on two areas of work: The Big Education Challenge – a £1 million prize fund to support and reward bold ideas with opportunities to transform education and learning, and the Big Education Conversation, which supports inclusive conversations about educational goals in order to shape vision and new ideas for change.
About the challenge gift format
· Challenge rewards have been shown to encourage new learning and reward the best solutions, wherever they come from, regardless of how they work. They go beyond the usual suspects and reach innovators that no other funding mechanism has.
· The challenge of encouraging people with inspirations rooted in their own life experiences about why education and learning need to change.
· Prizes will include financial and non-financial loans, for example training, skills development, expert advice, up to 15 finalists to share further and test their ideas before final evaluation.
· The Big Education Challenge was designed and executed by UK-based charity Big Change. Big Change is working as a catalyst to change the way education and learning work.
· The Big Education Challenge has been co-designed with young people (via the Big Change Youth Advisory Group), with sector and prize design experts.
· Youth will continue to guide and shape the Challenge throughout its delivery, including as part of the judging process.
· In the pilot year (’22/’23), Big Change and partners committed to learning from what worked in the design and delivery of the Big Education Challenge, and adapting its approach accordingly.
Between November 1 and 3, Opinium surveyed a representative sample of 2,000 people nationwide. Of the sample, 265 are aged between 18-25.
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