Connecting Classrooms

Connecting Classrooms is a global education programme for schools, designed to help young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in a globalised economy, and contribute responsibly both locally and globally.

Over the last few years research and evidence has shown that the majority of education systems around the world, including in the UK, are not equipping young people with the skills they need in this rapidly changing environment.

The 2013-14 Education for All Global Monitoring Report stated that curriculums need to ensure that young people learn foundation skills (e.g. literacy and numeracy) in a manner that enhances transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and advocacy and conflict resolution in order to help them become responsible global citizens.

The new Connecting Classrooms programme aims to address this gap in global skills and will build the capacity of teachers to integrate a range of core skills into the curriculum, therefore improving learning outcomes for young people and enabling them to become more globally aware and globally competitive.

The programme, running from 2015-2018, will build the capacity of 45,000 teachers and 12,000 school leaders worldwide to support them to integrate a range of core skills into the curriculum, with a focus on: 

  • Digital literacy
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Student leadership and personal development
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Citizenship 

Connecting Classrooms will aim to improve teaching in both the UK and other countries in the following key areas:

  • Professional development for teachers and school leaders in over 30 countries including the UK;
  • Sustainable partnerships between schools in the UK and over 30 countries in the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and South and East Asia;
  • Professional dialogue opportunities for policy makers that will support national and regional level debate, reflection and action;
  • Awards to schools which are successful in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to live and work in a globalised economy;
  • Online access to high quality resources to support teachers in delivering improved learning outcomes for young people.


Continuous Professional Development

The British Council provides continuous professional developments opportunities for teachers and leaders by way of workshops, events and trainings. These are organised both face-to-face and online.


In the development of any teacher professional development programme, it is important to heed research insights as to what makes it effective. The following points are derived from a research by Hennessy et al. 2015:

  • long-term and structured
  • promote teacher agency and leadership
  • focus on classroom implementation
  • align with teachers’ existing knowledge, practice and contexts
  • create opportunities for collaboration with colleagues and teacher peer support
  • encourage and support teachers in obtaining resources
  • encourage engagement with the local community
  • recognise the interplay between teacher and head teacher professional development

The structure of British Council Continuing Professional Development of Teachers fulfils almost all of the above points.


In addition to the face-to-face courses on Core Skills, there will be several online courses on Schools Online for teachers to register and complete the course at their convenience. The following modules will be available online:

  • Introduction to International Learning
  • Intercultural Practice
  • Education for Global Citizenship
  • Critical thinking and Problem Solving
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Student Leadership and Personal Development
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Citizenship
  • Digital Literacy
  • Teacher as a Researcher

In addition to the above we have introduced the below core skills trainings below-


Policy engagement

The Connecting Classrooms programme has a dedicated strand for policy level engagements. The target audience for policy level engagement is policymakers and senior practitioners who we expect to develop an enhanced understanding of international best practice. The primary purpose of such engagement is to facilitate and engage in strategic level discussions with decision makers and influencers to ensure that our interventions support education policy in the UK and the rest of the world. This will enable us to make the greatest difference possible to the millions of young people with whom we work. A policy-based approach is the most sustainable and cost-effective way of doing this as Ministries and other institutions benchmark their own approaches against others’ in order to adopt, embed and mainstream the outcomes of collaborative work.


On 9 July 2015 British Council along with partner UNESCO organised a conference focusing on the Continuous Professional Development of Teachers with the thematic focus on core skills pedagogy in teaching.


The key issues addressed at the conference were:

  • How may Continuous Professional Development of teachers be improved particularly in the area of teaching core skills?
  • Why do core skills need to be a key part of the curriculum and how to build teacher capacity to teach them?
  • How can they be integrated into the curriculum for improved learning outcome for young people?
  • How can technology be used to address the huge scale of India’s education system for improving teaching quality?
  • How can learners’ core skills and its teaching quality be assessed?

 For a detailed report and executive summary of the conference proceedings download CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS: Focus on Core Skills Pedagogy below.

On 27–28 October 2015 the British council organised the International Conference on Core Skills for All: Access and Engagement for Children with Special Education Needs.


The conference aimed to share the experience and expertise of the UK and other countries in this area as well as bring together policy makers and senior practitioners from around the globe to discuss the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in terms of ensuring access and engagement for all.

There were two themes for the conference:

Access and Engagement: This theme explored the latest thinking and research around effective access and engagement for pupils with special educational needs. It challenged participants’ thinking by asking them to reflect on their vision for systemic inclusion and the changes that are necessary in terms of policy, practice and culture.

Empowerment and Enablement: This theme took a forward-looking approach and debated how systems can support the development of an appropriate infrastructure for inclusion. This included a focus on how leaders and practitioners can be supported to respond and adapt to a changing pupil population. 


For a detailed background and reading on this conference please click here.



Please regularly visit the British Council website to know about the upcoming policy dialogues and conferences.