International School Exchanges

The DfE has set up a £2.5 million fund for schools and colleges to take pupils aged 11-19 to visit partner schools around the world. The aim of the programme, which is being run by the British Council, is to enable secondary-school pupils in England, particularly the most disadvantaged, to have an international and inter-cultural experience by taking part in a school exchange with partner schools around the world. The programme aims to provide these young people with the opportunity to:

  • experience different cultures and learn first-hand about their host country;
  • build independence, self-confidence, character and resilience;
  • improve their skills, interest and motivation in a specific part of the curriculum, for example learning a language;
  • enhance their future employability and gain confidence to consider future study and work abroad; and
  • broaden their horizons by developing their understanding, knowledge and skills to be global citizens.

Schools are eligible for funding if they:

  • Are a state school or college in England;
  • Have the backing of the Headteacher;
  • Have a partner school lined up in the country they plan to visit; and
  • Priority will be given to schools and/or participating groups with above average Pupil Premium numbers or other measure of disadvantage.

Schools can apply for trips within Europe, or in the wider world, and the fund is particularly aimed at schools that might not otherwise run an exchange and/or do not have an international partner school. To support these schools in particular, the British Council will offer facilitated seminars overseas. The seminars will enable teachers and pupils from a small number of schools to meet potential international partners, have an international experience and meet counterparts from overseas to develop a partnership, enabling them to apply in the future.

How are we evaluating it?

The Education Endowment Foundation asked the research agency Kantar to evaluate the programme. The research aims to understand pupils’ and teachers’ experiences of taking part in an exchange, and to learn lessons about what works well and less well.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Autumn 2020.

If you express interest in this project, the EEF’s project delivery partner and evaluation partner will use your contact details for the purposes of recruitment to the project. Your contact details will not be used for any other purposes and will be deleted when no longer needed. A full privacy notice will be shared together with the recruitment documents. More information about data protection in EEF evaluations can be found here