Department for International Development
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New global education funding to benefit thousands of UK school children is announced today

New global education funding to benefit thousands of UK school children is announced today

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 02 November 2009

Thousands more children in the UK and overseas could get involved in the government’s Global School Partnership Programme thanks to new starter grants launched today in Rugby at Oakfield Primary School and Nursery by International Development Minister Mike Foster.

The new funding provides 1,000 £250 starter grants for teachers to develop global education within the curriculum and establish school partnerships with developing countries. They are funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and can be used towards lesson cover and travel costs for teachers to attend information workshops and also in-school training to build development education expertise.

Head Teacher Heather Fielding showed the Minister around the school which in October received an International Education award from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) at a ceremony in London hosted by BBC presenter George Alagiah.

Oakfield Primary students then showed the Minister a shared project on keeping fit and healthy. They played the games that Aburaso Methodist primary school in Ghana taught them which involved chanting and group skipping. Aburaso school were taught how to play rugby, but had do it before 9am because it gets too hot during the day.

Mike Foster, International Development Minister said:

Today’s visit to Rugby has shown me the benefits that the DFID school partnership programme is bringing to UK school children in an increasingly interconnected world.

The partnership that Oakfield Primary School has with Aburaso Methodist primary school has really enriched their understanding of the experiences and challenges of people living in developing countries.

I am delighted that we are aiming to increase the number of partnerships from 1,970 to 5,000 over the next three years. The grants I’ve announced today will help more schools get involved.

Head Teacher Heather Fielding, Oakfield Primary School said

“It has been a pleasure having the Minister here today to see our partnership with Aburaso Methodist primary school in Ghana which has been going for seven years.

The joint projects provide our students with an insight on what life is like for children overseas and how interdependent our lives really are”.

Notes to Editors

One thousand Starter Grants will be available as part of a new package of DFID funding to UK schools over the next three years. DFID aims to boost the number of schools supported from nearly 2,000 currently to 5,000 by March 2012. Schools will be targeted in under-represented areas of UK, including the East Midlands and East of England, and under-represented sectors including schools with a special educational needs focus.The programme also offers support and grants of up to £26,400 per partnership over four years to fund visits between schools and develop joint curriculum projects focused on global development issues. Grants can be used towards costs including travel and accommodation on both sides of the partnership, communications costs, resources for activities and events, and supply cover. The programme also provides support to schools to make their grant applications, guidance on how to create and develop a global partnership and professional development workshops to help teachers and school staff make the most of their partnerships. For more information about DFID Global School Partnerships, visit or contact 0131 524 5780 / globalschools@britishcouncil.orgDFID Global School Partnerships is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID). DFID is leading the UK government’s fight against global poverty. DFID Global School Partnerships is delivered by a consortium of the British Council, Cambridge Education Foundation, UK One World Linking Association (UKOWLA) and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Global School Partnerships promotes partnerships between schools in the UK and in 56 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and has supported over 1,970 UK schools to date.DFID Global School Partnerships provides advice and guidance, professional development opportunities and grants to schools to develop partnerships and promote global education through their curriculum. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in more than 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, science, sport and governance and last year we reached over 128 million people. Our total turnover in 2007/8 was £565m, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £197m. For more information, please go to


Catherine Belfield-Haines.
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