The following article comes from John Rolfe, Community & Partnerships Manager at the GSA.

All of us at the Global School Alliance (GSA) have always been hugely interested in the importance of global communication and connections; we also believe that globally-minded educators are the most important people in the world in bringing together young people and schools and the wider communities they serve.

I feel that all of us have a responsibility to support and celebrate schools for all their important work in making sense of what can be a complex and challenging world for their young learners in embedding a global dimension in their curriculum and ethos. My work brings me into contact with hundreds of these inspiring professionals across the globe who have opened up their classrooms to enriching, innovative, impactful and creative global working. I would like to say a huge thank you for the support from a large range of organisations, institutions and committed individuals who share our profound belief in the key development of global activities and global citizenship in our schools.

The global dimensions of teaching and learning have always been at the heart of the work of the Global School Alliance and we are proud to celebrate the outstanding and impactful work from schools across the globe that have demonstrated excellent commitment to supporting globally aware young people.

I’m also very proud to be a School Governor at the very wonderful Poplars Farm Primary School in Bradford. It’s a very rewarding role and it’s always very stimulating to work with, and to learn from, fellow professionals who share a common commitment to ensuring high standards across all aspects of the school ethos and curriculum.

In many ways, School Governors provide the operating backbone to the school in keeping it in check and overseeing its development and providing key strategy, challenge and support.

As the GSA works in over 100 countries worldwide, building engagement and trust through the exchange of knowledge and expertise, I very much see my role as supporting the range of creative and innovative global work taking place across this great place of teaching and learning. As a governor, I’m particularly mindful of my role to focus on supporting and understanding their impactful global links that bring a global dimension to young people’s learning and ensure that they develop the skills and understanding to take their place in the world.

Governors keep the big global picture in mind and the key goals to achieve this in the school.

All of us at GSA want to support Governors in ensuring that global work is an important, valued and central part of the school ethos; global work must always be stressed in the central mission statement of the school and its global aspirations: you can all make sure it’s taking place across the school as:

  • Global work encourages and support ideas to use in the school and curriculum which has impact on professional development and embedding best practice in teaching and learning.
  • Global work encourages deeper understanding of world issues and has impact on wider school improvement and staff development
  • Rising attainment is linked to educators being exposed to new techniques and approaches to bring them in the global classroom

Here are five ways which all Governors can play your important part

1. Try and meet overseas visitors to the school and encourage more of them at school social events and make sure the wider school community knows you and how much you value global work.

2. Share your tips on social media encouraging other governors to keep globally minded and highlight the impact of global work with a range of other school stakeholders

3. Don’t limit yourself to just the one school; meet other governors online and attend training courses and learn more about the whole school value and impact of global exchanges and visits

4. See the global learning in action in the classroom and look beyond the reports and statistics

5. Establish a Global Learning Committee to specifically ensure the wider embedding of global work.

Governors can play their part in this inspirational work in comparing and contrasting lives and cultures and in strengthening understanding and relations between countries but also to build greater mutual understanding in and between our own communities. This work will have a huge positive impact in and across the school community.

Thanks to my Fellow Governors nationally and internationally for your excellent work and I would encourage many more people to consider becoming one at your local school…it’s a truly great role!

We at the Global School Alliance look forward to supporting more schools and Governors and we wish you well on your own inspirational global journey…we would be delighted to support you at

John Rolfe MBE, Global Schools Community and Partnerships Manager, Global School Alliance