Thirteen schools in Stevenage and the surrounding area have forged a new partnership with schools in Nepal as part of a global education programme.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is run in over 30 countries by the British Council to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make a positive contribution to the world.

Stevenage pupils will be working with students in Nepal on a project about gender equality.

Coordinator Andrew Christie, assistant headteacher at The Leys Primary School, said: "There is a great deal of excitement amongst the participating schools as to the positive impact Connecting Classrooms could have.

"It is a great platform for pupils to develop an international mindset, alongside awareness of their own local identity."

Teachers will also take part in exchange visits with their partner schools to share experiences and successes in teaching global learning, with Stevenage teachers set to visit Nepal in September.

Stevenage children will be tasked with coming up with an initiative they could undertake to help make a meaningful difference in the community.

The ideas will be pitched to a Dragons' Den-style panel, with the winning idea implemented.

Kim Taylor, special educational needs lead at Peartree Spring Primary School, said: "This will be a fantastic town-wide project.

"As a school, we are really looking forward to further developing our international links and building a long-term relationship with our partner school in Nepal, which will be of a huge benefit to our pupils."

Andrew added: "We hope to be able to coincide the Dragons' Den event with the reciprocal visit of our Nepalese teaching colleagues to Stevenage.

"This would be a great way to celebrate and share what we have achieved together on the Connecting Classrooms project, and hopefully be a springboard for future collaboration."

Sir Ciarán Devane, chief executive of the British Council, said: "I am delighted so many schools in Stevenage are taking on this excellent opportunity to develop their professional practice by collaborating with teachers from Nepal.

"Their commitment to equip young people with skills and understanding for life and work in an increasingly global economy is to be commended."