News and Events: Press releases

DFID: £7.5 million boost for school links

UK, 11 April 2006 - Hilary Benn, International Development Secretary, today announced a boost for DFID’s Global School Partnerships (GSP) Programme, more than doubling funding to £7.5 million over three years. The programme funds teacher exchanges to increase engagement by UK schools with teachers and students across the developing world and raise awareness of development issues.

The new funding came as the UK committed £8.5 billion in aid for education in developing countries over the next ten years, at the launch of the education initiative in Mozambique yesterday, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and Nelson Mandela.

Hilary Benn said:

“The Global School Partnerships programme is an inspirational way of building links between the UK and schools in developing countries.

It brings teachers and students closer, helps to increase the understanding of both partners of the real desire for education, and changes attitudes.

The new funding is only part of the UK’s commitment of sending every child in the developing world to school and giving more children the best start in life.”

The current £3.2 million programme gives grants to schools in the UK and Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to help build partnerships through teacher exchanges and for projects to build development issues into the curriculum.

In the first three years 370 schools in the UK have benefited from grants. The new funding will help meet the aim of bringing a further 1500 schools into the scheme in the next three years.

Notes to Editors

1. The Global School Partnerships programme was created in 2003. It is currently managed by a consortium led by the British Council, with the Cambridge Education Foundation, UK One World Linking Association and Voluntary Services Overseas as partners.

2. The programme currently receives £3.2 million in funding over three years (2003-2005). It gives two types of grants: Reciprocal Visit Grants, up to £1500 in value to help send teachers to visit each other’s school and establish and develop a partnership; and Global Curriculum Project Grants, up to £4500 annually over a three year period for curriculum development and reciprocal visits for two teachers. For secondary schools and sixth form colleges an additional £1500 is available for one student to take part in a visit.

3. In its first three years the programme has given out 266 grants (193 Reciprocal Visit Grants and 73 Global Curriculum Grants) involving 370 UK schools with a similar number benefiting in the developing world.

4. The new funding of £7.5 million over three years aims to increase the number of grants to 250 in 2006-07, 350 in 07-08 and 500 in 08-09, totalling 1100 and involving another 1500 schools in the programme.

5. The UK announced its commitment to spend at least £8.5 billion ($15 billion) on aid for education in the developing world over the next ten years. Chancellor Gordon Brown, with Nelson Mandela and International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, met in Mozambique on 10 April to set out the long term commitment for funding, to encourage participation from other donors and for developing countries to set long terms plans to meet the Millennium Development Goal of education for all.


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