Primary and Secondary Education


Over 250 Scottish primary and secondary schools are members of the SMP and have active links with a school in Malawi or learn about Malawi as part of their curriculum. 

It has been a hugely important part of our friendship together for more than a hundred years and continues to drive much of our work.

Hundreds of Scottish and Malawian NGOs and community groups are working together in dignified partnership to help improve education in Malawi.  Huge progress has been made but, sadly, there are still a great many challenges.

We have seen how school partnerships can enrich the quality of learning that takes place and how hard teachers and school leaders work in both countries to improve the quality of education for the young people they work with.


Support for your school

We support our member schools with:

  • Tailor-made workshops/presentations in school on themes like partnership and Malawi
  • Advice on brokering, developing, and maintaining an international school partnership between Scotland and Malawi
  • Signposting to useful resources, events, and organisations
  • Supporting schools to hold events or sessions in school celebrating their link to Malawi
  • Holding events and forums to bring experts and teachers together to discuss their experiences of school partnerships and using Malawi as a theme in the classroom. This includes our Schools Forum which is held online or at different locations around Scotland 2-4 times per year. 

Support for School Partnerships

If you're interested in starting a school partnership with a Malawian school, we can work with our colleagues at MaSP in Malawi to find you a suitable partner school. We can then help to broker and support the partnership for as long as is needed.

The benefits of school partnerships go far beyond individual teachers and students, they allow school communities in both Scotland and Malawi to learn from and understand other cultures better and feel connected in our global society. The joint learning which has taken place through school-partnerships includes enterprise projects, global curriculum activities and reciprocal visits between schools.

Find out more about our upcoming Schools Forum in Inverness in May!

The Partnership Principles are a great place to start when considering a partnership with planning, what to consider, and important aspects to keep in mind.

Have a look at our Practical Guide to School Partnerships, designed to help schools in Scotland and Malawi build successful, mutually beneficial and dignified partnerships.

Check out this video of Penicuik High School's Malawi Day to see how they got the whole school involved in celebrating their partnership to Namadzi Secondary School in Malawi.

Have a look at our guide on how the SMP supports schools in Scotland:

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How does the SMP work with schools in Scotland
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News, events, and opportunities


3 simple ways to take part in Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL)

1. Virtual Partnerships – A great way to interact locally and globally and collaborate on the big issues that shape our world! Build your own virtual ‘cluster’ or team up with another school who already has a CCGL partnership to gain access to project activities, CLPL and events. To find out more, get in touch at connectingclassrooms(at)

2. Talk to a Local Advisor or the Programme Manager – this is the easiest way to find out more about the programme and how you can directly get involved. There are Local Advisors based at each of the 5 Development Education Centres around Scotland – you can click here to find one close to you. The Programme Manager will also be more than happy to talk to you. Drop her a line at connectingclassrooms(at)

3. Apply for a practitioner research grant - if you're already taking part in the CCGL programme through a 1:1 partnership or cluster then this is a brilliant opportunity to explore the impact of global learning or to look at an innovative approach. Click here to find out more.

Can your school take on the 90kg Rice Challenge and help to transform a life?

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The 90kg Rice Challenge runs throughout the whole year and ties in with several areas of the curriculum such as Fairtrade, Sustainability, Social Enterprise and Citizenship. This is an easy way to engage pupils, educate and inspire them on the good that fair trade does in our world. The Challenge quantifies the benefits of fair trade as 90kg is the amount of rice a farmer in Malawi has to sell to enable him to send a child to secondary school for a year and so your pupils can directly see that their buying decisions are helping provide a better life for those in some of the poorest communities in Malawi. So it is a very visual and easy to understand concept which children can understand and feel part of.

Another added bonus is that all the teaching materials are included as we know how busy life as a teacher is AND, if all that wasn’t enough, the 90kg Rice Challenge also counts towards your Fairtrade school status. Not only does the rice do good, but it also tastes good. It has won a Great Taste award and is the most ethical rice on the market according to the Ethical Consumer magazine.

Book your Challenge now for the start of the new term, or plan ahead for Fairtrade Fortnight 2020.

Contact JTS on 0141 255 0901 or email info(at) or order online to book your Challenge today.

9th May 2019 - HELP Malawi - Teacher volunteering opportunity

Here's more information about an exciting volunteering opportunity for teachers in Malawi.

H.E.L.P.’s mission is to develop the pathway for children living in rural regions of Africa to become integral members and leaders in society through quality education. H.E.L.P. is committed to cultivating the academic potential of each child through a comprehensive range of opportunities in primary school to prepare students for the next level of education and to support those efforts through secondary and tertiary school scholarships.

The International Volunteer Program continues to grow and evolve around the students’ needs at Nanthomba Primary School and Nandumbo Health Center in Malawi, yet the goals and mission stay the same: to provide quality education to children in rural Malawi with the added assistance of fluent English speaking volunteers. 

H.E.L.P. Malawi welcomes qualified teaching professionals, those with TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), teacher trainees and current students in the education field. They also consider other candidates with previous work experience with children. Whether you are a fully qualified teacher, in training, or even unqualified but looking to gain experience in the classroom, you are welcome to join the volunteer program.

Volunteers collaborate with Malawian teachers and H.E.L.P. Malawi staff to create a superior learning environment for primary school students. They improve students' lives, learn a new culture, contribute directly to international development, and undergo transformative personal growth. 

If you're interested in finding out more about the programme, please contact Gemma on the SMP team, or get in touch with Marie at H.E.L.P. Malawi directly.


10th April 2019 - Supreme Sanitary Pads 

Here's an opportunity to find out more about how period poverty is being tackled in Malawi. Text taken from the Supreme website:

"Supreme is a sustainable social enterprise in Malawi. All our products are professionally made in our work space in Nkhata Bay. We make a point of supporting the local economy and provide real employment with proper working conditions in a stimulating work environment.

Our focus lies on impact: 100% of our profit is reinvested in the community and the company. 

By providing women and girls access to a safe and affordable solution for their menstruation they are empowered to go to school or work with dignity and pride. Through the power of education we aim to break down the social restrictions and empower women and girls with information on safe menstrual practices."

Are you in partnership with a Malawian school that you’d like to support with reusable sanitary pads? Send Supreme a message to continue the conversation.

Supreme could also link you up with a primary or secondary school in their region who are in need for reusable sanitary pads and Menstrual Hygiene education.

Supreme can support you with sending you an educational package on Period Poverty and Malawi which can be used in the classroom and for fundraising purposes.

Have a look at the video below to find out more about Supreme's work.