What we do

We enable inspiring discussions about the news in, and between, schools. Discussions that invite young people to be curious about the world’s biggest ideas and challenges, and consider what should be done about them.

Why we do it

Joining these discussions inspires young people to think big about the world and their possibilities in it. Just as importantly, it builds essential knowledge of current affairs, critical thinking, communication skills and confidence.

These news literacy capabilities can help to change a young person’s life. They’re hugely valuable socially, in education, in the workplace and in public life. They're increasingly important for thriving in the modern world.

Our priority is to work with those young people who most need these capabilities. Young people from low income backgrounds do not have equal opportunities to succeed in education and beyond. They are likely to fall significantly behind in school. They're likely to be worse affected than their peers by the social, political and economic issues in the news. So they have the most to gain by developing news literacy capabilities that can help them to understand and respond to the issues affecting their lives, and to achieve their goals at school and in the wider world.

That's why our mission is to tackle inequality by giving disadvantaged young people the skills to think for themselves about current affairs.

The urgent importance of news literacy

The digital media landscape presents an overwhelming amount of information, including plenty that is misleading or one-sided.

News literacy capabilities are needed to navigate this environment and form an accurate, complete picture of the world. Young people are not developing the critical literacy skills they need: only 2% of young people have the skills to know whether a news story is real or fake.

The next generation will face huge global and local challenges.

We need to ensure young people are able to understand a complex world and have the kind of dialogues that can make it better, for themselves and others.

There is a huge gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in the UK and globally.

We need to make sure that young people who might be negatively affected by issues in the news have opportunities to understand them and have their say.

Get involved

Topical Talk gives you free teaching resources for weekly classroom discussion.
Our adaptable activities help the news make sense for learners aged 9+.


Would you like to work with us to scale up our impact?