Want to empower the next generation of agents of change but have a couple of questions? No problem.
We think it's great that you are interested in our exciting schools accreditation scheme as we continue to equip school pupils across England to become courageous advocates for change.
We understand that you may have some questions and we hope that you find our FAQs helpful. We've included various questions around eligibility, the accreditation process, the fit with other programmes, finding support and resources and how to get in touch with us. Just click the links below to find out more.
Is this only for primary schools?
No, as from Autumn 2023 there is a separate award for secondary schools.
Is the scheme only for primary schools in England?
Schools in both England and Wales can apply for this award. However, all schools wherever they are in the UK can still access all our resources at christian-aid.org.uk/schools. If your school is in Scotland, and you want to get more involved with Christian Aid, please visit caid.org.uk/Scotland for more information. If your school is in Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland, and want to get more involved visit the Christian Aid Ireland website: christianaid.ie/resources/schools.
The accreditation process
How do we apply for accreditation?
See our How to apply for Global Neighbours page for details of how to apply for an award and the stages of the process. The most important part of the process is your completion and submission of the Global Neighbours self-evaluation form which is available to download with your Global Neighbours Resource Pack once you have registered. The process has been designed to minimise the amount of evidence that you need to send in support of your application beyond the self-evaluation form, curriculum overview and collective worship overview. In addition, schools applying for silver and gold will be able to present the many different forms of evidence they wish to share when the assessor visits in person.
What are the costs of joining the scheme?
Registration for the scheme is free, as is most of the support we provide to schools by way of resources. There is only a charge when a school applies for a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. This is to cover the basic costs of an assessor’s time (and travel in the case of Silver and Gold awards) and of running of the scheme. You will be invoiced after the assessment has taken place.
Size of School
Silver & Gold Award(s)
Very small (less than 100 pupils)
Small (between 100 & 210 pupils)
Large (more than 210 pupils)
Do we still have to pay if our application is unsuccessful?
Yes. However, the process of self-evaluation carefully following the guidance in this handbook and separate advice on how to prepare for an assessor’s visit should minimise the likelihood of this happening. Furthermore, in the case of an unsuccessful application for a Gold or Silver award, the assessor may recommend a lower level award (or if the school already has the lower level award, extend it for a further three-year period).
What will an assessor visit involve for silver and gold applications?
An assessor will visit the school for half a day at an agreed time. The assessor will review evidence provided by the school in a variety of forms and meet with relevant staff and pupils and other members of the local community as appropriate about their experiences, plans and learning. Full details on how to prepare for a visit will be sent on receipt of an application for an award.
What will we receive if we are successful?
Every accredited school will receive a certificate of accreditation and a license to use the Global Neighbours award logo on school publications and letterheads. Accredited schools will also receive guidance and resources to help share their success and learning, for example through local media.
How long does accreditation last?
The Bronze, Silver and Gold awards will all expire at the end of the third full school year following the date of the award. To put it another way, a new award period opens in September each year and runs for the remainder of that school year and the following three years. Therefore, each award will need renewing between three and four school years from the date of the award, depending upon the stage reached in the school year when the award was made. For example, an award made in April 2023 will be due for renewal in August 2026. You will receive details on how to apply for renewal near the time when your award will expire.
How do you assure quality, consistency and fairness in the accreditation process?
There is a rigorous process to appoint assessors, followed by programme of ongoing training and annual reviews for all assessors.
Connection to other schemes
We have already done a lot of work to support global citizenship across the curriculum, with the support of other programmes and organisations. Will this count towards accreditation?
Yes, in so far that it helps demonstrate your school’s fulfilment of the accreditation criteria and is work that is currently being implemented in your school.
How does this scheme relate to, and differ from, other accreditation schemes around global learning and sustainable development (e.g. Eco-Schools, Rights Respecting Schools)?
The specific focus of this scheme is on the provision of opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of global justice issues and become agents of change. In common with many other schemes, the scheme encourages schools to develop global citizenship through multiple areas of the curriculum but it is distinctive in the place given to Religious Education and courageous advocacy. For church schools, its distinctiveness also lies in its capacity to help church schools relate its work on global citizenship to their Christian character and the framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS). In so far that your school’s participation in other schemes supports the accreditation criteria, they can be used in support of an application for a Global Neighbours School Award.
Can a school be accredited without supporting Christian Aid?
Yes, but we hope you will find the opportunities provided by Christian Aid for pupils to raise awareness, voices and money helpful.
Support, resources, and partnerships
Can our school continue to get support and resources from Christian Aid even if we choose not to go for accreditation?
Yes, of course. Our teaching and learning resources are freely available to all schools on our website.
Can we work with other schools in my area, diocese or multi-academy trust?
Yes – in fact we would strongly encourage schools to share the journey to Global Neighbours accreditation with other schools with which they have close relationships.
Does Christian Aid provide support for international school-linking?
We are not able to link schools in Britain with schools elsewhere in the world but there are many other organisations and schemes that do. See the ‘Further Resources and Support’ section of the Global Neighbours handbook.
Getting in touch
How do we express our school’s interest in participating?
Registration on our website is free and entails no commitment to apply for accreditation. Your school can then make decisions on whether and how quickly to proceed on the journey to accreditation.
Who should I contact if I have a question or problem not covered by these FAQs or the handbook?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as quickly as possible.
How can I order resources or find out more about your schools work?