How to get involved in a school partnership
Find a partner school
Successful projects and partnerships are nearly always formed as a result of enthusiastic school leaders seeing an opportunity and being committed to doing what they can to lead a successful project or partnership.
One of the best ways to start is to contact other schools in your area to discuss ideas. School contact details can be found on the government website 'get information about schools', as well as on the Independent Schools Council (ISC) website ISC school search, which can be used to find ISC independent schools.
Setting up school partnerships
The System Partnerships Unit, at the Department for Education, has released information for schools and universities on sharing expertise and resources, to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for young people. View their resources or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read about other school partnerships for ideas. The best practice section is available here and contains examples of many different types of partnerships, allowing you to select the types you are most interested in finding out about.
Other ways to collaborate
Become a school governor
Governors for Schools exists to improve educational standards so that children and young people have the chance to realise their full potential. They aim to provide excellent recruitment, placement and training services for skilled and committed people to be highly effective governors and trustees of schools and multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in becoming a school governor you can apply through the Governors for Schools website.
Become a coordinator for the National Citizen Service (NCS)
The NCS is opening up opportunities for more schools to be involved in its growing 'NCS coordinator initiative’. Currently, there are over 300 NCS coordinators nationwide in both the state and independent sectors. They work to support students participating in the programme and contribute to a national and regional best practice network facilitated by the NCS. Coordinators take part in a comprehensive training and development programme and have the chance to share best practice with local schools. The NCS can also provide funding to facilitate this role as part of an additional responsibility for staff.
Education and Employers
Education and Employers is a charity working to bring together schools and volunteers to give pupils an insight into a broad range of careers. Schools encourage parents and alumni to consider being a governor and to volunteer to talk to young people in state schools. Research has proven that this raises young people’s aspirations, broadens their horizons and challenges ingrained stereotypes. The ask of parents and alumni is very simple – would they volunteer an hour a year to answer questions from children and young people about their job and career which they can do via www.inspiringthefuture.org. The ability to do this virtually means they can do so anywhere in the country. This makes a real difference for young people living in remote and rural areas or towns with a limited range of jobs and opportunities.
Physics Partners, a charity which supports non-specialist physics teachers, is launching a new project to address the crisis in physics education. Fewer than 50% of those teaching physics have a qualification beyond A level. Physics Partners is seeking to work with as small number of schools to develop teacher training hubs with local schools, providing a high-impact, ready-made partnership project. Your teachers are coached to become teacher trainers and admin support is provided for the training events. Read more about Physics Partners here and contact CEO Bryan Berry for an informal discussion on email@example.com.
Safety Net is an educational programme designed to provide teachers with the skills, confidence and resources to engage children, and then their parents, to encourage safe online practice in the home. As the host school, teaching members of staff from partner schools can be invited to join in with your CPD sessions so they too can take benefit and help keep children safe online. More information is available here.
TalentEd works with schools to identify and support bright students who are eligible for Free School Meals, or whom attend a school with higher than average levels of Free School Meals. They are looking for donations to support their work and for teachers to help work with the students. Further information on this is available on their website.
Dendrite Schools Connect
The School & Family Works
The School & Family Works (SFW) is a charity made up of therapists who help families of children with additional needs. Their goal is to improve the wellbeing and life chances of disadvantaged children and their families, through long-term, therapeutic intervention know as Family Group. The charity usually work in schools and childcare settings, often in areas of high deprivation – providing insights into the problems families are dealing with and giving them the confidence that they need to face up to their challenges.
To see how your school could get involved with SFW, read a case study by King's House School, Richmond.
Please note - organisations featured on this website are listed for information purposes and it should not be assumed that the ISC actively endorses them.