To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to help schools to continue making arrangements for pupil exchanges with EU Member States after 1 January 2021: and if he will make a statement.
11 January 2021
School exchanges provide pupils with the chance to experience different cultures, improve their language skills and to build their independence. It is for individual schools to choose where and how they might wish to run a school exchange, including whether they use the support of third-party companies and organisations such as the British Council.
The Department funds the British Council-delivered International School Exchange programme, which provides opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to take part in an international exchange and visit partner schools around the world, including in EU Member States. It is hoped to restart the programme in the latter part of 2021.
The newly announced Turing scheme, which replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus+, will allow thousands of students to study and take part in work placements in the EU and beyond. The Turing scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.