Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Brown launches fund to boost education in the Commonwealth [March 2002]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 12 March 2002.

The Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF), officially launched today by the Chancellor Gordon Brown to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee year, will help Commonwealth developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in education so that every child in the Commonwealth completes a primary education by 2015.

At present, 75 million primary school-age children in the Commonwealth do not attend school.

In the presence of Her Majesty The Queen at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in London, the Chancellor outlined his plans for the CEF.  Mr Brown’s speech followed an earlier visit to Allfarthing Primary School in Wandsworth which is ?twinned? with the Presbyterian Experimental Primary in Tamele, Northern Ghana.  Accompanied by television personality Davina McCall, a supporter of Comic Relief, and Mike Aaronson, Director General of Save the Children, the Chancellor spoke to the children about their links with the school in Ghana and saw for himself the benefits of the ‘twinning’ programme.

The Chancellor announced that:

  •  Sir Edward George, Governor of the Bank of England, will chair the Fund;
  •  ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children will jointly administer the majority of CEF resources through a strategic fund.

Alongside the £10 million Government commitment to the fund, money raised by business will be matched pound for pound by the Government; the Government will also match pound for pound funds raised for education in Commonwealth developing countries by Comic Relief’s Sport Relief.

While most of the funds from the CEF will be invested in expanding access to education in the Commonwealth’s poorest countries, the Government will also expand its work to develop links between schools in Commonwealth countries and the UK, to raise children’s development awareness.