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International School Award Programme 2016

Background
The British Council School International School Award (ISA) is a benchmarking scheme that
accredits schools as having an outstanding level
of support for its teaching practice to add
a. International Dimension in its curriculum
b. Innovation to classroom curriculum transaction
In India it was launched in 2004 and till date more than 1000 schools have received the award
with an additional 400 more working on it in the current year. The range of schools participating in
the International School Award includes the elite private schools to government schools from rural
areas.
Why should schools work towards the International School Award?
Schools across the world are grappling with the challenge of providing relevant education in a
changing world scenario. Moving away from the traditional chalk and talk model of content
oriented teaching towards process and value oriented experiential learning requires a
transformational change.
This type of change is hard to bring about by discrete workshops or even extended staff training
away from classroom where follow-up on action is difficult to ascertain, achievements difficult to
measure and success rarely celebrated.
The ISA approach to school development is holistic and mirrors and models the approach that we
are encouraging teachers to use with their students. It is also rigorous and evidence based.
The ISA is a leadership challenge, which will foster teambuilding, innovation, and project
management. Getting the Action plan and dossier together will bring the staff together to examine
each others practices and evolve a new way of working. Keeping them motivated and going
through the course of one academic year will test the head teachers and ISA coordinators
leadership skills. As we know good leadership is second only to good teaching in raising students
outcome in schools.
It is content free and sits within individual schools curriculum framework just harnessing the every
human beings innate desire to explore the world to drive learning. After all, the entire tourism
industry thrives on peoples desire to spend their free time going from one place to and another
and putting themselves to considerable trouble and discomfort only to be able to come back to
say they had a wonderful holiday.
ISA gives context to practice new skills in ICT and pedagogy in a safe and structured manner. It
adds the element of excitement and enthusiasm that is needed to make learning joyful.
Participating in Action Planning workshop, online community and the award ceremony brings
together a large network of schools across the

country fostering rich exchange of ideas, broadening of vision and creating of a strong community
of education professionals.
ISA allows learning to end on a positive note with each project leader, the head teacher and the
ISA coordinator receiving an individual certificate from the British Council when the school
achieves the award.
An ISA is not the end. The schools and teachers involved in the ISA may remain engaged with
the British Council programmes online beyond the assessment year. Outstanding coordinators
and schools may be invited to become a British Council School Ambassador, join the ISA
assessment Panel and co-facilitate workshops.
Is your school ready to participate in the International School Award?
A school is ready to participate in the International School Award if it has basic infrastructure and
at least one computer with Internet facility accessible to students. At least one teacher has to
have adequate working knowledge of English language.
The schools that benefit most are schools that are seeking ways of improving teaching and
learning practice in the classroom and would like to see some transformational change from
traditional methods to more innovative methods.

What are the cost implications of participation in the ISA?


All independent privately managed and funded schools will have to pay a one time registration
fee of Rs 35,000 to be eligible to participate in the programme. If there is a group of schools more
than 10 altogether or you come through a British Council School Ambassador recommendation
then you get a discount of Rs 5000/-.
The one time registration fee entitles the school to the support provided by the British Council as
listed below but it does not cover cost of travel to and from the workshops or award ceremony
venues, incidental project costs or accommodation costs if any are required.
The payment of registration fee does not entitle the schools to the ISA which is granted after
rigorous assessment of standards and schools cannot claim the awards on the grounds of
payment of the registration fee. In case the school is unable to get the ISA in the first assessment
year then no fee needs to be paid for the second attempt. Thereafter a fresh registration will be
needed.

What support do schools get from the British Council on their ISA journey?
British Council will arrange an ISA Action Planning Workshop and an ISA Dossier Guidance
Workshop and Review Meeting at their offices in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai and other
major cities across India based on demand. These are delivered by British Council staff and /
or British Council School Ambassadors (highly skilled and specially selected school teachers and
head teachers who have experience of working on ISA or are a part of the ISA panel).
Besides the two one day workshops it will also have information and support available to schools
through its portal British Council Schools Online
Community and schools may seek help from registered British Council School Ambassadors for
queries at any time through the process of working towards their ISA.
Schools may also seek prior appointment and come into the office and British Council libraries to
view dossiers of successful schools.
What is the process involved in working towards a successful ISA dossier?
They need to make an action plan with at least seven specific activities for a range of year groups
and a range of curriculum area running through one academic year. The first draft of the action
plan is carefully assessed by an assessment panel and either approved or may be
asked to improve according to recommendation. Schools execute the activities and submit a
dossier of evidence. The evidence portfolio is assessed by the British Council Assessment Panel.
ISA panel may suggest recommendation for improvement and resubmission after more
work or approve the dossiers as appropriate.
What is the Award?
The schools that are able to complete their action plan and present evidence will receive the ISA
and will be able to use the ISA logo on all their school correspondence for a three year period.
They will also have the opportunity to attend an award ceremony and the Connecting Classrooms
workshop held at any of the four metro cities across India each year.
Those dossiers that demonstrate outstanding achievement and innovation in delivering the
international dimension in the curriculum will have the opportunity to show case their dossiers at
our offices and libraries, speak at British Council events as resources persons, get invitation to
selected events and workshops and be may be invited to join the ISA assessment panel
in the future.
In case you need any further assistance or clarification, please feel free to get in touch with me at
9664609955 or through email on ivy.cabral@britishcouncil.org