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Outcomes map: Education and learning

Education is fundamental to future success. In this document, we break down the outcomes and indicators which can be used by social investors, charities, funders and social enterprises to measure the success of an intervention in education.

Education: the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding to put individuals in a position to succeed in personal relationships and in society. Education is a process of personal and social enrichment. Studies have linked formal education with future earnings, health and happiness, making it an important mean of personal fulfilment and socio-economic mobility.

Education in the UK is dominated by the activities of government, with schools, colleges and universities all funded by the tax payer. Expenditure by the Department for Education accounts for 5.8% of GDP, or £90bn. Education is seen by government as an investment, creating a skilled workforce that will yield returns in the future and which is an asset of increasing importance in a global economy. The education system is also at the heart of modern democracy. School is the most important shared experience of our lives and can be a source of common understanding between diverse groups. Notions of citizenship and community safety are important aspects and products of universal access to education.

School is the most important shared experience of our lives and can be a source of common understanding between diverse groups.

Charities are involved in education in three main ways: to provide services in addition or complementary to those offered by the state; to help individuals access services offered by the state; and to influence policy or change attitudes. Charities also run schools in the case of independent schools, schools for young people with special educational needs, and trust schools.

About the outcomes maps

This is one of 13 outcomes maps produced by NPC in partnership with the SROI Network, Investing for Good and Big Society Capital. Each map examines a particular issue area or domain, and aims to document the relevant outcomes and indicators that are currently being measured by charities, government, academics and practitioners working in this field.

Click here to see all the titles in the series.

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