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ERIC Number: ED564446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 80
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISBN: 978-0-9574546-2-0
School Linking--Where Next? Partnership Models between Schools in Europe and Africa. Research Paper No. 10
Bourn, Douglas; Cara, Olga
Development Education Research Centre
Linking between schools in the United Kingdom and schools in sub-Saharan Africa has been a feature of the educational landscape for more than twenty years, but became a government priority between 2000 and 2010. Whilst the interest in Ireland was less, both countries resourced linking programmes primarily as a means of raising awareness of development issues. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also became involved in school linking during the first decade of the twenty-first century with Plan UK and Link Community Development (Link) being the leading organisations in this field. However, due to funding constraints and change in United Kingdom government policy post 2010, both of these NGOs ended their linking programmes in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Link's involvement in school linking came from a development perspective; links were primarily seen as a mechanism for improving schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Development education only became a main feature of their linking programme with their European Union funded project, Partners in Development (PiD), which ran from 2010 to 2012. This project was funded from a development awareness budget line, but the NGO's proposal included development goals within the project. This became a major source of tension that was unresolved throughout the life of the project. This report is an evaluation of the "Partners in Development" project that was based on linking schools in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, with schools in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa. The evidence gathered was based on a combination of quantitative-based questionnaires, interviews with key staff within Link, and in-depth data gathered from a number of schools in Scotland. The main findings of the evaluation are as follows: (1) The Link Schools Programme (LSP) was clearly valued, but its impact was different in the United Kingdom and Ireland from that in South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda; (2) The breadth of schools involved, particularly in the United Kingdom, suggests that the programme reached different schools from those which have been involved in other linking programmes; (3) The project suffered from funding criteria that continually focused on a target-driven approach; (4) Link staff became too heavily involved in administration and support; (5) As a consequence, many of the issues that often emerge in linking activities were not fully addressed; (6) The website was popular and the Solar Connect component that provided internet access to some of the schools in Africa was highly valued; and (7) Supported links developed by the Link model clearly have value. The following appendices are included: (1) Breakdown of schools participating in the Teacher Survey; (2) Rating of the Link Programme services. UK & Ireland schools; (3) Rating of the Link Programme services. African schools; (4) Profile of activities by school characteristics; (5) Evaluation Questionnaire; and (6) Focus Group Questions for Teachers in Scottish Link Schools--June 2012.
Development Education Research Centre. Available from: Institute of Education - London. 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK. Tel: +44-20-7612-6000; Fax: +44-20-7612-6126; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: European Union (EU) (Belgium); Department for International Development
Authoring Institution: University of London, Development Education Research Centre (DERC); Link Community Development (United Kingdom)
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Ghana; Ireland; Malawi; South Africa; Uganda; United Kingdom; United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Scotland); United Kingdom (Wales)