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Big Education Challenge – Live Video Podcast

Big Change’s brand new challenge prize – Big Education Challenge. The £1 million prize fund seeks to reward bold ideas with the potential to transform education. The Challenge is split into two prizes – the Groundbreaker Prize (for youth-led innovation from applicants aged 18-25 with a bold idea) and the Gamechanger Prize (for experienced innovators of any age with a track record of leading innovative approaches with social impact). The prize launched in November 2022 and applications will close in February 2023.

The prize was launched with new statistics from Big Change showing:

Key stats

• 65% of UK adults think that the education system doesn’t prepare young people for their futures

• 75% believe our country needs a bold, long-term vision for education that all parts of society have contributed to.

• 76% say that ideas about improving education need to come from grassroots communities including teachers, parents and students.

The new statistics reinforce the need for change – which is exactly what the Challenge hopes to achieve.

Caitlin Ross is Head of Impact for education charity Big Change. Caitlin leads on the identification, funding and support of Big Change’s pioneering project partners. She also leads on Big Change’s impact strategy, making sure they gather the insights we need to keep growing and learning, both as a charity and as a funder. Caitlin has a frontline background in microfinance and in youth work, working on the ground with organisations in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. She brings her experience delivering scalable, impact-focused interventions to Big Change’s grant giving and impact work to support pioneers who are helping young people thrive in life.

Liz Robinson is CEO of Multi-Academy Trust, Big Education.

Liz’s motivation comes from a profound belief that schools can play a transformative role in children’s lives, but also in shaping whole communities. Social justice and wider change underpin her views that school simply must be about the whole child, the whole family and the whole community.

As the head at Surrey Square for many years, Liz used values as a key driver to redefine the purpose of the school and radically reshape the culture and approaches. She is exceptionally proud of how the school continues to develop and innovate.

Liz has deep expertise and a particular interest in capacity development and growing leadership. Her philosophy is based on a client-centred approach, actively empowering others into thoughtful action. She created The Big Leadership Adventure, our flagship programme supporting changemaker leaders in the sector.

Liz co-founded Big Education to be a place where those who believe in more radical change in the sector can come together; to collaborate, share, challenge and encourage one another. Let’s do more, together.

As mum to two young girls, Liz works flexibly to manage her role. She advocates for and seeks to model an authentic, reflective and relational approach to leadership.



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