The UK Government is a world leader in funding global education to meet the challenge of Sustainable Development Goal 4, through the Department for International Development’s bilateral programs and support for the Global Partnership for Education.
Although there was an overall reduction in the percentage of ODA spent on education between 2011 and 2015 (spending in 2015 was particularly low at just 7.17% of all UK aid), in 2016, DFID’s spending on education increased to 11% of its overall budget. Education saw the steepest increase between 2015 and 2016, with spend increasing from £652 million to £964 million and reflecting in part the UK’s contribution to the Global Partnership for Education.
Since 2014, the department has supported the Global Partnership for Education. DFID provides this funding with the expectation that GPE will prioritise implementation funding to fragile states, deliver greater leadership on girls’ education and pay greater attention to the needs of marginalised children. With the UK’s support, GPE’s 5-year strategic plan includes a comprehensive results framework with 37 indicators, disaggregated by tracking factors associated with inclusion.
At the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, the UK government took a leading role in launching a new initiative – Education Cannot Wait. The initiative aims to reach more than 13.6 million children and youth living in crisis situations with quality education over the next five years and 75 million by 2030.
DFID also leads The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), which it launched in 2012. GEC aims to help up to a million of the world’s poorest girls to have an opportunity to improve their lives through education, as well as various programs in Pakistan, Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa.
In October 2017, the International Development Committee launched its report into DFID’s work on education, urging the UK Government to increase its spending on education and to prioritise early years education and education for displaced people and refugees.