Work of Independent State School Partnership Forum endorsed by research findings

In 2014 the Independent State School Partnership Forum requested funding for a new round of Independent State School Partnerships (ISSPs) and that a website for ISSP be created, to highlight best practice in partnerships enabling replication of such collaborations in different geographical locations and to act as a means of registering interest in partnerships for both sectors.

Projects involved a range of school staff including teachers; teaching assistants; other support staff such as technicians or bursars / finance officers, and headteachers. Their roles varied, but included collaborative planning, supervising sessions, delivering sessions, and accompanying students. The pupils, year 5 and 6, would visit independent schools (and vice versa) for project sessions. In some projects, pupils would mix with older year 9, 12 or 13 pupils from independent schools, with the latter facilitating and helping lead sessions.

An ISSP forum member, the chair (Deborah Leek Bailey OBE), DfE researcher or other member of DfE staff (individually or in combination) visited the projects to see them in action, ensure that the projects were delivering what they set out to do, and capture intelligence on the project.

Staff consistently commented on positive changes in achievement, attitude and confidence for the subjects pupils were learning.

Most partnerships meant pupils had a learning opportunity they may not have had; opportunities often directly supportive of changes to primary science curriculum. Their exposure to varied delivery mechanisms, supported their development, encouraged social interactions and for science partnerships in particular, an increased enthusiasm for science.

Please read the full research report here: Independent State School Partnerships (ISSP) – impact of and lessons learnt


About the author

Deborah Leek-Bailey OBE is Chair of the Independent State School Partnership Forum (ISSP) and Director of DLB Leadership Associates Ltd.