Steve Sinnott Foundation takes on coordination of UNESCO Associated Schools in UK

The coordination of the UK’s UNESCO Associated Schools Programme (ASPnet) is to be transferred to the Steve Sinnott Foundation (UK educational charity).

Jasmine Jones from the Steve Sinnott Foundation took over from Kingston University’s Robert Parrington as ASPnet Coordinator in late January 2015.

Gary Brace, The UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Education Director, said of the announcement:

“We are grateful for the commitment that Robert Parrington and Kingston University have made over the years to keep ASPnet running in the UK. As we move towards to the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals for education, UNESCO Associated Schools in the UK have a great opportunity to play their part in making  ‘education for all’ real for their pupils. Never has there been a time when ‘learning to live together’, one of the Network’s four pillars of learning, has been more important for young people.  We have every confidence that the Steve Sinnott Foundation will rise to the challenge and enable the Network to thrive in the UK. I am greatly looking forward to working with the Foundation over the coming year”.

The UNESCO Associated Schools Programme (ASPnet) promotes UNESCO’s Education for All goals.  They encourage schools to contribute to international understanding and peace and they place emphasis on UNESCO ideals and the four pillars of Learning for the 21st Century: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together.

The Programme has been coordinated by Robert Parrington for the past 4 years. During his tenure as coordinator, Mr. Parrington developed a successful teacher’s pack and maintained an ongoing dialogue with representatives from the schools network from across the UK and worldwide. The network in the UK currently stands at 74 schools and colleges.

The transfer of responsibility by the UK National Commission for UNESCO to the Steve Sinnott Foundation signals a new phase for the ASPnet in the UK.  The aim is to grow and strengthen the UK Network in 2015. With access to the Steve Sinnott Foundation’s educational resources and global schools networks, ASPNet is primed to go from strength-to-strength.

The Steve Sinnott Foundation was identified by the UKNC for the coordinating role because ASPnet’s mission “to promote quality education in pursuit of peace and sustainable development” aligns closely with the Foundation’s own remit.

Projects Manager at the Steve Sinnott Foundation, Holly-Jane Howell added:

“This new partnership with UNESCO in the UK is a great boost to our efforts.  Motivating children in UK schools to relate to children in developing countries who still struggle to secure an education is an objective we enthusiastically share with UNESCO. There are a lot of exciting things now to come out of this partnership.”