Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning: Supported Partnerships

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning could open the door to a world of new learning opportunities for your school, and without the need to apply for funding. Supported Partnerships from the British Council is easy to register, quick to get started and is pretty much a 'ready to go' project idea-based classroom resource.

Now on the third round, Supported Partnerships applications are open until 17 September 2021.

What are Supported Partnerships?

Supported partnerships are designed for schools new to international collaboration and who would prefer to start their global learning journey without the need to apply for grant funding. 

A cluster of schools  - a maximum of five NI and five overseas schools - will work together on a project linked to one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is also related to COP26, the United Nation's Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow during November 2021. The project will be delivered during November and December 2021.

Our Schools Advisors will help you develop your project through three one-hour webinars that will take place November/December, delivered by an experienced global learning practitioner on behalf of the British Council. You'll be provided with guidance, CPD and support to answer any questions or discuss any project ideas you might have.

Which schools can participate and from which geographical location?

As a member of a Northern Ireland cluster, you'll be grouped with up to five other schools from across the province and matched with an equivalent cluster of the same number of participating schools overseas. Participating countries for this round (third iteration) are: Bangladesh and Pakistan (South Asia), Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe (Sub-Saharan Africa) and Lebanon, Tunisia, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territory) and Morocco (Middle-East and North Africa).

Why should I take part? 

As children’s worlds have become smaller over the consecutive lockdowns, an international partnership will help broaden their horizon and provide exciting new learning opportunities. Through the programme, you'll be able share best practices with your school cluster and learn transferable skills that will help pupils develop the attitudes they'll need to live and work in a global economy. 

Participating is simple - we'll find the overseas partner schools for you!

All schools taking part will automatically qualify to apply for the International School Award Foundation Level giving you formal recognition for your work. And, as we said earlier, you can apply for funding to take your partnership work further after the initial three-month project, if you wish.

Supported partnerships will also help you discover many other ways that the British Council can support your school’s international collaboration, professional development and opportunities for students; inside and outside the classroom.

All we need for you to start your Supported Partnership is some baseline information about your school - and agreement from your headteacher or another leader that you can be released to take part in the programme.

How do I take part?

To apply for participation in Supported Partnerships between November and December 2021, please complete and sign this agreement  (including participant and school leadership), making sure you read all information carefully before submitting by 17 September 2021.

If you have any questions, feel free to email or

Project Completion

Once you've completed your project, your local global learning advisor will write up a short evaluation report, with your input. You can then apply for funds to further develop your partnerships, if desired, and start to look at other funded programmes like an Online Schools Partnership or International Schools Partnership where reciprocal school visits are funded, post-Covid travel lockdown restrictions.

You'll find more about these programmes by clicking on the links above or selecting the various tabs on the left handside of our Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning page. You can also visit the British Council's 'Apply for Funding' page.

If you'd like to introduce Global Learning, the SDGs and COP26 in your classroom during 2021, Supported Partnerships will support all your learning, teaching and international collaboration requirements.