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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

Book Clubs in Schools

Book Clubs in Schools supports older pupils in running book clubs in schools. Senior school pupils can potentially run a book club in a local state school.

Best practice

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 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

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.

Safety Net

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

Connecting independent and state schools. Find out more here and read the school careers leader survey report here.

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. | @SFWchange

Art History Link-Up

Art History Link-Up is a registered charity offering free Art History A level and EPQ courses for state supported sixth form students taught online and, in due course we hope, again from the National Gallery and Wallace Collection, to students from across the UK. The majority of AHLU’s students are BAME and or from Widening Participation backgrounds. AHLU is seeking volunteer EPQ mentors, to start working with an individually assigned student from late this year to mid-2022, could this be you? Mentors are fully supported by our Student Liaison Officers and all contact is online. An Art History background is an advantage but not essential. You can find out more about courses here and about their teaching team and current mentors here Please email if becoming involved with our work as a volunteer EPQ mentor is of interest to you for further information.

ISC Cross Association Sports Committee

The ISC Cross Association Sports Committee brings together sports representatives from ISC's Heads' associations as well as from the Professional Association for Directors of Sport in Independent Schools (PADSIS), and the Youth Sports Trust. The purpose of the group is to discuss developments in sport, physical education and games in schools and they help to promote and develop of cross-sector partnerships involving sport and games. If you would like to find out more about getting involved in a sporting partnership then please contact to ask for more information.

The Bursary Foundation

The Bursary Foundation works with primary schools to identify bright students in deprived parts of Manchester. They then support them through their primary schools with they tuition and bursary application for a 100% bursary in an independent schools. Donations to support their work can be made through their website.

Farms for City Children

Farms for City Children is a charity enabling children from disadvantaged communities to experience the adventure of working together on farms in the heart of the British countryside. As a charity they depend upon the generous support they receive from charitable trusts and foundations, businesses, schools, clubs and groups, individual donors and volunteers. They are hugely grateful to each and every person supporting Farms for City Children as it enables them to welcome over 3000 children to their farms each year. Schools interested in finding out more and supporting their work can do so here.

Please note - organisations featured on this website are listed for information purposes and it should not be assumed that the ISC actively endorses them.