The prime minister came under fire after he said it was “a source of international shame” that youngsters “bursting with potential” are denied lessons, simply because they are girls or deprived.
He announced £430m for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and urged fellow world leaders to match the UK’s commitment to “get more girls into the classroom”.
But aid groups protested that the cash was all but cancelled out by the UK swiping around £390m of funding for improving education over two years – part of £4bn-a-year overall aid cuts.
Rose Caldwell, chief executive of Plan International UK, said: “Covid-19 has created the biggest education emergency of our lifetime. Yet this pledge follows shameful cuts to overseas aid.
“The reality is that, without adequate funding, today’s targets and the flagship Girls’ Education Declaration will be nothing but empty promises.”
This evening, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are at the Eden Project for a reception with the G7 leaders.