Welcome to Coventry Children's University

‘As a Coventrian who has worked in the very extremes of our planet I am proud to venture home and support such an inspiring educational organisation’. - Mark Wood, Explorer

"Children can only aspire to what they know exists ...!"

Children and young people aged 5 – 14 years old become members of Children’s University™, an (inter)national initiative which focuses on creating an excitement about learning through innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours. We reward their participation in voluntary learning activities that will develop their skills and raise aspirations for the future.

How does it work?

It’s all about the Children’s University Passport to Learning! For every hour of voluntary, extra-curricular learning that is Children’s University validated, children and young people will receive a credit (in the form of a stamp in their Passports to Learning). These credits lead to staged certificates and CU Graduation Ceremonies at an HE Institution.


Learning Destinations

Learning Destinations are places and organisations which provide high quality learning opportunities and activities. These are validated by the Children’s University™ using the national CU Trust’s Planning for Learningquality assurance national framework.

There are two main types of Learning Destinations:

1. Restricted Learning Destinations

Restricted Learning Destinations are not publicly accessible, such as schools and clubs which have restricted membership conditions.

2. Public Learning Destinations

Public Learning Destinations are publicly accessible and advertise to a wider audience, e.g. Museums, Libraries, Outdoor Education Centres, Scout & Girl Guide groups, Sports Centres and many more.

Click here to see a map of the ‘public’ Learning Destinations.

Celebrating Achievements!

Celebrating learning is at the heart of the Children’s University. The use of the word ‘University’ is intended to inform and inspire children and young people. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold CU Certificates at CU Graduate, CU Postgraduate and CU Doctorate levels going all the way up to 1,000 hours of learning!

At certain levels, the children and young people have the opportunity to experience a University campus, wear the mortar board and gown, are presented with their award and have an official photograph taken. All watched by their families, school staff and special guests.



The second independent National CU Trust™ Evaluation evidences that:

“Children’s University pupils attend better by virtue of the activities which enhance their school experience … achieve better by virtue renewed self-confidence in their own potential … enjoy learning more because they extend their repertoire of interests and see learning in a new light.”

View the latest National Evaluation >


Quality Award

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded with the Quality in Study Support (QiSS) Award. For more information on this nationally recognised Award, please click here

Coventry Children’s University

The Coventry University campus

The Coventry University campus

A bit about us!:

Coventry Children’s University launched back in 2011.  With both Primary and Secondary schools offering Children's University to their pupils, our CU Centre is now well embedded.  The schools who originally registered have been able to measure the difference it makes to their pupils and can see the impact.

Coventry University very kindly hosted the first CU Graduation Ceremony.  Since then the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and The Ricoh Arena have also held the special celebrations.

CU Chancellor

We are delighted to have the Bishop of Coventry's support in the role of the official Coventry CU Chancellor.

"Life is a gift.  Education at its best opens peoples hands, minds and hearts to receive the gift of life and to live it fully.  The Children's University ignites a love for life in young people, and a desire to learn about life and how to live it to the full."

CU Patron

‘As a Coventrian who has worked in the very extremes of our planet I am proud to venture home and support such an inspiring educational organisation’.  

 To find out about Mark Wood's 'Mission 8848' click here

CU Patron

Cathy Cassidy, a children's Author

"My name is Cathy Cassidy and I write books for children and teens. I was born and grew up in Coventry, and I have loved daydreaming and inventing stories ever since I can remember. Writing those stories down was the next step. I have been lucky enough to have lived a very interesting life - there's an old saying that states that as long as you do what you love in life, it will never feel like 'work'. I think that's true! I'm thrilled to be a patron of the Children's University for the Coventry area and hope it will help to promote imagination, creativity and opportunity!"

Visit Cathy's website here:


CU Patron

David Busst, Director of Sky Blues in the Community.  David is a former professional English footballer with a story to tell children about perseverance.  

Central Children’s University

In this area, the Children's University Centres in Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire and Worcestershire are all working together. The aim is to create a regional 'CU Centre of Excellence' which will ultimately lead to an increase in the number and variety of opportunities for local children and young people.

The Central CU Trust is registered as a Charity (no: 1160033) and is kindly supported by The drb Group Ltd as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

Meet the Central CU Trust board members...

Simon Pearson, Headteacher at Wembrook Primary school, Nuneaton.

Simon Pearson, Headteacher at Wembrook Primary school, Nuneaton.

“From my experience Children University does make a difference. It can inspire children to complete a range of modules, culminating in a CU degree. It can give them the confidence and belief that a university degree in the future is just not for other people, it can be for them as well!”

Sofina Islam OBE, Headtecher at Stanton Bridge Primary School, Coventry.

Sofina Islam OBE, Headtecher at Stanton Bridge Primary School, Coventry.

"CU is life changing. It inspires the most vulnerable children, giving them hope, a platform of experience from which they can weave their dreams and turn them into passionate goals for a better future. That is why, I choose to advocate CU to our children as an educator."

Rob Bowater, CEO, the drb Group.

Rob Bowater, CEO, the drb Group.

Paul Kilgallon, Headteacher at St Barnabus C of E First & Middle School, Worcestershire

Paul Kilgallon, Headteacher at St Barnabus C of E First & Middle School, Worcestershire

Lee Fletcher, CTC Kinghurst Academy, Solihull

Lee Fletcher, CTC Kinghurst Academy, Solihull

Kevin McCabe, Headteacher, Jervoise Primary School, Birmingham.

Kevin McCabe, Headteacher, Jervoise Primary School, Birmingham.

Helen O'Donnell - Chief Executive and Director of Partnerships

Helen joined Children's University in November 2015, having previously served as Chief Executive for the Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF). It was at CCF that Helen first encountered Children’s University by funding one of our local centres.

Helen has extensive experience in the third sector with a particular focus on education and helping young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds access educational opportunities. Most recently this involved acting as Head of Development at the University of Liverpool where she was responsible for securing charitable investments.

National Children’s University (CU) Trust

With a network of 90 National Children's University Centres and a growing International network in South Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, together with plans to extend our work to China and Tasmania, CU Trust™ are working within local communities to encourage all children, but particularly those who need it most, to participate, voluntarily, in a variety of Learning Activities, delivered by our Learning Destination partners.

The CU Trust™ launched in April 2007 and is based in The Royal College of Music, Manchester. The latest Annual Review can be viewed here:


View Children's University Trust Annual Review 2015 >


Click here to visit their website: www.childrensuniversity.co.uk



Click here to meet the rest of the National CU Trust team.