Overview of UK development education landscape with a focus on partnerships between UK schools and those overseas

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Helpdesk Query:

Describe the Development Education Landscape in the UK: specifically, what else apart from British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme is going on to build partnerships between schools in UK and schools overseas? How many children/schools are part of something like this?

Summary:

This rapid review provides an overview of the UK development education landscape with a focus on what else apart from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme is going on to build partnerships between schools in the UK and schools overseas? How many children/schools are part of something like this?

These questions are related to a second query covered in a separate helpdesk report that examines childhood development stages; specifically, when is the best time to influence children’s and young people’s thinking on global issues? These helpdesk reports are designed to help inform a business case and guide DFID’s thinking for a new approach to delivering development education in the UK when the current phases of Connecting Classrooms and the Global Learning Programme (GLP) ends.

International partnerships between schools in the UK and schools elsewhere in the world have been an increasingly popular feature of British education practice for more than thirty years. These partnerships have often been developed as a result of personal contacts, the influence of government policies especially between 1997 and 2010, support from non-governmental organisations and enthusiasm and interest of individual teachers.

The UK has been the leading country promoting such partnerships although there is evidence of other examples in other European countries, notably Ireland (Toland, 2011) and Australia. There have been a number of networks supporting such linking activities, most notably the United Kingdom One World Linking Association and its off-shoot BUILD – Building Understanding through International Links for Development.

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