Once you are happy with your school’s profile you can search the database for suitable schools to contact. But with over 40,000 to choose from where do you start?
Email and forums
First of all, send out some emails to likely partners in batches of five or ten. Your message should contain the following.
- Your school size and age groups.
- The location and setting of your school, including famous landmarks such as rivers or mountains.
- A bit about your lifestyle and locality. What goes on in your school? e.g.include local industries, farming, famous buildings.
- Any ideas and interests. Is there a project you would like to do, or a particular topic or curriculum interest?
If you are bombarded by unsuitable partners it may be that you are not being clear enough about your requirements. If you aren’t getting enough interest you could try the forums instead.
The teachers’ forums feature lots of potential partners and can be a good place to paint a richer picture of your school and its interests. Why not use the forums to upload photos or video clips? (You need to be logged in to access this area.)
A formal beginning
Before you form a partnership it’s a good idea if the head teachers exchange letters. Email correspondence alone is not enough. Address your mail to the school’s official postal address – not a private residence or business – and request a letter from them too. This safety-check is even more important if you plan to visit your partner school.
We have checked that each school that is listed on this website is recognised by the education authority of the country where it is located. However, individual email addresses cannot be verified.
So, when you make contact treat everyone you meet in this community with courtesy and respect. However, don’t hesitate to contact us if you are unhappy with anything you read in an email or forum post. If you are asked for anything that does not feel right, such as money or personal support, please contact us straight away.
Protecting pupils and students
Only teachers are allowed to register on this site. This helps to protect the identity of students and pupils. Our forum regulations are very clear, but these are the key points to remember when using British Council Schools Online.
- Never share the personal details of people that you meet on this site, including teachers, with your pupils.
- Never share your pupils' personal details with anyone on this site. (This includes full names, email addresses, birthdays, addresses and photos that show individual pupils rather than groups.)
- If people on this site ask you to pass on personal email addresses to pupils, please contact us.
It’s OK to refer to pupils by their first name in restricted areas such as in a private message to your partner school or in a project space.
If you fail to comply with these rules you will be removed immediately from the service.