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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Youth Youth

Support the right of every girl in the world to have 12 years of quality education

Last updated 3 years ago

We will stand up for the right of every girl in the world to have 12 years of quality education.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.53

Our verdict

  • This policy commits the UK government to supporting the right of all girls to 12 years of quality education.
  • The November 2020 Spending Review reduced overseas development aid (ODA) spending from 0.7% of gross national income down to 0.5%, a move condemned by five former prime ministers, nearly 200 charities, various leading academics, and the International Relations and Defence Committee, among many other groups and individuals. The government’s own newly created Special Envoy for Girls’ Education, Baroness Sugg, resigned from her post in protest at the cut to ODA. In a select committee hearing in April 2021, she told the Foreign Secretary that the ODA cuts meant a 40% reduction in funding for girls’ education. A policy paper on girls’ education published in May 2021 did not commit to any increase in spending, stating only a plan to return to the 0.7% rate “when the fiscal situation allows”.  In June 2021, the Prime Minister pledged £430 million to fund girls’ education, an announcement that was met with continued calls from aid agencies for a reversal of ODA cuts.
  • There are always questions and debate around funding levels and implementation of education assistance programmes, but given a 40% drop in spending on girls’ education, and widespread condemnation from prominent politicians, academics and charities of reductions in ODA and the negative impact on the world’s poor, this policy is ’broken’.

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.


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