Students in a classroom
Students in a classroom

We have reconciled our global messaging/ positioning with the Indian legal requirements and the ISA programme in India has undergone a name change. The International School Award will now be called International Dimension in Schools (IDS) and this will be applicable to all schools who have enrolled in the programme since 2018.

We want to highlight that only the name of the programme has been changed and there will be no changes to the objectives, content, structure and timelines for delivery of the programme.

International Dimension in Schools celebrates a school's effort to include international work as part of their curriculum and helps embed it within the school's culture. The programme supports schools in fostering an international ethos throughout the school and embedding it within the curriculum.

The International School Award (ISA) now called International Dimension in Schools (IDS) in India, was introduced in the year 2003 and nearly 2500 schools across the country have joined this exciting journey since then. The range of schools participating in the programme varies from well-resourced private schools to government schools from rural areas and schools for the less advantaged communities. The International School Award now has a presence in 31 countries worldwide.

What is International Dimension in Schools?

International Dimension in Schools supports schools that have shown a commitment to embedding international awareness and global citizenship within their class and school.

We encourage this by supporting schools in completing collaborative, curriculum-based work with a number of international partner schools and involvement of the wider community.

As your International Dimension in Schools journey continues, you will learn of new ways to develop and embed international education in your school.


Entry level 1: Foundation Certificate

The Foundation certificate introduces internationalism and prepares schools to work towards establishing international partnerships, forming the foundation for future international collaborative work. Schools or educational institutions which qualify for the Foundation certificate will have prepared for international work or will be reinitiating it after a break.

Entry level 2: Intermediate Certificate

A school applying for the Intermediate certificate has already started its international journey and has established relations with international partners. The school is now gaining experience of working on collaborative projects and increasing the level of activity and impact in the school. Educators at this level are observing development areas in practice for themselves. Young people are becoming more aware of different global themes.

Entry level 3: International Dimension in Schools

Schools that have the International Dimension in schools are experienced in working with international partners on a range of projects, sustaining activity throughout the academic year, and embedding international learning across the whole school and curriculum. Resources are committed to the school’s international co-ordinator, and their international policy is revised and developed as required. Schools disseminate their learning to others in the local community and educators benchmark practice with partner schools.

What is the IDS certification?

What you receive for completing the International Dimension in Schools journey varies depending on the level you have achieved. Schools who receive the International Dimension in Schools Certification also receive:

  • a kitemark to display on your school website and communications
  • certificate of achievement for leading teachers and coordinators to embed internationalism in curriculum

Please note the certification is not an ‘accreditation’ of the school nor does it provide assurance of the general quality standards of the school like infrastructure, quality of teaching, teaching pedagogy and health and safety.

Benefits of the International Dimension in Schools

If successfully implemented, the programme benefits your school especially teachers and students but also has the potential to create a positive impact in the wider community.

Benefits for the school:

  • the provision of relevant education in a rapidly changing world by enabling connections across geographies and contexts
  • evidence of having aligned your curriculum to the Sustainable Development Goals and contributing to achieving these and making the world a better place
  • an increased profile and role in the local community, by having introduced internationalism thus making it an attractive prospect for teachers and parents
  • the inclusion of an extra dimension to students’ learning and development which may not normally be offered
  • achievement of a benchmark of effective practice and robust professional development
  • whole-school development due to the nature of the programme (e.g. cross-curricular and across grades)
  • the creation of important links with schools across the world to exchange knowledge and skills.

Benefits for parents:

  • witnessing your child develop new and improved attitudes, skills and behaviours in relation to the awareness and appreciation of countries and cultures
  • building closer connections with your child’s peers, teachers and other parents through participating in events organised by the school as part of the IDS programme
  • enabling your child to develop an international and global perspective by studying and analysing various aspects from different countries
  • facilitating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • enabling your child to develop their skills for life and work in the global economy and global citizenship

Benefits for teachers:

  • receiving access to online professional development courses through the British Council
  • developing leadership skills as coordinators and project leads
  • fostering essential skills such as teambuilding, time management, innovation and project management
  • developing reflective skills as projects are created, implemented and reported
  • enriching teaching practice to embed global themes in lessons and practice
  • increasing personal networks by collaborating with colleagues in briefings and projects

 Benefits for students:

  • an increased knowledge, awareness and tolerance of other countries, cultures and languages
  • improved confidence in communicating with people from different backgrounds and nationalities
  • enhanced skills in collaborative research and presentation techniques
  • preparation to successfully live and work in a global and mobile society
  • literacy skills through writing stories, reports, reflection and communication for specifics audiences

 Benefits to the community:

  • better awareness of social issues with respect to for example, the environment, society and history 
  • opportunities to host and welcome students from local schools through field visits and increased profile of local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • be recipients of school projects such as clean-up drives and visits to local old-age homes

Eligibility criteria

Our International Dimension in Schools programme is currently undergoing a review and we will not be accepting new applications for the programme. We will update this page with more details as soon as we have completed the review of the programme.

Registration fee

The registration fee entitles the school to support provided by the British Council in the following ways:

  • An International Dimension in Schools kit and one-day face to face action planning workshop
  • Assessment of the action plan and recommendations
  • One day face-to-face mid-year review and portfolio guidance meeting (only for Intermediate level and British Council IDS level)
  • Assessment of portfolio of evidence and recommendations for resubmission (if required)
  • A celebratory ceremony for successful schools (only for those schools who enrol for International Dimension in Schools)

The registration fee does not cover the travel or accommodation costs for individual participants for briefings/workshops.

It is important to note that the payment of registration fee does not automatically entitle a school to the different Certificate levels, it is granted after rigorous assessment. Schools cannot claim the International Dimension Certificate on the ground of payment of the registration fee. In case the school is unable to get the IDS Certificate in the first assessment year, no fee will be charged for a second attempt. Thereafter, a fresh registration will be needed.

Support for participating schools

International Dimension in Schools is a new learning experience and it is normal for schools to require assistance and guidance along the way. British Council offers ongoing advice and support to schools through face-to-face interactions and online platform

Online Support

The British Council website  offers support to schools not only for International Dimension in Schools but also for all other school projects. Following key features of the website are especially useful for schools working towards the IDS:

  • Template projects on various themes for different age groups.
  • Partner finding tool which is easy to access and has a wide range of schools registered from around the world.
  • Links to UK partner organisations who schools can  work with; examples include 100 Words,  BBC World Class, Big Dance etc. These provide invaluable support in adding creativity and innovation to the planned activities.
  • Short online courses in global education, intercultural understanding and ICT for International School Award coordinators and coordination team - these courses offer an opportunity to teachers to undertake professional development at their own pace.
  • Discussion forums for peer-to-peer support and sharing of best practice and troubleshooting.

Offline Support

Registration for International Dimension for Schools entitles the school to three face-to-face engagements:

  1. Action Planning workshop
  2. Mid-year review workshop
  3. Award Ceremony 

Besides these, schools may seek an appointment with a British Council staff to clarify doubts and view sample portfolios. You can also get assistance from a British Council School Ambassador (BCSA), an experienced school teacher or Principal who has volunteered to assist new International School Award aspirants. The BCSAs receive training and input from the British Council and are well-equipped to give high-quality advice. If you have any difficulty in contacting any BCSA, do get in touch with your nearest British Council office (contact details provided in the next section) and we will find a BCSA to help you.

The International Dimension in Schools is a kaleidoscopic programme that facilitates understanding of international educational and cultural practices and fosters camaraderie between nations. The experience of this incredible journey has already prompted us to go beyond our known level of innovation and experimentation in the field of education and groom our teachers and students into global mentors and pupils.

Privileges of the International Dimension in Schools Certification

Level Privileges 
Foundation certificate

Certificate of completion to school

Certificate to Principal

Certificate to Coordinator/s

Intermediate certificate

Intermediate certificate plaque

Certificate of completion to school

Certificate to Principal

Certificate to Coordinator/s

International Dimension in Schools International Dimension in Schools trophy for the school


Certificates for school, Principal, IDS Coordinator and up to 10 members of the IDS team in school

Use of the coveted IDS kite mark on all official stationery and promotional materials for three years

Invitation to attend the annual British Council School IDS ceremony and associated seminars and workshops


The outstanding schools will have the opportunity to showcase their portfolios at the British Council offices, speak at British Council events as resource persons, participate in selected events and workshops and get invited to join the International Dimension in Schools assessment panel in the future.


Our International Dimension in Schools programme is currently undergoing a review and we will not be accepting reapplications for the programme. We are not accepting reapplications this year and will soon update this page with more details once we have completed the review of the programme

Registration process

Our International Dimension in Schools programme is currently undergoing a review and we will not be accepting new applications for the programme. We will update this page with more details as soon as we have completed the review of the programme.

Feedback from schools who have received the ISA (now called IDS)

Our recent innings with British council has been enlightening, empowering and enterprising. The range of activities explored by the students this year has undoubtedly given them an upper hand over the others helping them to overcome obstacles and persist through new learning. They also enjoyed all the activities thoroughly which gave them exposure on international scale. Project topics addressing national and international issues capacitated students into wise, compassionate and responsible individual. The collaborative efforts of professional administrators committed teachers and motivated students have marked the accomplishment of this year’s ISA activities thereby adding another feather to our cap. The destination is the ultimate goal, but it is the journey that matters and helps us to visualize, grow, introspect and repeat the process. We are sure that our association with British Council will make positive contribution in our growth in the ever-evolving global society - Vidhyashram International School, Jodhpur

The innovative concept of culture boxes between our school and schools in Greece and Korea helped students to understand and appreciate different perspectives and cultures within the world in which we live, encourage them to be open minded as they built bridges of trust, respect and understanding across cultures. The ISA journey has served to nurture the important skills of collaboration, curiosity, communication and creativity through the well planned, effective activities. Making connections from local to global has helped the students to appreciate differences and cherish similarities - PSBB T Nagar, Chennai

British Council led us to take “that one small step which turn to be a Giant Leap ,extending our reach across international boundaries". It was a privilege for the school to be a part of the British Council International School Award programme. The journey of ISA has facilitated the school to integrate an international dimension and take our students a step ahead to “Discover Yourself.” With ISA project our school took a step forward to discover the bond that links human race, overcoming borders, distances, languages and cultures - Euro School, Pune

Besides being a roller coaster ride, the ISA programme provided an enriching experience that broke the monotony in the curriculum through myriad activities based on the school syllabi yet reflecting an international dimension. Preparing the action plan was a good exercise for the teachers to come up with unique ideas. We started with a thumping heart and high hopes – belief in our heart that “we shall overcome”. The entire school got into an “ISA mood” and the projects gave impetus to creativity and ingenuity of the students - Griffins International School, Khatranga

International Dimension in Schools 2020 FAQ’s(Version 3)

Schools are requested to refer to the IDS FAQs document (version 3) for guidance on completing their IDS activities effectively despite the lockdown and delays caused by the COVID19 pandemic. These FAQs are for schools who are undergoing the IDS for the period August / September 2019 to June 2020 and for the schools enrolled for the sessions in the FY 2020 – 2021.

Please note: Our International Dimension is Schools programme is currently undergoing a review and we will not be accepting new applications for the programme until further notice.