Southwark Schools' Learning Partnership

Partner: Southwark Schools' Learning Partnership
Partner type: Community Group
Project category: Academic

The Southwark Schools’ Learning Partnership (SSLP) is the sum of our Partner (Southwark) and Associate Partner (neighbouring borough) schools. Our schools are both independent and state, and can be sole educators or part of multi academy trusts. What they have in common is a desire to work in partnership to increase opportunities for students in Southwark and for their classmates.  We achieve this by providing academic and vocational opportunities both for students and for teachers, where each can learn with and from their peers.  We learn together by sharing our common goals and challenges.

Aims of the project

Connecting Schools
The SSLP welcomes schools with an ambition to work in partnership for the benefit of students from Southwark, and also their classmates. All schools aim to share and to learn from each other in equal measure.

Connecting Teachers
The SSLP aims that teachers in our schools are in touch with one another and able to share their passion for their specialist subjects, exchange views about educational issues and share good practice.

Connecting Students
The SSLP provides a diverse programme of opportunities that aims to inspire the aspirations of every student. By working together, and harnessing the student voice, we offer interactive opportunities.

Background and goals

The SSLP was established as a DFES London Challenge project in 2003.

It followed an initiative to promote the participation of independent and maintained schools in the challenge of raising the standards of all pupils across the capital – breaking the correlation between economic disadvantage and achievement.

Two headteachers, Marion Gibbs of James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) and Dr Irene Bishop of St Saviour’s & St Olave’s CE School (SSSO) founded the SSLP as the South London response, with funding from the DfES. The SSLP was also invited to participate as an informal associate of the National College for Schools Leadership’s Networked Learning Communities programme.

In 2015, when both Marion Gibbs and Dr Irene Bishop retired, the co-directorship moved to Dr Joseph Spence of Dulwich College and Grainne Grabowski of St Michael’s Catholic College (representing the independent and state schools respectively). In 2017 Catherine May of St Saviour’s & St Olave’s, assumed the role of co-director for state schools, taking over from Grainne Grabowski.

The Partner Schools involved have changed over the years as schools have faced their own challenges.  In recent years the SSLP has introduced the category of Associate Partner as we welcome actively interested schools from outside the borough who, by means of public transport, offer good links with Southwark.

Resources

All schools in the SSLP commit an annual membership fee to fund some activities and the administration of the partnership. They also provide staff time from a dedicated link teacher for meetings and communication. Schools host events and provide resources for specific projects or activities.

The Master of Dulwich College is a co-director of SSLP, alongwith Catherine May from St Saviour's & St Olave's.  The college also provides a part-time member of staff to coordinate the partnership.

In 2017/18 Dulwich College Art Department jointly hosted an Art Lecture and organised a tw-day sculpture workshop. The Language department facilitated the placement of foreign student-teachers in to partner schools. The Geography department hosted a lecture and a university taster day from Royal Holloway University.  The science department hosted a STEM lecture and opened up the Upper School Symposium.  The Careers team opened networking events and information sessions to SSLP schools.

Impact

SSLP monitors the impact of its activities by seeking feedback from staff and students.  An annual report is produced which informs future planning.

Pupil involvement

A range of activities, both academic and vocational, are put on for students during a typical academic year.  Pupils from years 7 to 13 have the opportunity to take part in lectures and seminars, conferences, science weeks, glee days, careers events etc.

Students are invited to join a Pupil Forum which influences SSLP activities and provides leadership opportunities.

 

 

Frequency and duration

Activities for pupils and teachers take place each term, hosted by different schools within SSLP.  Link staff attend termly meetings and events and engage in ongoing visits and dialogues between schools.