Students in a classroom
Students in a classroom

Celebrate your school's efforts to include international work as part of your curriculum and helping embed it within your school's culture.

The programme supports schools in fostering an international ethos throughout the school and embedding it within the curriculum.

ISA was introduced in India 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 International School Award varies from the 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 the International School award?

The International School Award 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 School Award journey continues, you will learn of new ways to develop and embed international education in your school.

What is the award?

What you receive for completing the International School Award varies depending on the level you have achieved.

 Schools who receive the International School Award also receive:

  • a kitemark to display on your school website and communications
  • certificate of achievement for the leading teachers and coordinators
  • branded ISA plaque

Please note the Award 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 School Award

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 ISA 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

Any recognised school offering any curriculum, state, national or international; is eligible to apply for the International School Award. The minimum requirements include basic infrastructure, at least one computer with internet facility and at least one teacher with an adequate working knowledge of English language.

The schools that benefit the most are the ones that are proactively seeking ways of improving classroom transaction and would like to see some transformational change from traditional methods to more innovative methods.

Your school is ready to participate if it is primed for reflecting and reviewing its teaching practice as well as ready for change.


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 School Award

Schools that have the British Council International School Award 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.

Registration fee

Category Applying directly to the British Council Applying through a British Council School Ambassador (BCSA)
Foundation Certificate INR 8,000 INR 8,000
Intermediate Certificate INR 19,500 INR 17,500
International School Award INR 35,000 INR 30,000

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

  • International School Award 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 International School Award)
  • 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 School Award)

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 or to the International School Award, which is granted after rigorous assessment. Schools cannot claim the Award on the ground of payment of the registration fee. In case the school is unable to get the International School Award 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 School Award 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 School Award but also for all other school projects. Following key features of the website are especially useful for schools working towards the International School Award:


  •  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 School Award 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 School Award as 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 School Award

Level Privileges 
Foundation certificate

Certificate of completion to school

Certificate to Principal

Certificate to Coordinator/s

Intermediate certificate

International School Award plaque Certificate of completion to school

Certificate to Principal

Certificate to Coordinator/s

International School Award International School Award trophy for the school


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

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

Invitation to attend the annual British Council School ISA 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 School Award assessment panel in the future.


The International School Award is for three years only.

Schools will need to re-apply after this period. The reapplication process is similar to the process followed to get the ISA for the first time. Reapplication gives a chance for new staff that has joined the school to understand the programme to participate and  learn innovative ways of adding global dimension to their classroom. It will also give you the opportunity to renew your old networks and re-connect with peers and like-minded schools updating your professional skills in the process. ISA is an evolving programme and  each year more supporting resources are being added to the offer to make it a richer experience for schools and to keep the programme fresh and updated. If you are working towards reapplication of ISA you are still advised to read the guidance notes carefully to ensure that you are abreast with new changes in process and success criteria.

Registration process and contact details

To apply for the International School Award (at any level), the school needs to complete the registration form as given in the downloads section below. The documents must be submitted to the local British Council office (please keep a copy of the forms that you submit to us) along with the registration fee through cheque or demand draft drawn in favour of 'British Council Division' and payable at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai (depending upon your  nearest British Council office).

North India

E: | T: +91-11-41497260

British Council Division, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001

West India

E: | T: +91-22-67486762

British Council Division, 901, One Indiabulls Centre, Elphinstone Road (West), Mumbai 400013

East India

E: | T: +91-33-40074348

British Council Division, L&T Chambers, First Floor, 16 Camac Street, Kolkata 700017

South India

E: | T: +91-44-42050629

British Council Division, 737 Anna Salai, Chennai 600002

Feedback from schools who have received the ISA

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 School Award 2020, India FAQs

Schools are requested to refer to the ISA FAQs document (version 3) for guidance on completing their ISA activities effectively despite the lockdown and delays caused by the COVID19 pandemic. These FAQs are for schools who are undergoing the ISA 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 School Award programme is currently undergoing a review and we will not be accepting new applications for the programme until further notice.