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We split school partnerships into two types:

  • cluster groups
  • one to one.

Here's an overview of what they are and how to get started.

Cluster groups

A Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning cluster is a group of schools in the UK and overseas that work together to support one another with global learning.

Schools can work together in a virtual capacity and also have the option to carry out face to face activities. Funding and support is available to facilitate both options.


Cluster groups can include a mix of primary and secondary schools. There's no limit to the number of schools taking part. However, as a minimum, there should be at least four schools involved, one of which must be from a participating country outside the UK.

To get the most out of a cluster, it's good to have a mix of the following types of schools:

  • Lead school - strong experience working with international partner schools and grant management.
  • Partner school - some experience of development education and/or partnership working.
  • Network school - new to global learning but keen to learn and start building international partnerships.

It works best if there is a single point of contact for the management of the group i.e. a Cluster Coordinator. It is expected that this role will be filled by a teacher at the lead UK school. However, parts of the role could be delegated.

One of the biggest benefits of working in a cluster group is that they are eligible to receive up to £35,000 in grant funding to work together face to face. The grant covers all aspects of global learning within the cluster, including reciprocal visits and training.

If you'd prefer not to travel, funding is also available to support virtual activities within the group, as well as a number of ready to go resources and activities


There are several ways to get involved in a cluster. You can:

  • start your own cluster group
  • find out whether there is an existing cluster group that you can join.

As a first step, particularly if you are new to global learning, we would recommend speaking to a local advisor. They can advise on how to start up and manage your own cluster. They may also be able to help you find and join a cluster in your local area.

Once you are ready you can also use our Partner Finder tool to search for other schools in the UK that may be interested in collaborating.

One to one partnership

A one to one partnership is a partnership between one school in the UK and one school based outside of the UK (see our list of participating countries).

We recognise that it is not always possible or desirable for schools to work as part of a cluster group. A one to one partnership can be just as fruitful as being part of a cluster and we have a team of local advisors who are on hand to give support whenever you may need it.


The quickest way to get talking and make a link with a school in another country is to use our Partner Finder tool. The tool allows you to take a look at their curriculum interests and priorities, enabling you to make a quick and informed decision about the best match for your school.

Once the partnership has had time to get under way, a school in a one to one partnership is eligible to apply for grant funding to facilitate a face to face visit.

Up to £3,000 (£1,500 per school) is available to cover costs such as travel, accommodation, subsistence, visas, vaccinations and insurance.