International opportunities for schools

Funding opportunities

Erasmus Plus is the main European Union (EU) funding stream for education projects. The programme brings together the different areas formerly under the Lifelong learning programme along with elements of the youth programme and a new area around sport. The new programme differs in that its emphasis lies in supporting much wider EU ambitions of:

boosting skills and employability,modernising education through the sharing of best practice and promoting the learning of languages.

In the school sector, priority will be given to projects which:

  • boost attainment and basic skills,
  • tackle early school drop out,
  • promote high quality early years education and care,
  • support the professional development of teaching staff.

Making an application

A good place to start to develop your school partnership is through the eTwinning website.  The site is available to schools across the EU to set up secure online partnerships for a huge range of projects, all of which can lead into funded partnerships. This document produced by Europe Direct for North East England schools gives a simple summary for schools.

Applicants must be a member of one of the 29 Member States of the European Union or Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) or Turkey.

The Erasmus Plus programme

The Erasmus Plus programme is now based around three key actions

Key action one (KA1) Learning Mobility of Individuals. This is like the very popular In Service Training awards under the lifelong learning programme and covers training, job shadowing with opportunities for teachers and learners (apart from school children and adult learners). Key Action 1 is the largest of the actions with 63% of the budget.

Key action two (KA2) Co-operation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices. Key Action 2 projects enable schools to share and develop good practice to support all strategic goals.

Key action three (KA3) This is around support for policy reform. Key Action 3 differs in not being part of the annual call for proposals. Only 'meetings between young people and decision-makers in the field of youth' is administered in the UK. The rest of KA3 is administered directly from Brussels.

For more information check the Erasmus Plus Schools information leaflet (PDF 696KB).