Erasmus+ funding – it’s not too late but be quick, it could be your school’s last chance

The Erasmus+ scheme offers wonderful international opportunities to schools and there is still funding on offer – but not for long. Read on to find out how your school can benefit from Erasmus+ and when the all-important closing date is.

European partners, including London CLC's Sarah Horrocks (front left) and Rowan Roberts (front right) on the Erasmus+ Co-think project

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, which runs from 2014 to 2020. It’s best known for its university student exchange programmes but it also runs activities for UK schools and colleges providing general, vocational or technical education to students aged 3 – 18 years, so that covers early years and primary schools. 

While we don’t know what will happen to the UK’s involvement in Erasmus after this year, €41.8m in funding has been allocated to UK schools for 2020. 

The two key opportunities schools can apply for are:

Exchange partnerships

Schools can use the Exchange Partnerships funding to send groups of students on exchanges, lasting from three days to two months, accompanied by staff OR for sending staff on short-term training events of three days to two months, and long-term teaching or training assignments of between two months and one year.

Strategic partnerships

Schools can use the Strategic Partnership fund to test and implement innovative practices for students, staff and organisations, cooperate with international partners on curriculum development and reinforcing basic skills, facilitate the recognition and certification of skills and competences or develop active citizenship and entrepreneurship.

The deadline for both of these funding opportunities is 24 March 2020.

There is also a School staff mobility funding, which enables teachers and school staff to spend time abroad in one of the Erasmus+ Programme countries for professional development courses and training events; job shadowing and observations; teaching assignments at partner schools/organisations. However, the deadline for this funding is much sooner – 11 February 2020.

We think the Erasmus scheme has been fantastic. There’s a wealth of case studies on the Erasmus site showing how schools have benefited and we know from personal experience how exciting our own work on Erasmus has been and how much the schools we work with both nationally and internationally get out of it.

Here’s what one of our partner schools has to say:

“Erasmus projects are a brilliant way to get excellent opportunities for learning all across Europe. These projects will enable you and your pupils to gain precious life skills and global experience which helps teachers and pupils grow personally, professionally and academically. Your school will get an amazing opportunity to meet inspirational partners from all across Europe, learning and sharing new ideas and sharing outstanding practices.”

Eduardo Serra from Stockwell Primary School

Co-think, Co-make and Empower2Learn

Our work has included Co-think, an Erasmus+ KA2 project exploring inclusive practices in teaching computational thinking to primary school children. We partnered with Hitherfield Primary School and, as part of the project, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, British and Dutch children will take part in simultaneous hackathons and their teachers will have the opportunity to share practice and co-deliver computer science lessons across the five countries. Read our blog posts to find out more. 

We are also a partner in Co-make, which is exploring computational thinking in early years (look out for our blog post on that project next week) and Empower2Learn, which is considering the benefits of technology for personalising learning and will include machine learning and artificial intelligence alongside other digital tools. 

It’s been a great opportunity to learn and think deeply about an aspect of technology that promises to play a major part in the learning experiences of the pupils of the present and the future. We’ll be coordinating a literature review with the aim of saving educators’ time and providing some pointers for those who would like to learn a little more about the potential of this area. There will also be a CPD element further down the line and a toolkit for teachers and educators.

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