The Turing Scheme offers funding for schools throughout the United Kingdom, and in British Overseas Territories, to support placements all over the world for their pupils.
Turing Scheme placements are a perfect way to help your school meet the aspirations of the UK Government’s latest Schools White Paper, Opportunity for All.
In fact, there are a whole host of reasons why you should apply? So, what are the benefits for your pupils and your school of taking part in the Turing Scheme?
Expanding pupils’ world view
Well, the first and most obvious, is that your pupils will gain first-hand insights into and experience of different cultures, societies, environments and heritages – sometimes vastly different – expanding their world view far beyond the borders of the UK.
What they see and do and who they meet on such trips is experiential learning at its best. It will support and add relevance to the subjects they learn about in your classrooms back home in the UK, creating better engagement and enthusiasm and raising aspirations.
Trips abroad will foster a greater rapport and closer personal connections between pupils and their teachers, their peers and the new relationships they form during the visit. This can lead to increases in learning motivation and collaboration.
As well as the academic aspects, undertaking such trips sees pupils grow personally and emotionally – developing an empathy with new people and cultures and soft skills such as communication, increased confidence and self-esteem, teamwork and, where relevant, language skills too.
With additional support available for pupils from defined disadvantaged backgrounds, the Turing Scheme also means that your school will be able to offer these life-changing opportunities to those whose social and economic circumstances might otherwise have been a barrier to participation.
Funding can be used to support regular trips which your school may already have in place, possibly removing the need in any given academic year for parents to contribute or for alternative funds to be depleted.
Of course, it is not just the pupils who gain from Turing Scheme placements. Accompanying teachers will be exposed to new pedagogical practices and curriculum approaches, working formally and informally alongside their counterparts in receiving organisations. They will return with fresh ideas and having had their own enthusiasm boosted, leading to enhanced innovation in your own school.
From an organisational perspective there will also be significant positive outcomes. The relationships developed on a personal and institutional level with hosting partners when planning and during Turing Scheme placements will enable your school to internationalise itself – creating, or enhancing, an ability to look beyond the UK when developing curricula and teaching strategies.
And think about the kudos your school will gain with parents, pupils and the wider community if it is seen to be offering such enriching international opportunities. It’s certainly not going to do your reputation any harm!
The Turing Scheme is a truly global programme with no restrictions on which countries or territories pupils may visit as long as any prevailing Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice is adhered too.
There is also great flexibility in the type and length of placements supported, allowing your school to plan trips which can be tailored to the specific needs of your pupils and curriculum.
Short term placements range from three days to two months, with pupils travelling with their teachers and working together in the classroom with their counterparts from a school in another country or territory. These placements offer international learning experiences to develop an understanding of cultures and languages, and to help pupils acquire social, civic and intercultural competences for their personal development.
Additionally, pupils aged 14 or over can undertake a long-term placement of two to six months at a partner school, attending lessons, living with a host family and having an immersive experience in the daily life of the receiving school.
It should go without saying that to fully realise the benefits of any placement and maximise the positive outcomes the host organisations must be right, the study abroad well planned and the itinerary very focused with a good range and variety of high-quality inputs and experiences included.
But if you can do that, then we hope you will agree that the huge benefits for your pupils and school of taking part in the Turing Scheme certainly make it well worth taking the trouble to apply – especially as we have a wealth of resources and a dedicated team waiting to guide you throughout the process.