Please note that, while you can still start a Connecting Classrooms partnership with other schools and conduct project activity through our reccomended tools, reciprocal visits are currently suspended while travel restrictions apply. However, you can still apply for funding for travel at a later date.

All Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning cluster groups need to identify a UK cluster coordinator.

As a cluster coordinator, you will be the main point of contact for the cluster with the British Council and local advisors. You will be responsible for the administrative elements of coordinating the cluster, act as a point of liaison, and manage many of the activities within the group.

If your cluster chooses to apply for grant funding, then you'll have a particularly important role to play. With this in mind, here's an overview of the main areas of responsibility for UK cluster coordinators:

Recruitment

  • The UK cluster coordinator should identify schools that are suitable to join the cluster and participate in collaborative activities.  Note that schools do not need to be in the same geographical area.  

Planning for and putting together a grant application

  • Using the self-evaluation provided, ascertain the professional development needs for each member of the cluster and plan for the appropriate training to be addressed as part of the plan in the grant application.
  • Complete your grant application in collaboration with all schools in the cluster ensuring training needs and proposed activity plans and grant expenditure are clearly defined.
  • Ensure the application is completed as a joint endeavour between UK and overseas schools, and includes strong evidence of collaboration and joint working.

Find out more about how to put together a strong application.

Handling grant agreements

  • Each successful application for funding will be followed by a grant agreement. The agreement needs to be signed by the head teacher at the lead school in the UK and returned to the British Council before the grant funding is paid. It is the responsibility of the UK cluster coordinator to ensure this happens.

Grant management

  • Handle administration of the grant, including accounting for all funds in accordance with the grant agreement. The UK coordinator is accountable for reconciling all funds on behalf of the cluster.
  • Monitor grant expenditure. This means ensuring schools in the cluster do not receive more than their allocation of funds and that any unspent funds or funds spent on ineligible activities are returned to the British Council.
  • Arrange for distribution of funds to other schools in the cluster as set out in the approved grant application.
  • Consult with the British Council before sanctioning any substantial changes to the proposed expenditure plan.

Coordination of cluster activities

  • Plan, review and monitor delivery of the activity plan submitted and approved in your grant application.
  • Arrange and deliver CPD as per the plan in the grant application.
  • Arrange and deliver network meetings on a periodic basis for the cluster.
  • Commit to ongoing CPD for yourself as a UK cluster coordinator.
  • Liaise with local advisors to secure their input and support with managing the cluster, ensuring quality and making best use of available resources.

Visits to and from the UK

UK cluster coordinators are expected to play a coordination role for visits to and from the UK, ensuring that:

  • Pre-departure information is shared with and understood by the participating teachers.
  • Travelling teachers understand the requirements before travelling: visas, formal invitation letter, vaccinations, travel insurance, passports etc.
  • Visit dates and schedules are agreed in a timely manner, with input from both the hosting and the visiting schools.
  • Activities are carried out as per the visit plan.

Reporting

  • Completing a cluster mid-term report and a final report at the end of the project. Familiarise yourself with the grant funding application process and timeline.
  • Financial reconciliation of the grant. The report must include details of all expenditure and receipts must be provided to the British Council if the cluster is selected for audit.

Communication

  • All communication relating to the cluster grant application is addressed between the British Council and the UK school cluster coordinator. It is the responsibility of the cluster coordinator to disseminate any information to all the schools in the cluster, including those outside the UK.

Child protection

  • All overseas participating schools must have completed the mandatory child protection course offered by the British Council before they travel to the UK. Schools will not receive visa support letters from the British Council if they have not completed this course. UK cluster coordinators are advised to bring child protection issues to the forefront of their initial discussion with their partner schools.

Media and community engagement

  • Coordinate events or other activities to disseminate awareness and impact of the cluster’s international work into the local community.
  • Coordinate schools’ use of the Connecting Classrooms media toolkit, to ensure local media receives information about the cluster’s success stories.

Clusters will also need to identify an Overseas partnership coordinator. It is expected that this role will be taken by a teacher in a lead overseas school. The Overseas partnership coordinator will liase with the UK cluster coordinator, and with the British Council if necessary. If you choose to apply for grant funding, they will lead on the overseas school(s) contribution to the application and reporting.