Strategic Partner within the West Country Teaching School Alliance (Uffculme School, Uffculme, Cullompton)

Partner: Uffculme School, Uffculme, Cullompton
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic

Blundell’s as a single entity (Prep and Senior) is a strategic partner alongside partners that Schools include Huish Sixth Form College, Exeter Maths School, and several primaries, including Uffculme and Willand Schools. As it says on the main website ( which includes links to all the partner schools) “The WCTSA is a vibrant and diverse partnership of schools working across Devon and Somerset to create a sustainable and powerful system for school improvement. The Alliance, is an inclusive, cross-phase Alliance fostering excellence in education from Primary to Post -16. The strength of the Alliance lies not only in its combined expertise, but also in its commitment to provide a world class education for all; holding the core values of trust, openness and a commitment to lifelong learning at the heart of all we do.”

The partnership involves Schools working together in three key areas: the provision of CPD ( Continuous Professional Development), Introductory Teacher Training ( ITT) and School to School support. As a partner, local schools that are either failing or show weaknesses in certain areas can approach the alliance for support in one of these key areas. Any school providing this support will be able to claim funding back from the local authority to cover the absence if their staff. At the moment we have offered to host a CPD event on mental health issues for local schools and there are several other ways of being involved that we are looking into. We have also offered to take teacher training placements as part of the alliance, as we do with the main Exeter University PGCE course at the moment. 

Aims of the project

Blundell's is a Strategic Partner in the West Country Teaching School Alliance. This enables us to join together with 10 other maintained schools to deliver CPD, Introductory teacher training and School to School support to other local schools.

Background and goals

I have contacted the Head of Uffculme School and arranegd for us to meet. We have visited each others schools. Over a year ago, the Head of Uffculme School asked me if Blundell's would like to join this intiiative as the sole Independent school partner.

Resources

We share expertise of staff across any department. We volunteer facilities and expertise as needed. This involves management and teaching staff. There is no financial contribution required. 

Impact

We look forward to being approached to share good practice. We have offered to host Teaching School placements for PGCE students. It is likely that a small number of staff at Blundell's may apply to become Specialist Leaders in Education (SLEs) for the Alliance.

Pupil involvement

Staff involvement rather than pupil in this initiative.

Frequency and duration

Ongoing. It could involve a number of staff across the school. This is a long-term arrangement.