24 April 2020

The Right to Education Initiative (RTE) is seeking new trustees with relevant skills and expertise to join our international Board of Trustees and help us to achieve our objectives. This is an opportunity for those with an interest in the right to education to join the organisation at an exciting time in its development. As a trustee, you will play an important role in helping us to realise our new three-year strategy. 

Trustees are welcomed from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and experiences.The Right to Education Initiative aims for a diverse board to represent its different constituencies and make its work more effective. Such diversity includes, but is not limited to, gender and geography. 

What are we looking for?

At this time, we would particularly welcome individuals with expertise in the following specific areas, to complement and strengthen the work of our existing Board:

  • Fundraising and organisational development background 
  • Human resources experience supporting small organisations and international charities

In addition to these specific areas, all candidates should have:

  • A strong commitment to promote and defend the right to education
  • A willingness to support a small newly independent organisation
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • A clear understanding of trustees’ governance role and responsibilities
  • Ability to work well as part of a team
  • Commitment and capacity to attend Board and other meetings as required

What is involved?

In addition to their governance responsibilities trustees can support the Right to Education Initiative in many ways. This can include providing staff with both fundraising and strategic advice with respect to the development of concrete projects. Trustees also play a key role in defining the Right to Education Initiative’s three-year strategic plan, select membership of the organisation’s Network of Advisers and its fundraising strategy. 

The Right to Education Initiative is at an exciting stage of its development as it defines its new strategic plan building on past achievements. As a member of the Board of Trustees, you will have an important role to play in supporting the Right to Education Initiative’s next phase of development, and supporting the organisation’s team to establish a robust, sustainable fundraising plan, and to solidify its human resources processes. 

Time Commitments

The Board of Trustees, together with the Right to Education Initiative’s Director, currently meets four times a year normally for about 2-3 hours. In addition, trustees meet for a longer annual meeting. These meetings are organized around trustee availability. Trustees can also provide advice and support outside meetings depending upon capacity and organisational priorities.


As the Right to Education Initiative is a UK-based charity, with permanent location in London, we encourage applications from those based in the United Kingdom. However, to reflect the global nature of our work, we also welcome those based in other locations, and can accommodate remote participation. 

Conditionsto be a trustee

You must be at least 16 years old. 

  • Some people are disqualified by law from acting as charity trustees. Subject to waiver provisions, this includes anyone who:
  • has an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception
  • is currently declared bankrupt (or is subject to bankruptcy restrictions or an interim order) or has an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) with creditors
  • is disqualified from being a company director
  • has previously been removed as a trustee by either the commission or the High Court due to misconduct or mismanagement

About the Right to Education Initiative 

The Right to Education Initiative (RTE) is a global human rights organisation focusing on the right to education. Established in 2000 by the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Katarina Tomaševski, RTE was re-launched in 2008 as the 'Right to Education Project', a collaborative initiative supported by ActionAid International, Amnesty International, Global Campaign for Education, Save the Children, and Human Rights Watch. Since May 2017 the Right to Education Initiative is a charity registered in England and Wales with the charity number 1173115.

We stand for the full recognition of education as a human right, essential for the wellbeing and development of every individual, regardless of their status and circumstance over their life course. This commitment is underpinned by the principles of universality, indivisibility and interdependence. We recognise that education is key for the realisation of other rights and for building societies where respect for human rights, tolerance, inclusivity and diversity are valued. 

RTE promote education as a human right, striving for a world where everyone, without discrimination of any kind, can fully enjoy the right to education in all its dimensions. We do this by advocating for states to both legally commit to and implement the right to education - to make it a reality for all. In so doing we also seek to ensure that governments are held accountable for meeting their human rights obligations. We believe that human rights law can be a powerful tool for lasting change. We seek to empower all rights-holders to claim and enforce their right to education, by making law accessible and usable including through online resources. We also work at the frontiers of the right to education, breaking new ground and helping to clarify and deepen understanding and action on critical emerging issues.

RTE builds bridges between diverse fields (human rights, education and development), stakeholders, (including civil society organisations, international organisations, academics, and states) and diverse language communities (including English, French, Spanish and Arabic). We link global, national and local research and evidence-based policy dialogue to campaigning and advocacy with the aim of accelerating progress towards the realization of the right to education for all through positive and concrete changes on the ground.

RTE is a small and agile organisation which combines being a definitive reference point on the right to education and being a cutting-edge actor addressing current and emerging education issues. We play a dynamic and catalytic role to influence the changes needed in law, practice, and societal attitudes, to advance the right to education.


How to Apply

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee of the Right to Education Initiative, please apply by June 4, 2020 by sending your CV and a cover letter to jobs@right-to-education.org, in which you should indicate:

  • Your interest in the right to education, and what you would hope to contribute as a trustee of the Right to Education Initiative.
  • Any particular experience you have in governance in a charity, private or public body.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview with the Board of Trustees. 

Should you have any questions, please send them to jobs@right-to-education.org.


Key Examples of the RTE’s work

  • Right to Education Online Monitoring Guide

The Right to Education Initiative has been at the forefront of work on right to education indicators since 2008, both through the development of indicators and their application to the development of key tools and guides. This work culminated in the release of the Right to Education Monitoring Guide and Indicators Selection Tool in 2016, which allow users to systematically monitor education issues from a human rights perspective. Together they offer users an unrivalled understanding of the monitoring process: from research design, collecting relevant data, interpreting that data, making strong policy recommendations, to successful advocacy. The Right to Education Initiative’s guide has been used to support monitoring projects relating to education under attack in Ukraine, inequalities in higher education in France, the right of pregnant girls in Kenya and for education sector analysis by the UNESCO International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) in Buenos Aries.

  • The Abidjan Principles

In partnership with four other human rights organisations, RTE has been leading the development of the Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education. These principles compile together existing customary and conventional human rights law as it relates to private actors in education and are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts and to provide a basis for advocacy, policy development, and litigation. There were adopted on 13 February 2019 in Côte d’Ivoire by 56 eminent experts from all over the world in presence of the Ministry of Education and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education. This is probably one of the most supported texts in the economic, social and cultural rights area. 

Few months after their adoption, they have been already recognised by several political fora. They are mentioned in a recent resolution of the African Commission on Human and People’s rights that address the role of private actors in health and education. There were also recognised in new Global Partnership for Education private sector engagement strategy. In July, they were discussed by States at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education presented her report which provides an analysis of the Abidjan Principles. They were also recognised in the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the right to education. In October, the High Court of Uganda published a judgement directing the government to regulate private actor involvement in education, largely quoting the Abidjan Principles. In November 2019, they have been selected as one of the most promising governance projects by the Paris Peace Forum. In 2020, they have been recognised by the  Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rightsthe Independent Expert on the effect of foreign debt and other related international financial obligation of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly ESCR and the European Committee of Social Rights.

  • The Right to Education Handbook

In January 2019, the Right to Education Initiative co-published a Handbook on the right to education with UNESCO, which will serve as a reference for any future training programmes or workshops, including for monitoring. It aims to clarify what the right to education is and how various actors can contribute to dismantling the barriers that impede the right to education, particularly of marginalised groups, and includes chapters on the content of the right to education, governments‘ legal obligations, domestic implementation, monitoring, and accountability.