why core skills?

Recent research has shown that the majority of education systems around the world, including in the UK, are not equipping young people with the skills they need in this rapidly changing, globalised environment.  Education experts and academics explain that in order to participate in a global economy, young people need to be equipped with core skills which supplement the traditional curriculum, subject-focussed approach of many education systems.

To address the gap in global skills development, the British Council Schools team carried out in-depth research to identify core skills which are critical to meeting the needs of students in the 21st century and a globalised economy. 

training programme

The training packages have been designed to be delivered either face to face, by a local pool of validated trainers, or online as a digital-only or blended offer.

The training packages focus on building the capacity of teachers and school leaders to integrate one or more of the six core skills into the classroom to support students’ learning: 

  • An introduction to Core Skills for teachers
  • An introduction to Core Skills for school leaders
  • Teaching critical thinking and problem solving
  • Teaching creativity and imagination
  • Teaching digital literacy
  • Teaching citizenship
  • Teaching student leadership and personal development
  • Teaching communication and collaboration
  • Leading core skills
  • Teacher as researcher / appreciative enquiry 

training objectives


  • An in-depth understanding of the core skills and why their development in young people is important
  • Confidence and capacity to use a range of innovative and effective classroom practices to engage young people to develop core skills


  • Critical thinking & problem solving: Self-directed thinking that produces new and innovative ideas and solves problems. Reflecting critically on learning experiences and processes and making effective decisions.
  • Collaboration and communication: Communicate effectively orally, in writing, actively listen to others in diverse and multi-lingual environments and understand verbal and non-verbal communication. Work in diverse teams, learning from and contributing to the learning of others, assuming shared responsibility, cooperating, leading, delegating and compromising to produce new and innovative ideas and solutions.
  • Creativity & imagination: Economic and social entrepreneurialism, imagining and pursuing novel ideas, judging value, developing innovation and curiosity.  
  • Citizenship: Active, globally-aware citizens who have the skills, knowledge and motivation to address issues of human and environmental sustainability and work towards a fairer world in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue. Developing an understanding of what it means to be a citizen of their own country and their own country’s values.
  • Digital literacy: Using technology as a tool to reinforce, extend and deepen learning through international collaboration. Enabling the student to discover, master and communicate knowledge and information in a globalised economy.
  • Student leadership: Honesty, leadership, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, pupil voice, resilience, personal health and well-being, career and life skills and learning to learn/life-long learning.