Promising Practices in Refugee Education

Save the Children, UNHCR and Pearson, 2017


This report synthesizes key findings and lessons learned from a 2017 joint initiative by Save the Children, UNHCR and Pearson to identify, document and promote innovative ways to effectively reach refugee children and young people with quality educational opportunities. Half of the world’s refugees are children. Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children: only 50 percent of refugee children are in primary school, 22 percent in secondary school and only 1 percent enter tertiary education. The report includes brief summaries of 20 projects (for which detailed case studies are available online at, with promising practices. The report outlines recommendations aimed at improving refugee education policy and practice, specifically:

  • Approaching the immediate crisis with a long-term perspective by: (1) strengthening inclusive national systems; (2) committing to predictable multi-year funding for education programming and research in refugee responses; and (3) improving collaboration and developing innovative partnerships.
  • Understanding different contexts and meeting distinct needs by: (4) adopting user-centered design and empowering approaches; (5) establishing diverse pathways that meet distinct needs; and (6) using space and infrastructure creatively.
  • Improving outcomes for all by: (7) supporting teachers to help ensure quality; (8) prioritizing both learning and wellbeing; (9) using technology as an enabling tool; and (10) building a robust evidence base.