In a post-Brexit Britain, it is vital that we continue to be outward facing and in our endeavours to do so, it is important that we continue to build upon and develop international partnerships at all levels. That's why I was delighted to talk to a group of students last week about the importance of the "Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning" Programme, which is funded jointly by the Department for International Development (DfID) and the British Council.
DfID works with some of the poorest countries in the world, trying to build a healthier, safer and more prosperous world and education is a core part of their work. Globally, some 263 million children don't attend school - many of them because they are too poor, or it's too dangerous to go to school, or there simply isn't a school close enough to where they live.
These children are desperate to go to school and to learn to read and write. DfID gives funding to help ensure that every child can go to school and receive a good quality education.
Here in Suffolk, the majority of our schools are rated Good or Outstanding and under the county council's Raising the Bar initiative, skills development for life and work is embedded throughout each and every child and young person's education jurney. This means that our children and young people are ready for work when they leave school and they have the skills needed to succeed in adult life.
But what about sharing these vital skills with those less fortunate than ourselves? "The Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning" programme aims to connect pupils and teachers here in Suffolk with their global counterparts, to share learning and experiences. It will provide an incredible opportunity for pupils here in Suffolk to work with young people from different countries, cultures and faiths helping to broaden children's horizons.
As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, I welcome this new initiative and would encourage schools across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to sign up to the programme. This ambitious programme will bring together more than 3 million primary and secondary school students and teachers around the world, learning vital new skills and forming new, global friendships. It will also train some 60,000 teachers and school leaders in the UK and developing countries to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to live and work in a global economy.
Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is a win for the UK and a win for the developing world. For schools looking to find out more, or to sign up, please click here
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