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The following are the Prizes & Awards won by Tooley:

  • Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Prize, for The Beautiful Tree, April 2010

  • Gold Prize Winner, 1st Financial Times/International Finance Corporation, Private Sector Development Research Paper Competition,[20] September 2006

  • Templeton Prize for Free Market Solutions to Poverty, 1st Prize, March 2006

  • Alexis de Tocqueville Award for the Advancement of Education Freedom, May 2007

  • National Free Enterprise Award, Feb 2007





“IDP Foundation was formed in 2008 and after becoming familiar with the work of James Tooley, we decided to focus our efforts on the existing low cost private school sector that is so prevalent throughout the world”

- Irene Prisker, Founder IDP 

“Tooley performs all three of the functions of a policy entrepreneur. He has identified particular educational needs and offers innovative means to satisfy them; he is willing to take financial and emotional risks in pursuing change where consequences are uncertain … and has been able to assemble and coordinate networks of individuals and organisations, local and transnational, with the capabilities and resources to achieve change. His reputation is formidable and his contacts are extensive and cross-sectoral.”

- Prof Stephen Ball, UCL

“Professor Tooley's work on private education in developing countries had a profound impact on the Conservative Party's policy on education in international development which my team and I formulated in Opposition and then implemented in Government…”

- The Right Hon Andrew Mitchell MP

"Bringing about transformation in the global consensus on an issue – broadly speaking, acting on two levels simultaneously – you have to change the facts on the ground, and you have to engage in the battle of ideas. James Tooley is a rare academic who operates on both levels and does so with courage and insight"
- Sir Michael Barber 

"Professor James Tooley has changed the life trajectory of many millions of children living in poverty in emerging nations. He conducted the pioneering research on low-cost private schools that often provide much better education than under-resourced government schools in impoverished communities in Africa, Asia in Latin America. Using the findings from his research, Professor Tooley has inspired and consulted to numerous other organizations to provide services that improve education at many tens of thousands of these schools. These organizations also often make loans to build more classrooms and other infrastructure to these financially sustainable schools charging very modest fees that are affordable to parents who are among the working poor.

Some of these organizations are as follows:

  • partners with approximately 20,000 low-cost private schools educating approximately 5 million children in 12 countries in Africa in Latin America.

  • Opportunity International has assisted approximately 22,000 schools with 6 million children in 20 countries around the globe.

  • Indian School Finance Company assisted approximately 5000 schools with 4 million children in India.

  • Gray Matters Capital has assisted approximately 3000 schools with 2 million children in 20 countries.

These organizations are rapidly increasing the numbers of schools and children they are assisting every year. Over the next two decades, these organizations as well as others inspired by Professor Tooley, will have improved the education of hundreds of millions of children living in poverty and given then the literacy and numeracy skills to work their way out of poverty. Professor Tooley is the reason that this will happen.

Research conducted by my organization, shows that children at these schools score higher to substantially higher on the national examinations in many countries than children in ill-equipped government schools, which often have 100 children per classroom.

Professor Tooley has spent much of his personal resources and ventured into dangerous countries such as South Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone (shortly after the civil war) and others. He has tirelessly worked to help children have a much better life and be able to be much more productive in the emerging nations where they live."

Christopher A Crane, Cofounder and former CEO and Chairman : and Former CEO of Opportunity International

Gray matters.jpeg


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