The United Kingdom left the European Union following Brexit and therefore no longer takes part in the Erasmus+ programme. Instead, the UK government has created the Alan Turing Scheme, replacing Erasmus+ and allowing students to still enjoy all the benefits of travelling and working abroad.
The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme and provides funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. Additionally, the programme supports Global Britain by allowing UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer their students life-changing experience to study or work abroad. Finding the right partner school is the first important step in taking part in The Turing Scheme. With the right partners, if you are an educational organisation, you too can make the most of the experience for your school and pupils.
Finding international partners and developing effective working relationships with them is essential for any education or training provider wishing to run successful Turing Scheme and Erasmus+ study and work placements. To help you take the first steps towards finding and establishing those connections around the globe, here are our seven best top tips.
Top Tips for Establishing Connections with International Partners for The Turing Scheme
Think About The Type of Partner You Need Before starting your search, take time to consider what type of partner would suit your needs and what you can offer them in return. Think about what kind of environment is appropriate for your students and the types of activities you want to run. Location and demographics are also important factors. The British Council website has more information on the things you need to consider when starting an international partnership.
Try The British Council Partner Finder Tool A great place to start searching for a partner school is the British Council Partner Finder tool. This free and easy-to-use tool can help you form partnerships with schools worldwide. Once you have followed the simple registration process, you will be able to add your school to the Partner Finder database, search for partners, make partnership requests and exchange initial messages with potential partners. Using a digital tool like this one can be a great way to promote your school to institutions worldwide. It is worth considering that some schools overseas may be closed due to the pandemic. They may not be easily contactable through the usual communication channels.
Reach Out to Organisations There is a range of organisations that you can reach out to when looking to form a partnership. Cultural organisations, embassies, universities and friendship associations are useful sources of information, resources and potential links. Don’t forget you can also get in touch with your local council for existing town twinning or area links. They may already have connections or may be able to put you in touch with someone who can support your search.
Use Global Resources Many schools have a wealth of global resources that may be untapped – don’t be afraid to use personal contacts. You may have a connection with an organisation you’ve previously visited, or you may have met a teacher from a school abroad during a project that you could reach out to. Use any previous connections you may have to see if there is interest in a future partnership.
Speak to Students and Teachers You may also already have students and teachers from other countries in your school – don’t be afraid to explore these options. Whether that’s through reaching out to individuals directly or through a notice in your school newsletter asking for suggestions; encourage the wider school community to support you in your partnership search. Language assistants are also a brilliant resource for connecting to organisations abroad.
Contact Local Schools and Universities You may also like to contact other local schools and universities to discuss approaching their partners. They may have well-established links that they are happy to involve you in or they could explain how they set up their own partnership.
Use Social Media Social media is also a useful tool for linking up with schools. Schools’ Facebook pages often post that they are looking for partners. Look for these types of posts and approach them via social media.