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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Eligibility

Is this only for primary schools?

Primary, middle and special schools are welcome to apply. We are developing this for secondary schools.

Is the scheme only for schools in England?

We are currently only able to receive applications for accreditation from schools in England. Schools outside of England can still access all our resources here. If your school is in Scotland or Wales, please contact your national Christian Aid office. If your school is in Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland, visit the Christian Aid Ireland website.

The accreditation process

When will we be able to gain accreditation?

Schools can apply when they are ready. We recommend that schools take a minimum of three school terms to embed their global citizenship work before applying for a Bronze award. Bronze and Silver Global Neighbours schools may apply for a higher level of award before their current award period has expired; however, we will only accept these applications after a minimum of three school terms. Sufficient time must be taken to increase and deepen global citizenship work and courageous advocacy opportunities further in order to be successful. Please note that applications received in the final half of the summer term, or during the summer holidays, may not be processed until the new academic year begins in September.

How do we apply for accreditation?

You must submit your application via the Global Neighbours Registered Schools page on our website. (You will be sent the link to this when you first register.) Schools must submit an evidence form giving specific examples of what they have done to fulfil the criteria, along with an action showing how they will embed their global citizenship work further. Schools will also submit their curriculum overview and collective worship / assembly overview, with global citizenship opportunities clearly highlighted, so that the assessor can see a summary of coverage at a glance. These overviews should be summary documents, covering a couple of sides of A4, rather than lengthy planning materials. Schools applying for Silver or Gold awards can also share additional evidence when the assessor visits in person.

What are the costs of joining the scheme?

Registration is free, as are most resources. There is only a charge when a school applies for an award, to cover the basic costs of an assessor’s time and travel, and of running of the scheme. Click here to view the costs.

Do we still have to pay if our application is unsuccessful?

Yes. However, carefully following the guidance in this handbook should minimise the likelihood of this happening. 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 or 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.

What will we receive if we are successful?

Every accredited school will receive a certificate of accreditation and a licence to use the Global Neighbours award logo on school publications and letterheads. Accredited schools 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 expire at the end of the second full school year following the date of the award (a new award period opens in September each year and runs for the remainder of that school year and the following two years). Each award needs renewing between two and three school years from the date of the award, depending upon the stage reached in the school year when the award was made. You will receive details of 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?

The accreditation process is overseen by the Church of England Education Office which appoints and trains assessors and provides quality assurance.

Fit with other programmes

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 as 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 other accreditation schemes around global learning and sustainable development (eg, 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, it encourages schools to develop global citizenship through multiple areas of the curriculum but it is distinctive in the place given to RE. For church schools, its distinctiveness also lies in its capacity to help them relate work on global citizenship to their Christian character and the framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS). Where 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 and resources provided by Christian Aid helpful.

Support, resources, and partnerships

Can Christian Aid send a speaker into our school?

Subject to availability, yes. Please email schools@christian-aid.org to request a visit from a volunteer Christian Aid Teacher.

Can our school continue to gain resources from Christian Aid even if we choose not to go for accreditation?

Yes. Our teaching and learning resources are freely available via our website, and our volunteer Christian Aid Teachers will still provide support subject to availability.

Can we work with other schools in the area, diocese or multi-academy trust?

Yes, we strongly encourage schools to share the journey to accreditation. Please note, however, that schools will usually have to make an individual application for an award.

Does Christian Aid provide support for international school-linking?

Not directly, but there are many other organisations and schemes that do. See ‘Further resources and support’ on pages 38-39 in our 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.

Who should I contact if I have a question or problem not covered by these FAQs or the handbook?

Email schools@christian-aid.org and we will respond as quickly as possible.