Cheltenham Education Partnership
This town-wide partnership launched in October 2019 as a triangular partnership of 4 Independent schools, 5 (now 6) state schools, and the University of Gloucestershire together with other town organisations.
The aims are stated within CEP's aims and objectives:
The Cheltenham Education Partnership aims to:
· ensure the best interests of young people are at the heart of education initiatives in Cheltenham;
· provide outstanding educational opportunities for young people in Cheltenham;
· reach out to all young people with potential regardless of social, economic or educational background;
· provide stimulating professional development for teachers and update areas of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes;
· promote mutual respect amongst education professionals and students across the state and independent sectors;
· foster social cohesion in Cheltenham;
· encourage links between schools, colleges, universities and other sectors such as the Cheltenham Festivals, Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival, the Cheltenham Trust and GCHQ for the education and benefit of all members of the community of Cheltenham.
The Partnership is an enabler organisation: that is, it will seek to encourage and support new initiatives within the agreed aims. It will develop and maintain:
· an annual programme of events for students from partner schools;
· a culture of expectation in partner organisations of co-operation: that, for the benefit of young people in Cheltenham, local educational initiatives should be shared, that action should be collaborative, and that decision-making in individual schools will foreground the Partnership’s aims;
· opportunities for professional development for education professionals in partner schools, within the scope of partnership activities;
· openness to find new partners outside the educational sectors;
funding from appropriate sources.
CEP was founded following nearly two years of discussions between schools' senior leaders, with Adam Dunning (Cheltenham College) and David Evans (Dean Close School) being the driving force behind it. They both have a vision for town-wide partnership collaboration. It launched in October 2019.
Each CEP full member (the 10 schools and the university) pays £2,000 annually into the CEP account. Each CEP full and supporting member provides staff for both the Steering (Executive) Group and Operations (Programme Planning and Delivery) Group. Dean Close is represented by both Emma Taylor (Warden) and by David Evans (Director of External Relations) on the Steering Group; David Evans is also the current Chair of the Operations Group. He has given over 80 hours to this role. Steering Group meetings are for 2/3 hours once a term; Operations Group meetings are for 2/3 hours every 4-6 weeks.
Each activity is assessed through pupil feedback and staff feedback. One clear outcome is the successful collaboration of the schools of Cheltenham, as momentum continues to build.
Dean close pupils in Years 9-13 take part in a range of academic and other activities with their state and independent school peers.
This year about 20 pupils have so far attended events.
There is a pilot programme of over 20 so far events. The intention is for this partnership to be a permanent fixture for Cheltenham.