site logo

Academies Show 2017

Schools Together Group panel discussion at the Academies Show 2017
Date: 26 April 2017
Venue: Academies Show, ExCeL centre

Summary: 3000 teachers and school leaders visited the Academies Show at the ExCeL conference centre on 26 April 2017. The Schools Together Group were delighted to be invited to host a panel discussion on the importance of partnerships, a theme of increasing relevance to today's schools. As academies partner up in Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and as independent schools are encouraged increasingly to share resources with their state sector partners, the role of the Schools Together Group in sharing good practice is timely and helpful. Around 100 delegates attended the Group’s event.

Speaking on a range of different partnership models were members of the Schools Together Group steering group:

  • Christina Astin is Head of Partnerships at The King’s School, Canterbury and Chair of the Schools Together Group. She introduced the session and outlined the work of the Group.
  • Sarah Butterworth with Jan Balon: Sarah is Community Partnerships Director at Highgate School and is heavily involved in the school’s project to establish The London Academy of Excellence in Tottenham; Jan is the Principal-Designate who will be leading the school when it opens in the autumn. They spoke of the challenges and rewards of setting up a new school.
  • Harry Chapman is Director of Partnerships and Outreach at King’s College School, Wimbledon. The variety and reach of the programme Harry has run for over a decade is the envy of many schools. He talked about the reasons for King’s Wimbledon’s engagement with state schools, what works well, and focused on a particularly successful drama-based project.
  • Nicki Mattin, Principal of Spires Academy near Canterbury, spoke about partnerships working only if both schools appreciate the benefit they gain; partnerships should never be seen as one school 'helping' another. She said "we all wish the same for our children: we want them to be streetwise enough to feel comfortable on the No. 10 bus, and sophisticated enough to feel comfortable visiting No.10 Downing Street".

Join mailing list: To sign up to the Schools Together Group mailing list please email

The Schools Together Group is a nationwide group of those in state and independent schools with an interest in inter-school partnerships: "Harnessing the power of partnerships for the benefit of children".