At the British Council we create connections, understanding and trust between British citizens and the whole world, through arts and culture, education and English.

Through our work, we promote gender equality, inclusivity and a response to climate change in a globalized, changing world. We are also committed to the safety and wellbeing of the minors who we work with.

These are the four core activities behind our social commitment in the 100-plus countries - including Spain - that we work in worldwide. One more thing that defines our endeavour, providing depth in the work that we do, is our corporate values.

Our Corporate Values

These are the principles that govern our work in education and culture across the world, and the way in which we relate to our students, workers, colleagues and everybody involved in our activity

Our corporate values also motivate us, inspiring us to become the best version of ourselves, making us feel that our individual contribution – within the British Council and in the community where we operate – is relevant, regardless of our position in the organisation.

  • Open and committed: our belief in what we are doing is embodied in our profound long-term commitment to people and the places we work. We face challenges and take responsibility openly and honestly in order to produce a positive change in society.
  • Expert and inclusive: inclusivity is at the core of all we do. We involve all kinds of people in our conversation on education and culture, in order to learn from each other and to share our knowledge, experience and know-how, enabling us to develop our work in the best way possible.
  • Optimistic and bold: we believe in the potential of new generations to build a better world. This optimism makes us positive and creative, as we focus on change. We are not afraid of taking bold decisions which can help bring about a better future for everyone.

Inclusivity

The British Council has a policy of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, through which we promote equal opportunities and non-discrimination based on gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion or socio-economic background. 

As well as this being a binding regulation for our workers, clients and collaborators, the principle of inclusivity governs our day-to-day activity and the educational and cultural programmes that we run.

One example would be our collaboration with the Learning from Home initiative set up by RTVE and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. Through the initiative we are helping to reduce the digital gap within families with limited acess to the Internet by supplying English-study material broadcast on Clan TV and La 2 during the COVID-19 lockdown.

On the question of disability, we collaborate with the ONCE Foundation to ensure that our English teaching and exam materials are accessible to people who are blind and to encourage greater employability for the community.

Discover more about our work in Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.

 

Child Protection

At the British Council we work directly and indirectly with more than 9 million children and young people across the world, through our educational activity and cultural and educational projects. In Spain, they number 230,000, and our commitment to the safety of these minors goes beyond the minimum legal requirements, through the implementation of our Child Protection policy.

As well as this, in our day-to-day work we have codes of conduct and specific protocols to minimise situations of risk, and set regulations governing everyday actions involving minors (entering and leaving the premises, use of mobiles and images, event organisation and so on.)

This commitment in the matter of child protection is made possible by our exceptional human capital: we have 27 specialist professionals (Focal Points) across our Spanish centres. Also, at a global, national and regional level our heads of Child Protection and Wellbeing create our strategy in terms of material, and coordinate and support the work carried out at a local level by the Focal Points.

Discover more about our work in Child Protection

Gender Equality

The need for truly equal rights between men and women is one of the subjects that determine the political and social agenda on a global level. At the British Council, we are involved in empowering women and girls by running programmes and supporting political work and research in this area.

In Spain we promote gender equality and diversity in the music industry through the programme We Are Equals, which encourages visibility, training and collaboration between Spanish and British artists.

In the field of education, the launch of the WomenEd España platform has meant that we defend leadership and equality in a sector in which women, despite making up most of the workforce, are still under-represented in management. Still in education, the British Council itself is an inspiring model, with 51% of its management posts occupied by women in the UK (2017-2018). Within the organisation, Spain is also one of the main exponents of gender equality in management teams.

Climate Change

With a workforce of 12,000 across more than 100 countries, and a significant dependence on travel, we at the British Council are very aware of the environmental impact caused by our activity, so we have initiated a change. Our corporate strategy 2020- 025 sets out a framework for activity in terms of sustainability, with specific goals to reduce our carbon footprint and a growing tendency towards the use of digital technology to communicate with colleagues and associates across the world.

Our response to climate change is also embodied by the rollout of cultural programmes such as Sustainable Fashion, which, after three years creating opportunities in training and networking for sustainable fashion professionals, reached its second phase in 2020. In this new stage the programme will be promoting the transformation and sustainability of the textile industry from within, collaborating with major companies in the field.

See also