North-South Centre - European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity


Recognising excellence in partnership, networking and coordination
for increased and improved global education

with the kind support of




DFID Global School Partnerships


DFID Global School Partnerships (DGSP) aims to raise young people’s awareness of global development issues and to equip them with the skills and knowledge to become active global citizens. The DGSP programme supports mutually beneficial learning partnerships between schools in the UK and Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, which seek to embed a global dimension in the curriculum.

The programme provides advice and guidance, professional development and accreditation opportunities and grants to schools that are using school partnerships as a means for developing a global dimension within their curriculum. The programme is open to all schools following their respective national curriculum, from pre-school up to sixth form college, for learners aged from 3 to 18.

DGSP provides a dynamic and inspiring way for schools, teachers, learners and their wider communities to engage with the global dimension. We promote exciting, motivating, professional, innovative and creative approaches to learning and working together.

We value equitable and sustainable partnerships between schools, within the consortium and in other working relationships. The values within the programme reflect the global dimension concepts of:

    global citizenship
    social justice
    human rights
    sustainable development
    conflict resolution
    diversity and equality

The DGSP programme is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development. It is delivered by a consortium of four agencies: the British Council, Cambridge Education Foundation, the UK One World Linking Association and VSO. The consortium delivers the programme through a global staff team based in each of the four UK nations and 15 Southern countries: England, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Rwanda, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Wales and Zambia.


Supporting the development of equitable and sustainable North-South school partnerships that embed a global dimension in the curriculum is the core purpose of the DGSP programme.

Developing equitable global school partnerships in an unequal world is a huge challenge. It is important to enable schools and teachers to share experiences and learn from each other. In our management of DGSP we support a new approach to relationships between the global North and global South, based on mutual learning, reciprocity, solidarity and genuine partnership. This focus on developing and supporting equity-based partnerships is at the heart of all that we do: equity-based partnerships grapple with difficult issues and yet have authentic dialogue and shared decision-making for the equal benefit of all partners. The role of our Southern team has been crucial in supporting the development of equity-based global school partnerships.

Our promotion of the use of Partnership Agreements has proved a user friendly and successful tool for developing and monitoring the equity and mutuality of a global school partnership. We believe it is important to provide guidance for schools to develop their own individual Partnership Agreement through dialogue, rather than providing standard templates. However, we do encourage a focus on specific learning outcomes. Mutually beneficial partnerships which are based on genuine sharing and listening, rather than one-sided domination by charitable fundraising or teaching expertise, enable teachers to plan together and students to learn through joint curricular projects.

“the GSP approach…has successfully reshaped the field of
North-South school linking”, Harm Jan Fricke and Jim Coe



    Name: British Council
    Contact details The Tun

      4 Jackson’s Entry
      Holyrood Road
      Edinburgh EH8 8PJ

          United Kingdom

      Tel. 44-131-524 5781

    Type of Organisation Non-departmental public body and charity


    Name: Cambridge Education Foundation
    Contact details Cambridge Education
    Demeter House

    Type of Organisation Not for profit foundation

    Name: UK One World Linking Association (UKOWLA)
    Contact details The GLADE Centre

            Frog Lane
            TA19 0AP

          United Kingdom

    Type of Organisation Voluntary organisation and charity

    Name: VSO
    Contact details 317 Putney Bridge Road
    SW15 2PN
    United Kingdom

    Type of Organisation International development charity


    a) overall aims

    To promote and support high-quality sustainable learning partnerships between schools in the UK and Southern countries and their wider communities

    To build capacity by providing high quality advice, guidance and professional development to those who work in and with schools

    To provide grants to schools to support the development of learning partnerships and global dimension curriculum projects

    To leave a legacy in education, by enabling teachers’ learning gained through their partnership work to be recognised, valued and accredited by higher education institutions

    b) specific objectives

    To extend and enhance the effectiveness of the programme through the development of country specific strategies for programme promotion, support and delivery

    To increase the number of high-quality global school partnerships

    To inform and contribute to relevant national education and developmental strategies

    To develop and deliver new school partnership initiatives, and collaborate with other school partnership programmes

    To ensure the effective management and development of the DGSP programme

    To increase Southern promotion, participation and the quality of partnerships and to ensure effective collaboration between UK and Southern team members

    To evaluate the effectiveness of programme management and delivery in consultation with beneficiaries and collaborative partners

    To produce resource materials to highlight good practice in global school partnerships

    To continue the development of networks in the UK and in Southern countries to enable the sharing of good practice between schools and their wider communities

    To develop and maintain effective collaboration with Enabling Effective Support (EES) networks and Development Education Centres (DECs) in the UK, and relevant organisations and networks in Southern partner countries, to promote a global dimension in school curricula

    To continue to provide accessible, clear, high-quality guidance to schools and the wider community in the UK and in Southern Countries

    To increase the availability of curriculum-related and partnership building guidance to global school partnerships

    To deliver a professional development programme in all UK nations and regions and Southern partner countries in collaboration with relevant organisations

    To provide accreditation opportunities by appropriate bodies in the UK and Southern countries to enhance the professional development of teachers

    To administer the Reciprocal Visit and Global Curriculum Project grants programme to facilitate the development of good quality partnerships and curriculum based activity

    To seek to increase the total number of new awards to 510 Reciprocal Visit grants and 140 Global Curriculum Project grants in 2006 and 2007

    c) outcomes

    The DGSP programme’s key achievements have been:

        o designing and implementing a successful global programme delivery structure and mechanism
        o developing a skilled and focussed global staff team in the four UK nations and 15 Southern countries
        o successfully applying lessons learnt from previous North-South school linking programmes
        o undertaking needs analysis and developing guidance and professional tools which respond to the identified need for flexible approaches which work for schools throughout their partnership journey, and which can be tailored to meet the requirements of a wide range of schools
        o the design and development of two effective and increasingly popular grant schemes for global school partnerships – Reciprocal Visit and Global Curriculum Project grants – which support both individual school and cluster partnerships.
        o leading the development of innovative professional development and accreditation programmes for teachers, and the publication of resources such as Partners in Learning: A guide to successful school partnerships and the DVD – One World, One People.
        o contributing to curriculum guidance for schools on the global dimension and global citizenship, issued by the respective national education departments and curriculum bodies in England, Scotland and Wales
        o creating opportunities for networking and the sharing of good practice between advisers and practitioners in both the UK and Southern countries, and positively influencing the approach of other school partnership initiatives
        o support for, and promotion of, high-quality sustainable learning partnerships between schools in the UK and Southern countries which are based on development education theory and increase the global dimension in the curriculum
        o working with universities in many countries to develop courses for teachers engaged in global school partnerships, in order to celebrate their learning and embed the global dimension at the higher education institution level.

    The programme has supported a total of more than 2,000 (2,053) global school partnerships between schools in the four UK nations and 68 Southern countries, involving more than 2 million young people (2,028,689). We have funded more than 1,000 (1,051) global school partnerships, with 937 partnerships being awarded Reciprocal Visit grants and 350 partnerships being awarded Global Curriculum Project grants. These grants have so far enabled 4,574 teachers and 352 students to visit their partner school. We have delivered professional development training to more than 1,500 teachers in the UK and 16 Southern countries.

    Schools in receipt of grants between 2003 and 2006 reported the following impacts:

    100% of UK schools and 100% of Southern schools receiving either a Reciprocal Visit or Global Curriculum Project grant report that their global school partnership has improved teachers' knowledge of development issues

    87% of Southern schools and 82% of UK schools and receiving a Reciprocal Visit grant report that their learners' interest in development issues has increased substantially.

    83% of UK schools and 87% of Southern schools receiving a Global Curriculum Project grant report a dramatic or significant impact on learners' interest in development issues.

    99% of Southern schools and 97% of UK schools receiving a Reciprocal Visit grant report substantial improvement in teachers' ability to motivate students.

    93% of UK schools and 83% of Southern schools receiving a Global Curriculum Project grant report improved teacher motivation.

    98% of Southern schools and 99% of UK schools receiving a Reciprocal Visit grant report improvements in teachers' confidence to teach about global development issues

    76% of UK schools receiving a Global Curriculum Project grant report that their global school partnership has had a dramatic or significant impact on curriculum development.

    74% of Southern schools and 83% of UK schools receiving a Reciprocal Visit grant report a substantial increase in the global dimension in the curriculum and classroom

    97% of UK schools and 76% of Southern schools receiving a Global Curriculum Project grant report a dramatic or significant impact in promoting global citizenship.

    52% of Southern schools and 34% of UK schools receiving a Global Curriculum Project grant report a dramatic or significant impact on raising standards

    The programme’s impact assessment survey of schools awarded a Global Curriculum Project grant, showed that for the group of schools awarded a grant in 2004 their rating of their school in terms of the global dimension within the curriculum increased from 6.8 to 8.1 at the end of the three-year grant, an increase of 33.8%.

    Beyond statistics, schools have testified as to the qualitative impact of their global school partnership:

    “Staff morale and motivation has been increased. Few if any incidents of a racist nature and good integration of pupils from other cultures. It has enriched the life experience of all staff who have been involved. It has helped to develop a more relevant curriculum. There has been a shift in pupil attitudes.”

    “In both partner schools pupils have become more environmentally aware, have an understanding of global poverty its causes and effects and the importance of water. Human rights have formed an important element in both curricula through a range of teaching and learning methodologies that has resulted in success in national competitions for both schools.”

    “Not only teachers, but support staff as well... have learnt so much off of each other by observation and discussion, skills and knowledge. This project has truly been a reciprocal one and has benefited both schools and communities and helped us both grow more aware not only of each other, but of global issues. Hosting partner school teachers helped us to feel the integration of the diverse community of staff into one whole new group making us feel that we are in a borderless world.”

    “The learners in both schools have gained a new voice as citizens of a global village. Over the last 3 years the partnership has blossomed and the global dimension has been embedded in the wider school curriculum and in the hearts and minds of all learners in the partnership. Learners have discovered that, despite the great diversity between their two cultures, they share common ground and responsibility for sustaining and improving life on the planet. They now talk about the school's carbon footprint, and relate stories about William Wilberforce, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. Our children now have empathy for life in a different culture, strategies for promoting global sustainability, strong ideals regarding fair trade and fervent opinions on social injustice”.

    “Our partnership has been a turning point and the schools’ curricula have taken on a new flavour. We appreciate the benefits of fostering bonds of friendship between future citizens of the world, who need to appreciate and respect each other more than ever before.”

    “The three years participation in Global Schools Partnership has been for all of us North and South a massively significant and important learning experience. We have learned how to develop and share partnership working that aims to be equal and aims to give focus to development. It has taught us all to be reflective resourceful and considerate of partnerships and to embed all practice in a global perspective. In every way it has been a positive experience for us all”.

    d) duration of the project

      April 2003 – September 2008

    e) participation of the target group(s)

    in the design of the project

    The DGSP global team have worked closely with our primary target group –teachers – at every stage in the programme’s development, in order to be able to meet the needs of the programme’s ultimate beneficiaries – the pupils and students. Needs analysis has taken place within the UK and Southern countries, the learning from which informed the need for an iterative approach which recognises the uniqueness and complexity of partnership relationships and the innovative nature of the teaching and learning aspirations. Information from needs analysis activities – reflecting the vast range of partnerships – directly informs our development of partnership development and guidance, professional development and grants programme activities in very practical ways.

    We believe that the time spent on needs analysis has provided firm foundations for a new kind of partnership relationship between UK and Southern partner schools which is based on equity, professional respect and learning together. The programme has a sound grasp of the relationship between development education and school partnerships and the wide variety of contexts that global school partnerships operate in. This means that we can support a variety of school partnerships with very different starting points and guide them towards development education principles and practices. We have created worthwhile learning experiences, which educators have informed and value, and will continue beyond the life of this programme.

    Carefully listening to the needs of teachers guides the way in which our global team provides advice and guidance to teachers on a daily basis, whether by telephone, e-mail, letter, a visit of one of our many events.

    “I think that you and your colleagues are one of the best teams that we have worked with.  You find nothing too much trouble, you are very efficient and you know what you are talking about. A pleasure to work with.”

    “We feel confident and secure about our partnership’s future knowing we have the full support of the DFID Global School Partnerships consortium. We can continue to pursue our joint goal to promote Global Education within our schools and communities for the benefit of everyone touched by our work”.

    We also involve teachers at the design stage for each new phase of the programme. Recommendations from a panel of teachers formed the basis for revisions to the grants programme in phase 2 of the programme from 2006. For the next phase of the programme we undertook a consultation with teachers on the potential benefits of establishing a mobility fund to recognise the additional costs that can involved in disabled teachers and students undertaking visits to their partner school.

    in the implementation of the project

    Teachers in each of the partnership schools are responsible for the design, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of joint curricular projects with a global dimension. Schools are encouraged to take full ownership of their partnership.

    We provide teachers with a suite of professional development courses to enable them to build effective partnerships with a global dimension that involve their wider communities and are based upon an understanding of education and development. Workshop sessions typically comprise up to 20 teachers, each from different schools. The courses are intended to draw together a wide range of experience of different partnerships. Participants receive a Participants’ Workbook which enables teachers to adapt the delivered materials for use with colleagues their own school.

    We provide opportunities for teachers to share good practice through writing case studies for our annual Global Schools magazine, and the British Council’s termly Learning World magazine, and publication on our website. We also organise networking events for teachers to share and learn form each other: Grantee Support Sessions are held in every nation and region of the UK and an annual Global Schools Forum for teachers involved in global curriculum projects. We also encourage experienced teachers to share their knowledge and expertise with teachers new to the idea of a global school partnership at introductory workshops and grant preparation seminars, which are held across the UK and 15 Southern countries.

    Teachers are also represented on our grants panel that assess all the Global Curriculum Project grant applications we receive.

    f) strategies for integrating learning from the project into the educational system (formal and non-formal).

    We have developed a discrete country strategy in each of the 19 countries where DGSP operates. The aim of these strategies is to ensure the programme’s objectives complement and inform broader national education priorities and improve the inclusion of the global dimension within the formal school curriculum. To achieve this we work closely with national curriculum bodies and with the national education departments in the UK and the Ministries of Education in the global South.

    In the past year, DGSP has contributed to the Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) guide to “The Global Dimension in the Curriculum”, the English Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) publication “The global dimension in action: A curriculum planning guide for schools”, the DFID publication’s “Bringing the World into the Classroom – Education for Today’s Global Society” and “The World Classroom: developing global partnerships in education”, and the Oxfam Global Citizenship Guide on “Building Successful School Partnerships”. DGSP also contributed to a “Think Global” supplement in The Guardian newspaper published on 29 April 2008.

    In Wales, DGSP is a member of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDG) Panel and through this forum we have provided input and case studies for the new ESDGC Action Plan and Common Understanding documents for schools. These documents support the new curriculum being launched in 2008, which has ESDGC embedded throughout. We have worked with the Assembly Government to ensure the documents recognise the role of the global dimension and global school partnerships in exploring the Global Citizenship aspects of ESDGC. This has been a positive process with the Assembly Government acknowledging the links between ESDGC and global school partnerships and becoming increasingly interested in DGSP.

    DGSP also secured the formal endorsement of all four UK education departments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for our publication “Partners in learning: A guide to successful global school partnerships”, and which included a Foreword by the Secretary of State for International Development (see section 6 below).

    As a result of DGSP’s influence, the Ministry of Education in Ghana has introduced global citizenship into the national educational curriculum for primary schools. Regular meetings between headteachers, programme coordinators and representatives of the Ghana Education Service have been held to ensure that school curriculum projects are centred on the global dimension.

    In Trinidad and Tobago, DGSP has been strongly supported by the Ministry of Education. This has enabled successful collaboration with the Ministry, who have actively promoted and encouraged schools to participate in a programme they consider encourages mutuality. It also fits well with the Ministry’s educational reform agenda and their mission to provide a more global perspective in the curriculum.

    In South Africa, the implementation of the DGSP programme in schools has direct benefits for the Department of Education’s programme of Whole School Development (WSD). Global school partnerships have contributed to the WSD strategies for teacher development and curriculum enhancement.

    In Malawi, in 2006, the government gave formal recognition to DGSP by officially launching the programme. The Hon. Jafali Mussa, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, presided at the event. The liaison with the Ministry of Education increased in 2007-08, and the Principal Secretary of Education has expressed appreciation of the programme’s contribution to the understanding of teachers and students on global issues.

    DGSP has also worked closely with the higher education sector in both the UK and global South to develop formal accreditation routes for teachers engaged in managing global school partnerships. In the UK, teachers are encouraged to use the learning they have gained from the partnership work, and put it towards some form of accreditation by a university or college. In the global South, DGSP has collaborated with local universities and colleges, who have established innovative Global Education courses for teachers involved in global school partnerships. Courses have so far been developed and delivered in Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago and Uganda, and further courses are currently under development in Ghana and India. Each course is unique, and has been developed to fit with local needs and circumstances in relation to teachers’ professional development and the curriculum.

    For many teachers the exchange visits with their partner school are the most significant piece of professional development they will ever have. For many it is life changing. It is important that teachers are given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences within a learning environment, in order to internalise their learning and build their global perspective into the curriculum. Celebrating the achievements of the staff through accreditation enables their learning to be cascaded into the universities and colleges, thereby creating a sustainable legacy.

    g) evaluation mechanisms (internal and/or external).

    The DGSP programme employs a comprehensive range of monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment systems to ensure effective programme management and delivery, appropriate and productive collaboration with other organisations, and high quality services to schools and teachers.

    Participants complete evaluation forms at all our events – introductory workshops, twilight tasters, professional development modules, grant preparation seminars, grantee support sessions, global schools forums and good practice network conferences. All grant applicants are asked to complete a feedback form, grant recipient complete annual report forms, and all Global Curriculum Project recipients complete an Impact Assessment Baseline Survey. We also undertake equalities monitoring for all teachers and students undertaking reciprocal visits.

    DGSP has also played a key role in the ground-breaking North-South School Partnership Impact Assessment research currently being conducted by the Institute of Education in London. All the DGSP consortium partners are represented on the Advisory Group, and DGSP staff co-ordinated the distribution and collection of surveys to schools in 6 Southern countries. The first year report has just been published -

    h) budget – details of financial sources and summary of income and expenditure.

    The DGSP programme is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development on a contractual basis via a competitive tendering process. Total income for the five-year period from April 2003 to March 2008 was 6,680,320, excluding VAT. Almost 50% (49.52%) of total expenditure was distributed directly to schools in grants. The breakdown of expenditure by financial year and programme area is shown below:








Programme Management







Advice & Guidance







Professional Development






















DGSP has developed a unique suite of professional development opportunities for teachers through working in partnership with Development Education Centres (DECs) and Enabling effective Support (EES) networks in the UK, and Southern team members. This programme has been rolled-out through a Global Professional Development Network with Professional Development Co-ordinators in each Southern region. This has been managed by a Global Professional Development Team comprising experienced DGSP facilitators representing Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the UK. This team has ensured that the workshop materials are inclusive and meet the wide range of needs of teachers involved in DGSP.

This collaboration has resulted in the development and implementation of a practice-based course for schools with established partnerships comprising four one-day sessions:
a) Building Effective Partnerships which explores the quality (particularly the equity and sustainability) of school partnership relationships and considers how this can be consolidated and developed further.
b) A Global Dimension in Partnership which illustrates how a global dimension can enhance teaching and learning through global school partnerships.
c) Involving Communities which considers how school partnerships can be consolidated and enhanced through community involvement; and how school partnerships can contribute to community cohesion and inclusion.
d) Understanding Education and Development which explores the role of education in international development and relates this to school partnerships.

The individual course sessions are organised and delivered jointly by DGSP and DEC staff across the UK.

DGSP also provides an Introduction to Global School Partnerships workshop, which has been delivered to more than 1,000 teachers across the UK and 16 Southern countries. The workshop has now also been adapted into an online course which was launched in 2008 to enable more teachers and school advisers to explore the issues and potential benefits of developing sustainable, equity-based partnerships as a means of embedding the global dimension.

DGSP has developed a global partnership curriculum which supports collaborative global dimension learning outcomes. Teachers use the grid below to identify joint curricular activities which:

    a. encourage learners to look at the ‘bigger picture’ and think about the future.

    b. encourage learners to examine their own and others’ assumptions and perceptions of other peoples and places and challenge any simplistic or predominantly negative ones.

    c. motivate learners’ involvement in making the world a better place.

    d. encourage open-mindedness.

    e. develop critical and independent thinking and negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

    f. contribute to a participatory culture in both schools which enables learners to have some influence over decisions or actions.

    g. make connections (historical, current, linguistic, scientific, artistic, economic, cultural) between partner countries.

    h. explore the global forces that shape our world

    i. explore issues and themes (water, farming, food, trade, homes, families, energy) which have a relevance to partner schools in ways which illustrate commonalities as well as differences.


DGSP has launched a range of networking events to bring advisers and practitioners together to share good practice in global school partnerships. It is vital to support schools to share good practice around their global dimension learning since it enables other schools to benefit and the consortium to continue our journey of iterative learning. This process of sharing good practice also provides ways of supporting and sustaining other partnerships. We have used the curricular practice and relationship building experience of exemplar partnerships to provide guidance for other schools working towards mutual learning partnerships with global dimension goals. We have encouraged the building of a shared perspective on the key qualities of North – South school partnerships as equitable, reciprocal, sustainable and inclusive of the wider community, and as a means of bringing a global dimension into education. We have promoted the educational benefits of school partnerships, and set up mechanisms to raise the awareness of schools, education advisers and the wider community for improving practice and learning from each other about global school partnerships.

In 2004 we established the Good Practice Network for Global School Partnerships & Links in association with the national development education organisations in the UK. We have organised three annual conferences, in England, Scotland and Wales. The network is for practitioners and advisers actively involved in well-established partnerships, and provides a forum for teachers, local authority officers, development education providers and educational advisers to discuss good practice in global school partnerships. 

We have also organised an annual Global Schools Forum for those schools delivering Global Curriculum Projects to share their experiences of carrying out joint curricular projects with a global dimension. In addition we organise Grantee Support Sessions in each nation and region of the UK to enable all schools in receipt of grant funding from DGSP to come together to network and share experiences.


DGSP has developed and published a number of resources to promote good practice in global school partnerships. These resources have been developed through close collaboration with both teachers and Development Education Centres.

Partners in Learning: A guide to successful global school partnerships is an essential reference that guides schools through all stages of partnership guidance. Published in 2007, and endorsed by the four UK Education Departments, it draws together best practice in global school partnership guidance based on the experiences of practitioners and advisers in both the UK and Southern countries. As well as guiding teachers and schools in the setting up of a new partnership, it enables existing partnerships to plan professional development sessions, develop the curricular impact of their partnership, and reflect on the outcomes for learners. ‘Partners in Learning’ has been distributed to more than 1,200 Southern schools supported by DGSP, and is available to download free from the global schools website, and to purchase in hard copy format.

Partners in Learning’ has lots to offer…and is an excellent way in for schools which I think very successfully pulls together a wide range of information for schools. This is one of the best resources in this field I have seen for a long time”, David Gardner, QCA.

DGSP publishes an annual magazine – Global Schools – which features a wide range of curriculum ideas, case studies and other partnership resources, with contributions from both teachers and learners.

DGSP has also developed a range of advice & guidance briefings for schools which are available on our website –

        - What are global school partnerships/
        - What is a global dimension?
        - Getting started
        - Finding a partner school
        - Getting to know each other
        - Partnership agreements
        - Visiting your partner school
        - Evaluating your partnership
        - Involving communities


The most significant learning for both the programme staff and the schools we have supported is that despite the enormous economic and social inequalities between the UK and many countries in the global South, it is possible to develop genuine learning partnerships between schools that are based on the principles and practice of equity and that deliver mutual benefits. It is by no means easy, and is a significant psychological challenge for many schools in both the UK and global South, as it involves a paradigm shift in terms of the prevailing historical relationship between the global North and South being predominantly one of unequal power; whether exercised, for example, through the exploitation of natural and human resources on the one hand, or the provision of aid and charity on the other.

These dynamics are at play in relationships between schools, and we have learnt that providing advice and support on the ground to Southern schools is absolutely essential in giving them the understanding, confidence and assertiveness to ensure that their global school partnership brings equal educational benefit to their teachers, students and communities. The recently published report by the Institute of Education (see Section 5g above) shows that North-South school partnerships have in a number of areas resulted in greater positive impacts for Southern schools than UK schools.

One of the key aspirations of our professional development programme has been to provide similar opportunities for teachers on both sides of a partnership.  This has involved using a development education framework to explore and to draw together the partnership experiences of teachers in the UK and in African, Asian and Caribbean countries.  In trialling the workshops we have found it important to explore different interpretations of development education concepts (social justice and equity, diversity, globalisation and interdependence, sustainable development, peace and conflict) and find local equivalents.  For example, ubuntu is a Southern African term for the common bond between people and the universal responsibility that we all have for others’ well-being.  Evaluation of the workshops indicates that we have succeeded in producing adaptable and inclusive materials which have been trialled in the four UK nations and in 16 Southern countries.
We already have experience of being able to share our learning with a similar programme in another country. In 2007 we were approached by the newly established WorldWise programme in Ireland, managed by Leargas, and invited to share our expertise in developing a global school partnership programme. The dimensions that WorldWise found particularly useful were firstly our professional development programme and the importance of providing training for teachers involved in managing an equity-based global school partnership and enhancing the global dimension in the curriculum. The other dimension was the benefits of creating networking opportunities for schools and education advisers to build a common understanding of good practice.
We also discovered that there was potential for the two programmes to work together, and DGSP and WorldWise have agreed to collaborate in supporting an island wide approach to school partnership work with development education and global citizenship goals in northern and southern Ireland.  We have already jointly delivered a professional development workshop, and plan to jointly run a Good Practice Network conference in 2010. We are also exploring the potential of setting up a ‘partnership’ between local authorities in northern and southern Ireland working with a Southern local authority or with the same Southern country.
In Willie Brandt’s North-South report published in 1980, he said that international development was too important to be left to the politicians, and civil society must get engaged. He also stated that there should be greater North-South dialogue. One way of engaging in meaningful dialogue is through a partnership. Partnerships have been used as cornerstones in peace initiatives, for example twinning towns between Germany and UK after World War 2, and can effectively break down barriers and replace mistrust with tolerance and understanding. Global school partnerships are an effective means of promoting long-term, mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships between schools, where the practice of equity and the aspiration of equality are paramount.

The DGSP programme has shown that in order to challenge people’s stereotypical views, you must first win their hearts in order to change their minds; and that this can be done by ensuring that a partnership is not built on a donor-recipient model, which would merely confirm existing views, but is developed through a journey of discovery and learning together.

   DGSP Leaflet

One World, One People DVD  

    Learning together about global development: A three-year review of DFID Global school Partnerships 2003-06 by David Taylor

    Partners in Learning: A guide to successful global school partnerships

    Global Schools 2007: The annual magazine of DFID Global School Partnerships  

    A Global Dimension in Partnership: Facilitator’s Manual and Participants Workbook 

Report on the 2007 Good Practice Network Conference for Global School Partnerships & Links

1 Please feel free to use existing documentation in response to Part 5 of the application form.