Because education
changes lives

We believe that education is the single most powerful tool to break the cycle of poverty and reduce inequality in the world. We invest in the education of the underprivileged and the underrepresented in order to create systemic change.

Our goal is to develop a new generation of engaged global citizens and leaders; who embrace research, make data-driven decisions and believe that there is a moral imperative to act with integrity.


Laidlaw Schools Trust

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Anan

The Laidlaw Schools Trust is a growing multi-academy trust based in North East England. Founded in 2008, to sponsor the opening of Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, we now have six schools in the Trust, educating nursery school children all the way through to A-level students.

Across LST we educate 4500 students and employ 750+ teachers and support staff. There are more than 50 languages spoken in our schools. As well as having a disproportionately high number of pupils for whom English is an additional language, we have more than double the national average of children receiving free school meals and who have special learning needs. Our communities are some of the most disadvantaged in the country. It is why we exist – our purpose is to transform the lives of our children and communities through inspirational education. Next year, to help us achieve that, we will welcome two Outstanding schools into the Trust: Sedgefield Community College and Pennywell Early Years.

Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholars

“The purpose of this programme is to encourage and develop future leaders in any field of activity. Looking around the world’s business and political leaders I can’t recall a time when better leaders were more urgently needed.”  – Lord Laidlaw

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme aims to develop a new generation of leaders who are skilled researchers, embrace data-based decision making, and believe it is a moral imperative to lead with integrity.  It invests in highly talented and motivated undergraduates, giving them the knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders.

The programme has four components: a six week summer research project, leadership development training, a leadership-in-action programme during their second summer where scholars put their leadership theory into practise in new and challenging environments, and global networking through an on-line community of international scholars and real word events.

Women’s Business Education

“Understanding the link between women’s empowerment and the wealth and health of societies is crucial for humanity…..If you want to lift up humanity, empower women, It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.” – Melinda Gates.

Women are still woefully under-represented in C-Suites and Boardrooms across the world. By investing in extraordinary women to gain their MBAs, the Foundation intends to give women the education and networks to achieve equal representation and power. To date, we have helped over 300 women earn their MBA from Columbia Business School and are just beginning a Women’s Movement programme with London Business School, providing full and half scholarships to women who would not otherwise be in a position to reap the benefits of attending this outstanding school.


Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay

Lord Laidlaw is a committed philanthropist, serial entrepreneur, and accomplished sportsman.

A graduate of Leeds University and Columbia Business School, Lord Laidlaw founded the Institute for International Research Ltd (IIR) which became the world’s largest conference and training company. He sold it in 2005 for $1.4bn to Informa Plc. He has since gone on to build a large property company and invest extensively in sustainable energy. His most recent project is building a renewable power resource in Rwanda…

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