A new scheme to twin schools in the UK with a partner in a developing country is set to bring a global outlook into the classroom.
As part of the new Connecting Classrooms project, every school in the UK will be offered the chance to link to a partner school somewhere else in the world, with the aim of allowing teachers and pupils to share their ideas, skills, knowledge and experiences.
The programme has been created by the Department for International Development and the British Council, with funding coming from UK aid and the British Council.
Cutting-edge technology will be used to drive the scheme, with video conferencing facilitating the link up of teachers and pupils with their counterparts at the school with which they are twinned.
Mobile applications are also set to be created to provide shared education materials and resources, while internet forums will be used to allow those in teaching jobs to share ideas and expertise with one another.
Launching Connecting Classrooms, international development secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "This new programme will allow more children growing up in the UK to learn about the world around them, about the facts of poverty that face children their own age in developing countries."
He added that it would be of great benefit to pupils and teachers in developing countries by aiding their professional, ICT and English skills; while also providing British taxpayers with value for money.
The scheme costs 24 per cent less than the previous project it replaces, yet will facilitate the involvement of 15 per cent more schools.
Education secretary Michael Gove has also given his backing to the project.
"Teachers can benefit professionally through learning about partner schools' approaches to teaching and learning and their achievements," he said. "I hope schools take this opportunity and get involved."
Posted by Theo Foulds