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About Us
Photo courtesy of Building Tomorrow, Uganda

We believe that all children should have access to quality education.

Our mission

We aim to strengthen the education sector by working with non-state organisations in developing countries who are serving low-income families.

Photo courtesy of Collaborative Schools, Nepal

What We Do

We bring together a thriving global network that supports our members to deliver quality education and facilitate a more supportive policy and funding environment for the non-state sector to transform student outcomes.

We focus on four core activities to deliver this:

Networks and collaboration

We have assembled a top-class global network of individuals and organisations passionate about improving education for the poorest children. We create a rich environment for building meaningful relationships and finding solutions to challenges.

We hold Annual Meetings, bringing together leaders of schools and school networks, intermediary organisations, investors, donors and key stakeholders in the education sector to deepen relationships and engage in collaborative problem-solving, run study tours to deepen peer-to-peer learning and facilitate ongoing collaboration opportunities.

Expertise and knowledge

We provide expertise to our members by sharing best-practice information on relevant topics like child protection, curriculum, pedagogy, educational technology and school management. For example, we curated a Child Protection Toolkit which featured global experts and continue to support our members in this area. We compile databases of global Service Providers and Tools & Resources drawn from, and shared with, our members.

Shape and influence global dialogue

Through evidence-based communications, recognising non-state schools as key providers of education to the poor, we influence the reputation, funding and policy environment. We engage in education sector consultations influencing for example, the Human Rights Guiding Principles on Private Actors in Education Consultation, the USAID Draft Education Policy and the Global Education Monitoring report.

Data and Evidence

To improve rigour and transparency in the sector, we report on a set of basic metrics that members disclose.
We plan to administer our Annual Census to gather data on our member organisations including their scale, quality and impact. We hope this will contribute to a more transparent sector. We will also collate research, policy briefs and reports relating to the non-state sector to make it available for members.

Our Story

Non-state sector involvement in education is growing through a vibrant mix of non-profit, for-profit and faith-based organisations.

These schools can expand access and improve learning outcomes for some of the most marginalised children and those from low-income backgrounds.


Photo courtesy of SPARK, South Africa

Sustainable Development Goal #4

"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."

If we are serious about meeting this goal, the importance of non-state provision in education globally is simply too large to ignore.

Photo courtesy of Building Tomorrow, Uganda

263 million children are still out of school

Globally we have an education crisis.

1/4 children in low-income countries attend a non-state school

The non-state sector is able to help.

Photo courtesy of SPARK, South Africa

250 million children are in school but not learning

Sadly, learning outcomes are still extremely low across both private and state schools.
Photo courtesy of Buwasa Primary, Uganda

To change this, several passionate entrepreneurs have established innovative schooling models to deliver high-quality education at an affordable cost. Relationships and knowledge are essential to enable these pioneers to impact more children.

GSF exists to meet this need!

Our Team

GSF is managed professionally by a small but growing team based in the UK.
Aashti Zaidi Hai

Aashti Zaidi Hai has been leading GSF since its inception.

Prior to this role, Aashti oversaw a portfolio of education investments at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives.

She previously managed the education programme in India for the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). Aashti worked at the World Bank in Washington DC, where she coordinated EdStats, collecting and disseminating international data on over 150 education indicators.

Aashti graduated from Smith College and Georgetown University.

Keya Lamba
Programme Manager

Keya joined GSF as Knowledge Manager in 2018.

Prior to this role, Keya worked at Rocketship Public Schools, a network of charter schools in the US, focused on delivering quality education to children from low-income communities through a scalable and sustainable model in partnership with government. At Rocketship, she was part of the Personalised Learning Team providing support to their 16 schools across four regions.

Previously, she was part of the founding team starting up a new elementary charter school in San Francisco. Keya is a Teach for America alum and a certified teacher in California.

Keya graduated from UCLA with a degree in International Development Studies and Chinese.

Tanya Bownds
Senior Programme Manager

Tanya joined GSF as a Programme Manager in 2017.

Before joining GSF, Tanya worked for The Feast as their Development Manager, providing strategic support and management to a nationwide team. Prior to this, she worked for The Key Support Services, focusing on building the capacity of local government and academy trusts to support their school leaders and governors through provision of The Key’s services. She brings experience from the public, private and non-governmental sectors in strategic and delivery roles.

In addition, Tanya completed a Masters in International Child Studies at Kings College London where she researched the growth of the non-state education sector in Kenya and Uganda.

She also recently spent a year travelling across Central America and Africa.

Our Board

GSF reports to a Board which consists of representatives from each of our funders.
They advise us and ensure we remain faithful to our vision and mission.
Allison Rohner Lawshe
John Soleanicov
Michael Clark
Owen Henkel
Shikha Goyal