Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It enables your school to organise teaching or training abroad for teachers and support staff to exchange good practice and to make your international development plan really come to life. You can also develop partnerships with schools across Europe. For the programme guide and other important information see: www.erasmusplus.org.uk

If you have been thinking about making an Erasmus+ application for your school, now is a good time to get started. The referendum result does not affect UK organisations applying for Erasmus+ funding in 2017. Applications that are successful under the 2017 Call will be awarded funding for the duration of the project. Schools’ funding is split into two areas (you can apply for both in the same year):

Key Action 1 – funding for mobility, so that school staff can for example, carry out a teaching assignment in a partner school, participate in a course or training event, or job shadow / observe in a school. Funding covers travel and course fees, etc. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 2 February 2017 at 11.00 am (UK time).

Key Action 2 – funding to link with other organisations to develop partnerships and collaborative working (this includes for example, some mobility for staff and pupils to work on a project to promote linguistic skills and intercultural understanding). Funding covers project management, travel grants and, learning, teaching and training activities, etc. Schools can choose to be the lead organisation or a partner. You can apply for two KA2 projects, as a lead and a partner. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 29 March 2017 at 11.00 am (UK time). You are advised to start (and submit) your application well before the due date in case there are any IT issues on deadline day.

The application procedure is competitive. Although the overall programme is over-subscribed this is not the case for all areas and a priority for the UK is to see more applications for Key Actions 1 and 2 (some funding for example, has been ring-fenced for school to school partnerships). If you are considering making an application do bear in mind that you must first register your school and obtain a PIC (Participant Identification Code). As part of this process you have to provide evidence of your schools’ legal status (Legal Entity Form) and also complete a Financial Identification Form. You can sign up to eTwinning, the EC’s online community for schools to search for partners. It also provides a secure platform for online collaboration on a wide range of curriculum projects and helps you to manage your project by keeping everything in the same space. www.britishcouncil.org/etwinning

The School Education Gateway is an EC portal to help schools get the most out of Erasmus+. It offers three useful tools for schools interested in the programme: – for Key Action 1: a course catalogue for finding staff training opportunities and a mobility opportunities database for finding and posting job shadowing, observation and teaching assignment offers. – for Key Action 2: a partnerships area for finding and posting partnership opportunities. The School Education Gateway is linked to eTwinning and you can use your eTwinning log-in to access. www.erasmusplus.org.uk/schooleducationgateway

Some tips:

– Be ambitious

– involve more than one staff member!

– Look at your school’s current CPD needs and see how Erasmus+ can contribute

– Note that the grant is linked to the school, even if key project people leave

– Clearly identify which school priorities your application addresses and why

– For Key Action 2, include benefits to your partner school, not just yours

– Make sure that your application reflects key outcomes of the Erasmus+ programme (p31 in programme guide)

– Share the knowledge: your ideas for measuring the impact of and disseminating your project can make or break the application.

The UK National Agency for school applications is the British Council. Look out for any Erasmus+ information sessions and webinars as these can be very helpful. Sign up for the e-newsletter. You can also call or email the team if you need any specific advice about completing your application. T: 0161 957 7755 E: erasmusplus.enquiries@britishcouncil.org

Good luck!

Do post your experiences and share any tips.