Overview of the British Council

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Its purpose is to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide. It seeks to achieve its aims by working in education, science, governance, English and the arts. In 2012-13, its programmes reached a total audience of 550 million people worldwide and we engaged directly with 10.8 million. The British Council was established in 1934 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1940. It is registered as a charity in England and Wales (charity no. 209131) and Scotland (charity no. SCO37733). It is also an executive non-departmental public body, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as its sponsoring department. Its primary charitable objects are set out in the Charter and are stated to be:  

  • Promote cultural relationships and the understanding of different cultures between people and peoples of the United Kingdom and other countries;
  • Promote a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom; 
  • Develop a wider knowledge of the English language;
  • Encourage cultural, scientific, technological and other educational co-operation between the United Kingdom and other countries; 
  • Otherwise promote the advancement of education.

The British Council works in more than 110 countries around the world and employs over 7000 staff worldwide. It has its headquarters in the UK, with offices in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Further information can be found at www.britishcouncil.org

Programme title and overall objective

21st Century Schools programme

Improving the quality of primary education across the Western Balkans

Programme purpose

Enhancing critical thinking, problem solving, and coding skills of students aged 10 to 15 across the Western Balkans

Relevant programme result to be supported through this assignment

Fully established, set-up and active Coding Clubs in approx. 500 schools which participated in 1st , 2nd and 3rd programme cycle, with appointed 1 Coding Club teacher coordinator from each school who is fully prepared to run the Coding Club in their school. Each school Coding Club is to have a number of active members – students: boys and girls aged from 10-15 preferably with boy-girl % ratio 50-50.

21st Century Schools programme timeframe 

Project start:  October 2018

Project end:  March 2022

Timing, duration & location of the assignment 

1 May 2021 – 31 Dec 2021, Albania

Context and environment

''21st Century Schools” programme is inspired by the understanding that the education should be at the forefront of economic growth in the Western Balkans. Future labour market will assume new jobs, that will require new set of skills in employees, such as analytical thinking and innovation, critical thinking, complex problem-solving, etc. 

Many young people in the Western Balkans leave formal education without the skills required by employers. In some sectors, including digital, vacancies are left unfilled. At the same time, changes in technology are moving faster, and teachers are struggling to use technology effectively to support pupils’ learning needs. Schools also lack the digital infrastructure to support the increased use of new technologies in education and need affordable solutions. Teaching coding through physical computing, using micro:bit devices, is an affordable way to support development of those skills in pupils.

Designed and piloted by the British Council and funded by the UK government, this ambitious education programme will be implemented over the three-year period in all Western Balkan countries. It builds upon experiences gained under previous pilot project “21st Century Schools” initiated in 2017. Programme focuses on introducing core skills critical thinking, problem solving and coding in teaching and learning process in primary schools in the Western Balkan region.

It is expected that around 18,000 teachers and up to 4,000 school leaders trained under the programme will equip up to one million young people with critical thinking, problem solving and coding skills and support development of an enabling environment for closing the digital skills gaps in the Western Balkan countries. By engaging all 10 to 15-year olds in the primary school system across the Western Balkans, programme supports development of competitive skills for future job market entry.

The Assignment /Scope of work /Activities to be performed / Outputs

Coding Club Support Consultant

The British Council in Albania is seeking four Coding Club Support Consultants to be engaged on the 21st Century Schools Programme. The consultants will be based in Albania with no specific place/location required.

Purpose of the engagement:

To fully establish, set up and support Coding Clubs in approx. 500 schools which participated in the 1st , 2nd and 3rd programme cycles from all regions in Albania.

Scope of work:

  • To initiate and support setting up and fully activating Coding Clubs in approx. 500 schools from 1st , 2nd and 3rd programme cycles based on the British Council guide: Coding Club Guide on How to Establish Coding Clubs
  • To help each of 500 schools appoint 1 Coding Club leader/teacher per school
  • To provide support to 500 schools to mobilise Coding Club members-students of age 10-15 (with preferable ratio of boys and girls 50%:50%) who will take on active participation in Clubs and contribute to project work by using micro:bit
  • To use every opportunity to encourage girl’s active involvement in coding clubs
  • To assist 500 Coding Club leaders/teachers to register their school Coding Club on Code Club World platform
  • To help enrol all 500 Coding Club leaders/teachers on free online course: Prepare to Run a Code Club course on Future Learn Platform (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/code-club), to monitor and report their course progress to the British Council.
  • To support each school Coding Club in design and set up of a Code Club project involving a micro:bit and using resources from Raspberry Pi Foundation website.
  • To effectively monitor each school and process of setting up Coding Clubs, to establish trust and understanding with the school administration and Coding Club leader/teacher and their Club members
  • To conduct desk research on Coding Clubs in schools, gather all necessary data and report to British Council, supported by British Council programme team

Monthly deliverables

  • To get in contact with approx. 40 schools per month (approx. 4 schools per working day to be contacted, e.g. 1.5 hours online meetings per school).
  • To collect school reports for at least 20 schools on a monthly basis on a template provided by British Council
  • To provide monthly reports to British Council re Coding Clubs’ activities and results that will be supported by schools’ reports

Required qualifications

  • Minimum 3 years of work experience in the state education sector as IT teacher/professor/advisor or similar engagement in IT field
  • Good knowledge and understanding of the primary school education system in Albania.
  • Proven experience in teaching coding to children and initiating/participating in Coding/IT school clubs-will be considered as an asset.
  • Knowledge and skills of working or designing a project with BBC micro:bit-will be considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in English (level C1), both written and spoken.
  • Fluency in Albanian language

Reports to: British Council National Coordinator

Place of delivery: Albania

Terms and conditions of engagement

  • The consultant will be entitled to 8 months for the delivery of this activity within the period of 1 May 2021 to 31 Dec 2021.
  • For this assignment British Council Albania will engage four consultants.

Child protection

In performing this assignment, the consultants should get acquainted and comply with the safeguard policy of the British Council on Child Protection. For this purpose, the British Council will require the consultant to undertake online training on Child Protection.

The British Council believes that all children have potential and that every child matter - everywhere in the world. The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC, 1989.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity Statement

The British Council aim to create opportunities and reduce barriers for everyone, particularly under-represented groups. We are committed to making sure there is no unjustified discrimination in our processes for recruitment and selection, performance management and pay, and that promotion and retention is fairly granted across all our operations.

In performing the assignment, the consultants should get acquainted and comply with the safeguard policy of the British Council on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). For this purpose, the British Council will require the consultants to undertake an online training on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI policies).

Privacy policy

The British Council will use information that you are providing only in connection with processing your application. We shall only pass this information to the Contracting Authority, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The data shall be processed solely for the purposes of the performance, management and monitoring of the contract by the Contracting Authority, without prejudice to possible transmission to the bodies charged with monitoring or inspection in application of EU law.

British Council complies with data protection law in the UK and the laws in other countries that meet internationally accepted standards. You have the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold on you, and the right to ask us to correct any inaccuracies in that information. If you have concerns about how we have used your personal information, you also have the right to complain to a privacy regulator.

For detailed information, please refer to the privacy section of our website, www.britishcouncil.org/privacy or contact your local British Council office. As per contract conditions, any records must be kept for a seven-year period after the final payment made under this contract.

How to apply

Apply by sending your CV with a cover letter highlighting your experience relevant to this assignment – to the following email account: klarina.allushi@britishcouncil.org with a subject 'Coding Club Consultant' application.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Submission deadline: 26 April 2021, 17:00h.