TES Independent School Awards

The TES Independent School Awards will soon be revealed and the shortlist has been revealed for the category 'Best collaboration between an independent and maintained school.'

The schools shortlisted are:

  • Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls
  • King Edward's School, Birmingham
  • King's College School, Wimbledon
  • Pontville School
  • Sheffield High School GDST
  • Shrewsbury High School.

The winners are being announced in London on Friday 27th November at a ceremony hosted by Michael Portillo. 

The shortlisted projects in more detail:

Students from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth School and Monmouth Comprehensive School collaborated to stage the first ever Literary Festival in Monmouth in 2014. Monmouth is a small town with three large secondary schools, two independent and one comprehensive school. The idea for a literary festival was developed, planned and delivered by students from across the three secondary schools.

Amanda Poyner, Assistant Head (Sixth form) at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, said:
"Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth School and Monmouth Comprehensive School are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Best Independent-Maintained School Collaboration in the TES Independent School Awards 2015.  The Monmouth Literary Festival is now in its third year and the boundless enthusiasm and creativity of the students in all three schools means that it is going from strength to strength.  The Festival aims to share the talent and diversity of young people within our community, to enhance their learning outcomes and to encourage reading and a love of literature as well as forge friendships between students from all three schools." 

King Edward’s School in Birmingham aims to be the hub of aspiration and challenge for the city of Birmingham, fulfilling its historic purpose as then oldest and greatest school in Birmingham. Its aim is to improve teaching and learning for the pupils in local state junior schools. The school's outreach programme has doubled in size in each of the last three years so that the school is now in contact with over 11,000 state-educated children and over 450 teachers from 130 different junior schools. Particularly noteworthy new initiatives in 2014/5 have included a city-wide Maths competition for Years 4 and 6, entered by teams from 110 state primaries. Outreach is embedded into KES’ charitable identity, with over 50 staff and over 300 boys leading different aspects of the programme. 

"Lots of my colleagues have been working really hard to establish KES as a 'magnet' school, raising aspirations and challenging kids from across the city of Birmingham, " said Tom Arbuthnott, Director of Outreach at King Edward's School. "This nomination is a testament to their efforts in working with over 12,000 kids, most from deprived areas of the city, and over 180 schools in the past year."

King’s College Wimbledon's extensive partnerships and outreach programme reflects a strong belief in the benefit of educational partnerships and a permanent commitment to sharing our resources with the local community. A unique feature of King’s, it fosters an ethos of social awareness and respect for difference. The programme has three main strands: the co-ordination of the Wimbledon Schools Partnership, consisting of King’s and seven maintained secondary schools and sixth forms, a wide range of arrangements with 27 other maintained secondary, primary, special schools and sixth forms which offer mentoring opportunities for our pupils, and an outreach programme. Harry Chapman, Director of Partnerships and Outreach at King's College School, said:

"King's College School is delighted to have been short-listed in the 'Best maintained-independent school collaboration' category of this year's awards. Rather than being based on any individual project, our entry is based on the depth and quality of the Wimbledon Independent-State Schools Partnership, which was founded in 2003 and has been flourishing ever since. The Wimbledon ISSP embraces governorships, opportunities for professional development, a programme of weekly revision sessions for partner school GCSE students every spring term, a wide range of weekly mentoring and joint projects involving our pupils and a special project designed for pupils who will be first-generation university scholars."

Pontville School is a co-educational, independent, specialist day and residential school in Lancashire, providing high quality education and care for children. It meets the needs of a diverse group of pupils with speech, language and social communication difficulties.  The school is one of a number of schools and children’s homes across the UK that are part of Witherslack Group, the UK’s leading provider of specialist education and care. For many young people with Autism, leaving special education for the wider world is a huge transition. Pontville School set up their Post 16 Link Course programme in partnership with Southport College to support young people during this transition to adulthood. This enhanced provision is based at a well-resourced, specialist centre run by Pontville School. This centre is adjacent to the college and acts as a ‘safety net’ for young people during times of high anxiety.  A highly skilled and qualified staff team are designated to this part of Pontville School provision.

Jude Jones, Commercial Director at Witherslack Group, comments: “ We are delighted that Pontville School’s proactive approach to working with mainstream educational providers has been acknowledged by this year’s TES Independent School Awards.  The initiative has helped many of our young people to successfully transition into further education and onwards to independent and successful lives as young adults.”

Sheffield High School GDST has been shortlisted for its music collaboration project which brings together 250 Year 2 children from four local primary schools to sing together at Sheffield City Hall as part of an annual celebration of music in Sheffield. Sheffield High School music staff and students work with the children and teach them playground songs with actions, over a period of 6 weeks, in their own schools and come together for the final concert at Sheffield City Hall. Speaking about the partnership and award, Valerie Dunsford, Headteacher at Sheffield High School GDST said:

"We are so pleased to have been shortlisted for the TES Independent School Awards in the independent/maintained schools collaboration category. Our music collaboration project is an excellent example of how both sectors can work together in partnership for the benefit of all their children and teachers. We have seen the confidence of the staff and children  grow as they work together and learn from the expertise in both sectors."

Shrewsbury High School GDST has been shortlisted for its LEGO outreach partnership project which involves primary schools coming into Shrewsbury High School and completing activities every Tuesday afternoon for 6 weeks.  The Shrewsbury High School minibuses collect the primary school children and return them at the end of every session.  During the sessions the pupils build and program their robots to complete Space activities.  The tasks involve the pupils to problem solve to get the precise movements right.

"We are absolutely delighted that our Computer Science Outreach Project has been nominated in the Independent School Awards, 2015 for 'Best Independent-Maintained School Collaboration'. It is an incredible honour to have been shortlisted once again in the sector's most prestigious annual prize-giving, in an area of work that we genuinely value so highly at Shrewsbury High. This project has fostered very close links between ourselves and the local primary schools involved and all with one aim in mind; to further enhancement of the education that the children involved enjoy. The joint project's funding has provided the children with cutting edge technology that would not be normally be accessible, and so enabled them to acquire a highly advanced understanding of computer coding and robotics that we hope will encourage in them a genuine passion and interest in this wonderful area of learning. We are indebted to the DFE and HSBC for their generosity and their belief in the project's merits."
Michael Getty, Headmaster, Shrewsbury High School GDST.

Please click here for more information about the awards.


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Schools Together celebrates and encourages partnership projects between independent schools, state schools and local communities.