Translating the LEANS resources

LEANS in Gaelic? LEANS in Spanish? We can work together to make it happen!

The text "LEANS in more languages" displays above an illustration of a diverse group of pupils and teachers.


We are proud to announce that our call for translation proposals is now open! Teams from anywhere in the world can now apply to license the LEANS content and artwork to create and publicly distribute authorised translations of the programme.

Proposing a translation and licensing the content means working with us at key stages. It’s very important to all of us at LEANS that any translations clearly communicate the knowledge and values of the original. Our translation policies attempt to balance feasibility with ensuring high fidelity and quality of the final outputs.

The original, English-language LEANS programme was released under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. That license permits adaptation for personal use only, and prohibits distribution of any adapted material. Therefore, if you want to distribute a translation of LEANS you need to make a formal licensing agreement with us, and follow our required steps.

If you are interested in translating LEANS, please read our Translation Guidance carefully before submitting a proposal.

We would like to thank Edinburgh Innovations for their invaluable support in developing this new Licensing and Translation Agreement!

See the list of current and in-progress translations


Six key things to know about translating LEANS

  1. To create a publicly distributable translation, you must license the LEANS content directly from us. This means signing a legally binding document (the translation and licensing agreement). This licensing is completely separate from the terms of use everyone must agree to when downloading LEANS for free under the CC license. 
  2. It is also possible to license the LEANS illustrations by Claire Hubbard, but using these is not required. Teams can also commission new artwork that better fits their local context.
  3. Teams must apply to create a translation in a given language and area of distribution, by submitting a proposal form. The LEANS team will review all proposals to assess whether the team as a whole appears to have both the knowledge and resources to complete and release a translation.
  4. Translated versions of LEANS should be made available under the same terms as the original English version, including being free for end users.
  5. Translating LEANS will be a big task. It’s not just words--it includes graphic design, the posters and videos, hosting the resource, and distributing the final product.
  6. The LEANS project does not have funding to support translations. Translating teams are responsible for the costs of licensing the content, and all other costs to produce and distribute the translation. This includes payments to the LEANS team for our expertise and contributions at key stages.

The Translation Process


The full translation process is described in the Translation Guidance document (link below), and an overview is shown below.

Diagram of the LEANS translation process planning and licensing stages. See the translation guidance document for an accessible version of this overview.
Diagram of the LEANS translation process translating and distributing stages. See the translation guidance document for an accessible version of this overview.

Get the translation documents!

Translation guidance document

  • A step-by step overview of the LEANS translation process, from proposal to releasing a finished product.
  • Information about content and illustration licensing fees.
  • FAQs


Sample translation and licensing agreement

  • Example of the legal agreement to license the LEANS content and (optional) illustration content. This is the “fine print” that spells out the obligations on both sides. Please make sure you read this document in full before beginning a proposal. You may wish to seek legal advice.
  • This is a “sample agreement” because it does not include the names, dates, and fees for a specific team.
  • NOTE: This document was updated to version 1.1 in April 2024 and replaces all previous versions. There are changes to clauses 7, 23, 25, and Appendix C para 1.


LEANS translation proposal form

  • Use this form as a planning aide
  • Complete and submit this form to propose a new LEANS translation
  • Document includes instructions about submitting your completed proposal.
  • Proposals have a rolling deadline. We will review them and make decisions as we receive them.


We have a small team. Please help us to help you by reviewing all of the documentation in full before contacting us with translation queries. Thank you!

Guidance and forms may change at any time, and without prior notice. Please make sure you have the most recent versions before beginning a proposal.

The Sample translation and licensing agreement was last updated in April 2024 (V1.1). All other documents still use the versions released in May 2023 (V1.0).


More questions and answers


We have a small team and so we’ve tried to answer most questions on this page and in our comprehensive Translation Guidance document. Please refer to these sources in the first instance to answer your queries.

Please also remember that at the point of submitting a Translation Proposal we will provide feedback which may be helpful for your specific circumstances.

If you are really unable to make a decision about whether to submit a Proposal, using the information we’re provided, then you can contact us on

Proposals and teams

Different types of organisations or groups could propose a new LEANS translation. For example, you might be from a third-sector organisation, a university research lab, a government education department—or might be a team of teachers, an advocacy group, or any of these working in partnership!

The most important criteria are that the team as a whole brings knowledge of the subjects addressed in LEANS, knowledge of the language/context where you with to translate, and sufficient resources to complete the entire translation process and publicly distribute the finished product. What might that mean, more specifically? We would hope to see at least some of the following experience across your team:

  • Knowledge of LEANS-related topics such as neurodiversity and neurodivergence, education, developmental psychology, or disability studies.
  • Experience with children, teachers, and/or primary schools, especially in the country or region where you wish to produce and use the translation.
  • Prior experience with translating educational/academic materials, or having your own work translated by others.
  • Prior experience with distributing and promoting some type of content, such as research outputs, books, services, policies, funding campaigns etc.

Please take it from us, the creators of LEANS, that we expect translating to be a big and complex job! It’s not only the language, but also the graphic design and video content, hosting and advertising the resource, and so many more tasks. These are a huge part of the whole process.

Yes! At present there are no limitations on who can make up a team, and it will often make sense to join forces (and resources) for a translation. However, the team still must designate one person as the translation team lead who is the main point of contact and has overall responsibility.

If your team includes organisations from multiple countries or types of organisations, the highest fee band applies. For example, if your team is made up of a parent group working with a university, then Band 1 fees would apply.

No matter how many organisations are part of the team, the LEANS team are only able to legally license the content to one lead partner organisation as a part of any given translation. This means that representatives of that organisation will be the ones to sign the Translation and Licensing Agreement.

While one person could do a substantial part of the process if they had all the necessary skills, there are two steps that require additional people to be involved: back-translating selected items, and an independent evaluation of the translation. Please see the Translation Guidance (downloadable above) for more information about this.

You could propose a translation as an individual and recruit paid or voluntary assistance with specific tasks (e.g. employ a professional translator as your evaluator), but due to the many different skills and types of media involved in LEANS, we strongly encourage team applications.

We will provide some information specific to your proposal when we respond. In general, reasons for declining might be one or more of the following:

  • There is already a translation in the proposed language, or one in progress.
  • Proposal has too many blank sections
  • Proposal was insufficiently detailed, or confusing. It may not be clear to us if your team has a viable proposal or fully understand the translation process.
  • The proposal is promising but not yet viable. For example, you may have a strong team but still be looking for multiple important components such as funding, a translator, etc. We may ask you to do more preparation and then come back to us on those points.
  • Your team indicated you were not willing to agree to required conditions. We would not be able to sign a translation agreement with you.
  • We’re not able to support a translation on the timeline you proposed.

We reserve the right to decline any proposal on any grounds that we acting solely believe are in the best interests of the LEANs project, and at any stage during the process.

Licensing and use

The big difference here is distribution. You can translate LEANS to use in your own classroom.  You could even translate it together with a colleague, and use it in multiple classrooms in your school.

However if you want to share your translated copy more widely – within another school, or via a website for example – you would need to contact us and go through the process of obtaining a license.

No. You could not, for example, license only the LEANS videos but not the rest. The content is only available as a complete package, and the agreement specifies that it the purchaser must translate and release all of it, in full.

There is a potential route to do this, IF there is not another licensed translation already released or in-progress in the same language and area of distribution.

If you have already completed a translation for personal use and are interested in converting it to one licensed for public distribution, you still need to start with Step 1 (translation proposal) though you can specify your translation is already completed. If accepted, the relevant fees would be due and you would need to follow the same steps with respect to back-translation of selected items, independent evaluation of your translation, and so forth. We will not automatically approve proposals because a personal translation is already complete, but will consider them on the same criteria for other proposed translations.

Depending on your personal skills and resources, you might wish to join up with others and apply as a team (for example, to make sure you can successfully design, host, and distribute the final product).

Agreeing to the conditions of this Translation and Licensing Agreement is a requirement to license the LEANS content and produce any publicly distributable translation. At present, our policy is that the agreement is “as-is” and we will not renegotiate custom terms with each purchaser. If these terms are unacceptable to your team, then we will not be able to work together to produce a translation.

Please keep in mind that there is still substantial flexibility in the process about who is part of your translation team, how and when you carry out the work, whether or not to use the existing art and graphic design, and so on. Please review our guidance document and the agreement itself for more details.


Please see details of the licensing fees, including illustration licensing, in our Translation Guidance document. As costs such as translation services or graphic design will vary widely around the world, it is up to individual teams to project and budget for these costs.

Yes, there are. Please see details of the licensing fees in our Translation Guidance document.

Cultural adaptation

We think translating LEANS into any other language will always include some element of cultural adaptation, and that this must be discussed on a case-by-case basis, likely at the stage where we are reviewing your proposal and may be agreeing to go forward to a licensing agreement. The translation proposal form asks about how much adaptation you think may be necessary for LEANS to be relevant and appropriate.

The current translation process and fees assume a modest degree of cultural adaptation. If you think that significant adaptations will be required for your context, this may require us to agree changes to the translation process.

If you think the degree of adaptation required would be very large, do consider if starting with LEANS is truly the best option, rather than developing a completely local resource for schools in your context. 

Obviously, there are many cultural differences between the locations where English is spoken or used as a language of school instruction. Not all aspects of the current content or illustrations may be relevant. While not a linguistic translation in the traditional sense, our policies would still apply if you wish to distribute a culturally adapted English-language copy. Then yes, you would need to license LEANS for the adaptation, even if it is still in English.

If the adaptation is for personal use (e.g. in your own school), you are fully within the original terms of use to adapt and use it without liaising with us at all. Our terms of use page may clarify this for you:

No, you don’t have to use it. You can license the LEANS content only, without the copyrighted artwork, and then commission new artwork of your choice for use in the handbook, stories, videos etc. For purchasers who do not license the art, we will provide a package of files that removes all the copyrighted images.


Other ways to get involved

We know there will be people who are keen to get LEANS translated into another language, but who aren’t in the position to lead a translation themselves. You may still be able to contribute!

  • Use your knowledge of the education landscape in that language and context: are there groups or organisations who might be able to lead a translation, partner up with you, or contribute funding/resources? Might you be able to interest them in LEANS? If so, please reach out to them directly about a proposal. Unfortunately, LEANS does not have the capacity to approach organisations and invite them to submit proposals.
  • If a translation is already in progress in a given language, that team may need additional help—for example, an independent evaluator for the translation, feedback from teachers on their art or graphic design, or help with disseminating the finished work. If their contact information is not publicly listed, you can contact
  • If there isn’t a translation in progress yet in your language, you can still contact us at contact to express your willingness to help. We will add you to our records, and if a licensed translation begins we can put you in touch with the team.

If you are contacting us to express interest in helping with translation, please clearly list the following in your e-mail:

  • Name
  • Contact e-mail(s)
  • The language and region where you have experience (e.g. Spanish, Costa Rica), or the in-progress translation where you wish to offer help
  • What kind of help you could offer (e.g. translation, graphic design, feedback)
  • Your relevant experience (e.g. that you are a primary teacher, parent, neurodivergent adult, education researcher, professional translator…)
  • If there is a time limit on the help you can offer (e.g. could help in 2023, but not in 2024)

We cannot follow up about missing information. Please be as specific as you can--it’s not very helpful to us or others if you say you have “lots of experience” and can “help with anything”!


Special thanks

The LEANS research team would like to thank all those who have given advice and encouragement thus far, especially Jeff Wright, Ilse Noens, Eleonora Tilken-Franssens, Claire Hubbard, and Kathy Leadbitter.

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