Changemaker Schools

What is the Ashoka Changemaker Schools Network?

A global network launched by Ashoka to identify, connect and support innovative schools around the world that are empowering young people by equipping them with core skills such as empathy, teamwork, leadership and creative skills which will enable them to work successfully in rapidly changing environments. These Changemaker skills will enable children to bring about a lasting change not just in their lives but also in their communities, organizations, society and wherever they are most needed as adults.

If you would like to nominate a potential Changemaker school, please send us information through this form, or reach out to for more details



Dragon SchoolIndependent Middle School (age 8 – 13), Oxford - Elected 2014

Dragon School recognizes that its students are likely to be influential. They are cultivating a generation of empathetic leaders by mobilising children’s natural curiosity and generosity of spirit. They engage every student to participate in social impact activities and become a visionary for the future of beneficial social transformation. Social impact principles are embedded across all subjects.



  • Organises student activities related to environmental sustainability – Green Dragons. 
  • Runs a whole school social enterprise – the Dragons Café. 
  • Implements a two-phase, co-curricular program in which students engage with social entrepreneurship and philanthropy – the Governors’ Challenge.

School21Free Primary and Secondary School (age 4-18), London - Elected 2014

School21’s approach is rooted in attributes to success – expertise (mastering the basics of learning), professionalism (being ready to learn), eloquence (finding your voice), grit (overcoming set-backs), spark (creating new things) and craftsmanship (making beautiful work). They focus on project-based learning and one-to-one coaching. Students engage in real-world learning through hands-on projects.


  • Implements a unique oracy curriculum focusing on the vitality of spoken communication – Voice21.
  • Encourages students to create, pitch and organize social change campaigns and projects – Project Unity.
  • Revises its curriculum every 6 weeks to account for project-based learning initiatives – for example, building an installation representing the First World War.

Matthew Moss High SchoolState Secondary School (age 11 – 18), Rochdale - Elected 2014

Matthew Moss High School facilitates social and emotional development alongside academics. They believe in students’ life-long and independent learning, meaningful contribution to society and exposure to systems thinking. They uphold a unique learning agenda through learner-led classrooms in which students co-construct their learning experiences. 


  • Implements a project-based curriculum in which students pursue independent learning on a subject - My World.
  • Implements a programme based on the belief that a more abstract academic language should be used - Breakthrough to Learning.
  • Uses the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to incorporate seven aptitudes: Learning Relationships, Changing and Learning, Critical Curiosity, Creativity, Strategic Awareness, Resilience and Making Meaning.

UWC Atlantic CollegeResidential Sixth Form College (age 16 – 19), South Wales - Elected 2014

UWC Atlantic College is the first of 14 United World Colleges around the world and a co-creator of the International Baccalaureate. They bring together diverse youth from over 90 countries to begin a lifelong pursuit of peace and social justice through dialogue, radical engagement and positive action. It focuses on social action, inter-cultural understanding and international participation.


  • Requires that students enroll in one community service faculty: Global, Social Justice, Environmental or Outdoor.
  • Organizes multiple extra-curricular conferences including outside speakers and workshops on, for example, sustainability, human interaction, or peace and conflict.
  •  Offers financial support for students to implement their own social projects internationally – GoMAD.

Victoria Park AcademyPrimary Academy (age 3 - 11), Birmingham - Elected 2014

Victoria Park Academy believes in implementing revolutionary education to achieve systemic change. Their approach focuses on social entrepreneurship. They also challenge their pupils to experience the two phases of learning – confusion and clarity. The school is an accredited De Bono Thinking School and has partnered with RIO (Real Ideas Organisation) to create its own social enterprise curricular. 


  • Implements the NICER© curriculum - challenge-based learning journey incorporating the Now, Independence, Creativity, Enterprise and local Region. 
  •  Uses the TASC wheels (Think Actively in a Social Context) in lessons. 
  •  Runs a whole school social enterprise – .

Barrowford Primary School: State School (age 4 - 11), Lancashire Elected 2015


Barrowford School’s mission “Learn to Love, Love to Learn” is reflected in their Rounded and Grounded curriculum. By emphasising the social, emotional, and metacognitive aspects of learning, the curriculum helps develop 'softer' skills as a route to attainment. They use a restorative approach to deal with behavior issues.


  • Works to develop an individual sociogram for each student.
  • Runs a school charity to engage students in community activities - Pendle Helping Hands. 
  • Provides staff with a space for developing students’ social, emotional skills and literacy - the ‘Nurture Room.’

Stanley Park High School: State High School (age 11-19) Surrey - Elected 2015

Stanley Park implements a project-based curriculum that focuses on learning outcomes and impact.  Learning is experiential, enquiry based, practical and related to real life. It takes place outside the classroom in custom-made spaces. In addition to exam results, students are encouraged to develop their ambition, commitment, resilience and perseverance, imagination and creativity, initiative and self-motivation, and optimism.


  • Fosters relationships between students and teachers by splitting the school into four “Small Schools.”
  • Pioneers the Excellent Futures Curriculum (EFC) to expose Year 7 and 8 students to REAL (Rigorous, Engaging, Authentic, Learning) world learning. 
  • Runs a direct mentoring programme between classmates through small vertical tutor groups. - Ballot Street Spice

The Spinney Primary School (age 3-11) Cambridge - Elected 2015

The Spinney School’s mission is "Teaching and Learning Together" and to develop the child intellectually, academically, physically, socially, emotionally, culturally and morally. They focus on exposing students to useful and purposeful environments, open channels of communication and empathic relationships. They encourage students to make human, mental and emotional connections through reading and writing.


  • Maintains a cross-sector partnership with arts organisations, schools, the Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council - My Cambridge. 
  • Uses LEGO therapy to support pupils with special needs.
  • Participates in Cambridgeshire wide collaborative, literacy projects - The Big Read and Write.

Millfields Community School (age 3-11) London - Elected 2015

Millfields has been an UNICEF beacon Rights Respecting School since 2004. They are diverse in terms of ethnical and cultural backgrounds40% of students don’t speak English upon enrolling into the school. They have specialist provisions for special educational needs, autism spectrum disorder and physical disabilities. They promote healthy living through Bike To School, Skip To Be Fit and lunches recognized by Jamie Oliver.


  • Supports students’ language abilities - partnered with the Hackney Speech and Language Therapy Team.
  • Holds thematic learning weeks on topics including democracy, the arts, and speaking and listening.

Sands School (age 11-17) Independant Democratic School, Devon - Elected 2015

Sands School is a self-governed, independent school that is co-created by children and adults. The school’s principle are based on a democratic ideology (everyone has an equal say). Pupils and staff share all decisions from curriculum direction and staff recruitment to finances. Students pursue their interests and chose when they want to study and sit exams. Day-to-day running of the school and key decision making processes are made in a weekly “School Meeting”.


  • Addresses problems with students or staff through an entire school community discussion.
  • Encourages close relationships between students and staff – there is no staff room.
  • Re-introduces practical life and entrepreneurship skills through project-based learning – student-run pop up restaurant.