Greening calls for closer working between independent and state schools

Education secretary Justine Greening is calling for closer working between independent and state schools to create more good school places.

Greening spoke at the Celebrating Partnerships event hosted by the Independent Schools Council to showcase the success of existing partnerships between the independent and state school sectors.

The Department for Education is working in collaboration with the Independent Schools Council to support more joint working between the independent and state school sectors.

Support will include drawing on the experience and the expertise of independent schools in leadership, teacher training, curriculum support, school improvement and sponsorship, or setting up a free school.

Greening spoke about the importance of sharing knowledge and spreading expertise so that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, could go on to fulfil their potential.

She said: “Many independent schools are already undertaking partnership activities with state schools, helping raise attainment across the wider school system.

“We want to continue to harness the resources and expertise of leading independent schools through more partnership activities, sponsorships or setting up new free schools, so more young people have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential.”

The Independent Schools Council highlighted thousands of existing partnerships including academic, sporting or musical support, which are estimated to benefit around 10,000 state schools and 175,000 pupils.
Truro Prep School, in Cornwall, is already supporting the state sector with music and sport partnerships, with 29 independent and state schools involved in the music partnerships and 18 schools involved in the sports partnerships.

New Hall School, in Essex, was the first independent school to sponsor a primary school. It set up an academy trust to sponsor Messing Primary School, which was in special measures at the time. Since the partnership was formed, performance at the primary school has improved and Ofsted has rated its leadership and management ‘Outstanding’.

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