A particular focus at the Froebel Trust this year has been to work towards greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all that we do - including our ways of working with others and our governance.

Our vision is for the Froebel Trust to be an inclusive organisation which is accessible to all. Froebel believed that every person’s uniqueness made an important contribution and was an equally valuable part of the whole of humankind. He believed that we are all connected. At the Froebel Trust we strive for unity in our rich diversity.

"Froebel’s principles are universal and embrace everyone regardless of background. The Trust must be equally inclusive in its work to advance those principles. That is why the trustees attach high importance to demonstrating the diversity and reach of our work and are now monitoring not just our impact, but whom we serve, whom we fund and with whom we connect."
Mark Neale, Chair of Trustees, Froebel Trust

2023 has seen everyone connected with the Froebel Trust involved in a journey of reflection and learning about more equitable practice and inclusive ways of working.

Over the last year the Froebel Trust has:

- commissioned an external governance review from The Bayes Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This review found that ”...equality, equity, diversity and inclusion has been carefully considered by the Trust...” and moving forwards, the Trust should ensure that trustees can access training and have time for "regular reflection on EDI". A strategic action plan has been developed based on this work which trustees will continue to monitor and regularly report on progress.

- appointed Karen Chouhan as an independent advisor and EDI specialist for the Trust.

- asked our stakeholders for their views on what we do well and what we could improve. This insight is helping us plan future projects to better meet the needs of those working in the early childhood education sector today . For example, many educators told us that they would like more support to ensure that all children can be included in play and learning in their schools and settings. As a result, we have commissioned a new pamphlet about this - which will be released in 2024.

- reviewed our policies through a critical lens and reviewed our procedures where it was needed. For example, we have introduced new approaches and support mechanisms to make sure that anyone who is applying for a Froebel Trust grant for the first time is not disadvantaged in comparison with more experienced applicants.

- published our new charter, explaining our whole organisation’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality. The charter outlines our expectations of everyone who works with the Froebel Trust and makes connections between our approach to EDI and Froebelian principles.

- set up a working group of trustees who now meet regularly to shine a light on EDI and ensure it remains a focus in all our decision making and charitable activities.

- implemented new ways of measuring, reporting and understanding the impact of our work and who we are (and are still not) managing to reach with our programmes. This greater understanding will allow us to better shape and target our activities in 2024 and beyond – reaching out to and engaging more of those communities we have not worked with before.

“In the last few years, the Froebel Trust’s work and audience have grown exponentially. We are proud of the EDI improvements we’ve made to date - but we are not complacent. There is much more to learn and do. We will continue to explore and debate the best ways to ensure inclusivity, evaluate our policies and practices - and follow up with positive actions." Dr Sacha Powell, CEO, Froebel Trust

What to expect in 2024?

  • Look out for new titles in our popular pamphlet series with a focus on encouraging community engagement and supporting inclusive practice in early years settings.
  • The chance to apply for a Froebel Trust grant. We’ll be launching our 'open call' for research proposals in the new year. We are particularly keen to hear from applicants and organisations working with children and schools which have traditionally been underrepresented in the field of education research. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter to hear about funding opportunities in 2024.
  • More networking opportunities for educators. We will continue to support and nurture small grassroots Froebelian educator networks which are starting to develop across the UK.
  • More FREE events and resources for educators. We remain committed to making all our resources, research and films accessible to all educators.
  • More training and learning subsidies for educators who want to take part in our Short Courses and learn about a Froebelian approach to early education. We are particularly keen to hear from and support more settings and educators who are working with high numbers of children and families living in poverty.

How can you get involved?

If you would like to be more involved with the Froebel Trust – as a volunteer on one of our committees, a member of our grants review panel, a future trustee or as a critical friend and champion of Froebelian education - we would love to hear from you.

You can contact us at