New fund to help expand partnerships between independent and state schools

New fund to help expand partnerships between independent and state schools

A new £200,000 fund is available to help state and independent schools, as well as universities, create or expand partnerships.

Schools are able to bid for up to £20,000 to build partnerships although any bid in excess of £5,000 will need to be match funded.

The funding announcement following guidance published by the DfE aimed at encouraging more education providers to work together.

Julie Robinson, Chief Executive of the ISC, said they were “delighted” that funding was being made available to “support the development of meaningful cross-sector school partnerships”.

Daniel Hurley, assistant policy director at Universities UK, said that further “space and investment” to share best practice and “meaningful evaluation” of what works “has the potential to benefit pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and the wider education sector.

Back in 2016, the Government revealed plans that suggested it might force universities and independent schools to work with state schools. However, these proposals were subsequently dropped in favour of a more co-operative approach.

The Independent Schools Council has a duty to publish details of partnerships between its members and state schools. Its recent report showed that 1,142 independent schools are already involved in partnerships. The most common collaboration include sharing sports facilities and coaching.

More information on the fund is due to be published in the autumn, when schools will be invited to submit bids.