British Council International School Award


Ballyclare High School in County Antrim has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award for the sixth consecutive time in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

 Ballyclare High’s international work includes offering a wide range of trips to pupils, such as foreign language exchange trips to partner schools in France and Germany, language and culture trips to Spain, an annual trip for Year 8 pupils to France and/or Germany, a community language outreach programme involving native assistants and Sixth Form pupils helping to teach modern languages in local primary schools and an array of extracurricular activities which include the Language Leader’s Award Scheme and participation in external debating and translation competitions.

On hearing the news that Ballyclare High School had received the award, Dr Michelle Rainey, Principal, said: “It is an incredible honour to receive this award on behalf of the School for a record sixth time in succession. We are very proud of our international dimension and robust quality assurance such as this is the foundation of our continued commitment and passion for providing a breath of opportunities for our pupils and staff across the whole curriculum. An eighteen year partnership with the British Council is something special.”

British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, said: ‘The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.’

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is delivered by the British Council and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

 “Young people must be at the heart of our work to create a safer and more prosperous world for everyone and we need to ensure their voices are heard if we are to win the fight against global poverty. That is why I am delighted to celebrate the international work of [name of school here] and the energy and passion of the young people involved.

“The International School Award is a great way of highlighting how young people have the potential to change things for the better. I’m sure that schools getting involved will be broadening the horizons of their students, which will not only help their careers but benefit their wider lives in the future.”

Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:

Involvement of the wider community