Our partners choose to use Children’s University as a way to strengthen and support their local communities and improve the outcomes for children.

In developing a local Children’s University centre, we will support you to develop whichever approach will work best locally and as such our local CU centre lead organisations are diverse and include Higher & Further Education partners, social enterprise and charitable organisations, school/academy cluster groups as well as individual schools, alongside a number of Local Authority partners who also support our work.

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Where to start

The development of each new local Children’s University centre is unique to the community in which it operates.  If you are interested in exploring further the potential to become a local Children’s University centre, please get in touch.

Joining & Membership Costs

Joining Fee

A one-off joining fee is payable upon signature and return of the Membership Agreement to CU Trust.  The joining fee provides the CU Member with access to:

  • Development Support (Head of Local CU Support & Development) 2 x 1 day planning and development meetings, with ongoing telephone and email support
  • Access to local delivery of ‘Planning for Learning’ validation training 1 x 1 day sessions for every 10 participating schools, delivered to a minimum of 15 delegates per session.
  • CU Trust representation at the inaugural CU Graduation ceremony.

The level of fee charged is linked to the number of schools participating in the first year of operation. 

CU start up and development supporting:


 1 school


2 to 10 schools


11 to 15 schools


16 to 25 schools


26+ subject to local agreement by CU Trust


Annual Membership Fee

For every local CU centre an annual CU Membership is payable to the CU (Children's University) Trust. The Membership year runs from 1st April to 31st March.   The level of fee charged is directly correlated to the number of schools participating in the programme over the year (see table below).

Number of Schools Participating

Fee per annum

0 to 10


11 to 15


16 to 25


26 to 35


36 to 50


51 to 60




The Membership year runs from 1st April to 31st March and invoices are issued at the end of February.  

For new local CU Centres established during the Membership year, the Membership fee will be payable as follows:  



1st April to 31st August

Full Membership Fee

1st September to 31st March

50% of Membership Fee

Membership Benefits

In consideration of the payment of the Annual Membership Fee by the CU Member, CU Trust will provide the CU Member the right and licence to:

  • access to support for further development of the Children’s University in its local area;
  • use of a bespoke local Children’s University™ logo in adherence to Children’s University logo and branding guidelines;
  • access to the CU Trust support network and library of shared resources;
  • the opportunity have their work validated and recognised within a CU Trust framework;
  • Passport to Learning, E-Passport, Planning for Learning, CU Trust Certification.
  • its own Children’s University branded website, hosted by CU Trust for a nominal hosting fee;
  • access to CU Trust training and resources to facilitate localised delivery of Planning for Learning;
  • Quality Mark for Extended Learning Provision (QiSS)* registration fee and ongoing Critical Friend support
  • entitlement to profit share arrangements designed to support local financial sustainability, primary through the purchase of Passport to Learning and Children’s University merchandise.
  • access to training and local administration rights for E-Passport;
  • access to project funding, subject to other criteria;
  • a platform to contribute to the voice that Children’s University gives nationally to out of school hours learning;
  • subject to consent of CU Trust, use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to promote its work as part of the Children’s University.
  • the opportunity to attend National and Regional meetings at times and places which are convenient to the majority of members;
  • monitoring and evaluation frameworks;


*Quality Mark for Extended Learning Provision (QiSS) – Registration Fee

The Children's University (CU) Trust insists that, as a condition of membership, all local Children's Universities must quality assure their management structures and planning processes, through the Quality Mark for Extended Learning Provision (QiSS) framework -as part of the CU Trust's due-diligence process.

QiSS is part of the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.

There is an expectation that within 18 months of starting, all Children's Universities will be recognised by QiSS at Emerged level.  CU Trust require each local CU centre to maintain a minimum of Emerged status as a condition of continuing Membership.

CU Trust will underwrite the Registration Fee and offer support in this process and identify a Critical Friend from within the CU Trust network; a fellow CU professional who can support in three broad ways; managing the process; advising on evidence; helping to present and evidence practice.