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Celebrating Partnerships Report of cross-sector partnership work between independent and state schools
ISSUE 2 SEPTEMBER 2017
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Partnerships: the real facts and figures
Free places and reduced fees
Sponsoring state schools
Extending academic partnerships
Music, art and drama partnerships
Widening participation in sport and extra-curricular activities
Broadening the take up in modern foreign languages
University access and careers
Contributing to teacher training
Leading through governance
Helping disadvantaged children to board
Partnerships: the truth
Independent schools: myths and lies
Editors Georgina Belcher and Ian Mason
Celebrating Partnerships is published annually by the Independent Schools Council (ISC). The Independent Schools Council brings together seven associations and four affiliate associations to represent over 1,300 independent schools in the UK. These schools are amongst the best in the world and educate more than half-a-million children. Around half of UK independent schools are ISC schools and these educate around 80% of all independent school children. Independent schools save the taxpayer ÂŁ4 billion a year from students not being in state education and contribute ÂŁ11 billion to the economy.
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Introduction Almost all schools in membership of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) partner with state schools to help children thrive. Some set up and run state schools, many provide academic support in areas such as reading, science and modern languages, whilst others have joined with state schools to run teacher training programmes. Boarding schools are taking ever-more children from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping to create a powerful ripple effect on social mobility in local communities.
goodwill and joint agreement between the state and independent sectors. Our colleagues in the state sector agree that they do not wish partnerships to be forced upon them. The Independent Schools Council Manifesto 2017 proposed: “All political parties should recognise the contribution that ISC schools make to the UK economy and society and should not propose measures which will inhibit our excellence or ability to extend the work we do in partnership with state schools.”
There are 29,000 state-funded schools in the UK so there is a limit to the support our sector can provide but despite the relatively small number of independent schools in the UK, partnership activity remains an important commitment. Some might think that schools only do this work to hang onto charitable status and its incumbent tax breaks, yet our schools put into society far more than they take out; 88% of schools engage in partnership work while only 77% are charities receiving the tax relief.
In the spirit of true partnership we aim to work with all political parties so our schools can continue to widen access and social mobility, to support our schools’ successful joint initiatives with state schools, to enhance the international reputation of British education and ultimately to help children flourish.
There is already much voluntary partnership work and when ISC and its member associations surveyed schools in 2017 they discovered support for extending it – if based on
This issue of Celebrating Partnerships continues to demonstrate the wide-ranging and beneficial partnerships that independent schools are involved in with their state school colleagues. More examples can be seen on the Schools Together website: www.schoolstogether.org.
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Partnerships: the facts and figures According to the 2017 ISC Census, there are 1,140 ISC schools in partnership with state schools. These partnerships benefit an estimated
10,000 state schools and 175,000 state school pupils.
88% of ISC schools are involved in partnerships and, of these schools, 77% hold charitable status. Academic partnerships: • 915 schools are involved in academic partnerships with state schools •
749 invite pupils to attend lessons, workshops or other events
650 share knowledge, skills and experience
389 work together to improve the quality of teaching and learning for pupils
Music partnerships: • 641 schools are in music partnerships with state schools •
492 invite pupils to attend lessons or performances
51 second music teaching staff
Sports partnerships: • 1,023 schools are in sporting partnerships with state schools •
614 host joint sporting events
79 schools second coaching staff
Drama partnerships: • 590 schools are in drama partnerships with state schools •
498 invite pupils to attend drama classes or performances
213 share their concert hall or theatre
Other partnerships: • 558 have members of staff serving as governors at state schools •
271 partner for other extra-curricular activities e.g chess clubs, school trips
116 schools are in partnerships with academies through sponsorship or federation
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Free places and reduced fees One third of independent school pupils receive help paying their fees with ISC schools providing £760 million in fee assistance overall. ISC schools offer help with fees so children can come to our schools whatever their background. Widening access for families from all walks of life • ISC schools offer £385 million in free and reduced places to children from lower income homes. • Nearly half of all pupils on means-tested bursaries have more than half their fees remitted. • Over 5,700 pupils pay no fees at all.
“RNCF/SpringBoard has over 600 children, who merit 100% assistance, thriving in 140 boarding schools; therefore we have an abundance of evidence to support one of our key objectives, social mobility. Not only are the measured outcomes for the students themselves very positive but in addition the students are a strong influence on their communities by raising aspiration and determination in their home peer group; what we call the ‘ripple effect’.” Ian Davenport, chief executive of RNCF/SpringBoard
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Multi-school partnerships The ISC includes schools which are members of groups who work collaboratively to run independent and state schools. They provides cross-sector governance, teacher training, support for pupils with university applications, joint academic projects, trips and revision classes.
An estimated 175,000 state pupils benefit from partnerships between state and independent schools. 4
The Woodard Corporation educates more than 30,000 pupils across academy, independent and state schools and employs over 2,500 teaching staff. This partnership between schools contains a number of national leaders of education and national subject specialists. East Kent Schools Together is a new partnership of schools and a university, working together to raise aspirations and widen horizons for children in East Kent. Truro Prep School, which has 241 pupils, has committed to music and sport multi-school partnerships. Twenty nine independent and state schools are involved in the music partnership and 18 schools, from both sectors, are involved in the sport partnership.
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United Learning is formed of 45 academies and 13 independent schools across England. The group, which collectively educates over 40,000 children, is built upon strong, mutually beneficial and supportive relationships between the schools.
"Since its birth as a free school in 2013, the success of Wye School and its students has been greatly enhanced by our membership of the United Learning group and our close collaboration with our near neighbour, Ashford School, in areas such as teacher training, our joint CCF and the arts." Jan Naylor, principal of Wye School, in Kent
The Mercers’ Company, which has been closely engaged in education for more than 500 years, is involved with the running of 17 schools across the country, supporting them primarily through the appointment of governors.
“United Learning demonstrates daily how people working in the common cause of providing outstanding education can achieve so much to benefit young people across the country.” Mike Buchanan, head of Ashford School and United Learning leadership facilitator
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Sponsoring state schools Partnerships between independent and state schools have been forged through the sponsorship and co-sponsorship of schools, as part of the government’s academies and free schools programmes.
New Hall School, in Essex, was the first independent school nationally to sponsor a primary school. New Hall set up an academy trust to sponsor Messing Primary School, which was under special measures. Since the partnership was formed, performance has improved and Ofsted has rated its leadership and management ‘Outstanding’. Haileybury, in Hertfordshire, is another example of a school that took over a nearby underperforming state secondary school. Following two years of close collaboration Turnford School reopened as an academy, Haileybury Turnford. Since Haileybury’s involvement there have been workshops and revision classes run by Haileybury teachers and pupils have been given assistance with applications to Russell Group
universities. In addition to creating valuable co-curricular opportunities, Haileybury has benefited from Turnford’s professional expertise in the use of data for teaching and learning, as well as its close community links.
“This is a fantastic example of how schools can work together in the community, to share professional expertise and resources. A much-loved village primary school has been saved and transformed into a popular, thriving and happy school.” Katherine Jeffrey, principal at New Hall School
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“Good progress at the academy has been made during last year, with teachers at both schools sharing good practice and Haileybury Turnford students benefiting from Haileybury’s facilities and its staff’s particular expertise.” Russell Matcham, chairman of governors at Haileybury Turnford
The Manchester Grammar School sponsors the New Islington Free School. The independent school provides educational expertise within the governing body, academic opportunities for pupils and guidance to teachers on good practice. In two years the free school has more than doubled its numbers, from 177 pupils to 420. Wellington College, in Berkshire, established Wellington Academy and Wellington Primary Academy in response to local need. In London, LAE Tottenham, will open this September, to offer 16 to 19-year-olds a rigorous academic route into top universities. The free school’s principal education sponsor is Highgate School in partnership with seven other independent schools.
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Extending academic partnerships 8
More than 900 ISC schools are engaged in academic partnerships, and have been for many years. Independent schools support subjects which are vulnerable in the state sector, such as modern foreign languages (MFL), Latin, music and physics. The excellence and strength of ISC schools stems in part from their independence from central government and local authorities. This enables each ISC school to follow its own curriculum – offering a wider range of learning opportunities, as well as allowing the schools to be innovative and experimental, better to meet the needs of their pupils. Therefore, through academic independent and state school partnerships, many state school pupils are able to benefit from subjects that would be unavailable to them otherwise. They also provide support in numeracy and literacy. Twenty Year 12 students from Alleyn’s School, in Dulwich, participated in a ‘Rhythm for Reading’ project which involved the mentoring of low/middle attaining pupils at a local state primary school. This scheme involves teaching pupils to read
music in an unconventional way to develop their cognitive control and literacy skills. Pupils gained an average of 9 months’ progress in their reading accuracy and 12 months’ progress in their reading comprehension over just 10 weeks. St Helen’s School, in North West London, is working to help Northwood School pupils enhance Computer Aided Design (CAM) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) skills. The head of design and technology and the technician from St Helen’s School, organise tutorials for Northwood School pupils so they can use the new technologies with confidence. Bolton School has an active programme of engagement with local primary schools and hosts a number of subject-
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“We are keen to support our wider community and share the educational resources that we have. This approach is very much one of partnership, not patronage, where all parties can benefit from working together.” Daniel Cox, senior teacher (outreach) and director of sport, Churcher’s College
specific days for its pupils. Examples in recent years include festivals in science, maths, sport, MFLs, technology, physics, classics and literacy as well as spelling bees and general knowledge quizzes.
the arts and maths (STEAM) projects. The school’s specialist language teachers visit local primary schools.
Ardingly College, in West Sussex, has set up and runs a maths challenge with local primary schools. This enables young mathematicians in local schools to develop their knowledge and has received excellent feedback from pupils and teachers.
“Enabling students from diverse social backgrounds to have opportunities to work together is to be commended. One of the noticeable achievements on the day was the shared engagement and enjoyment from all students involved regardless of the type of school they attended.”
In association with the Royal Academy of Engineering, Churcher’s College, in Petersfield, has established itself as a hub for local state secondary schools to come together and work on science, technology, engineering,
Scott Atkinson, education programmes manager at the Royal Academy of Engineering
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According to the ISC 2017 Census, 590 ISC schools are engaged in drama partnerships with state schools
Music, art and drama partnerships Independent schools traditionally support the arts and enable talented and creative young people to flourish. Drama partnerships allow pupils to perform together, support productions and even write and direct their own plays. Meanwhile art and music partnerships give pupils opportunities in orchestras, choirs and through exhibitions. This means pupils in both sectors can build confidence and access new and exciting learning opportunities.
King Edward VI School, in Southampton, runs an art club for able artists. The club is run by an art teacher, alongside several KES students, for three different local primary schools. Children experience a range of techniques for which they would not otherwise have the facilities and equipment in their own schools. Latymer Upper School, in Hammersmith, has hosted the Tri-borough Music Hub (TBMH) for many years. Up to 150 local children attend TBMH, which is in session every Saturday during term time. A huge variety of music groups and lessons are on offer often assisted by student volunteers from Latymer Upper.
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There are 641 ISC schools involved in music partnerships
St Andrew’s (Woking) School Trust works with local primary schools to demonstrate how music can be incorporated into the curriculum. This gives primary aged children more exposure to music and means non-specialist music teachers have enhanced confidence to teach the subject. Abbot’s Hill School, in Hertfordshire, hosts performing arts workshops for Abbot’s Hill students as well as pupils from two local primary schools. The children benefit from specialist coaching in voice, choreography and drama. This collaboration is a regular event on the school calendar and an Abbot’s Hill specialist drama teacher will be providing weekly lessons for a class in one of the partner schools.
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Sport and extra-curricular activities ISC schools have a long history of sporting excellence and promoting a wide range of extra-curricular activities because they value them and invest time in them. There are currently more than 1,000 sporting partnerships each year between independent and state sector schools, as well as hundreds of extracurricular activities enabling children and young people from all walks of life to broaden their experiences outside the classroom.
There are 1,023 schools in sporting partnerships with state schools ISC Census 2017
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“At King’s College School Wimbledon, the annual sports project for three primary schools provides invaluable work experience for sixth-formers at King’s and its partner schools, while the Year 7s & 8s on the project get to enjoy a wide range of activities, including swimming, hockey and tag rugby.” Harry Chapman, director of partnerships and outreach at King’s College School Wimbledon
From Longridge Towers School, in Berwick-uponTweed, developing rugby provision for local schools, to King Edward VI School, in Southampton, which every year provides an entire year group at a nearby state school with fencing taster sessions, there is a wealth of good work going on to create sporting opportunities. Queen Ethelburga’s College, in York, invites several local state schools to take part in sporting activities, including cricket, hockey, football, rugby, basketball and rounders. It also employs a full-time community sport outreach coach, who delivers weekly curriculum PE sessions in six neighbouring state primary schools. Students at Kingham Hill School, in Oxfordshire, help deliver free football coaching to Year 1-6 pupils at local primary school Kingham Primary, while Howell’s School, in Llandaff, helps to organise an annual girlsonly football festival for local junior schools.
In addition to this multitude of sporting partnerships, independent and state schools are regularly working together on extra-curricular activities. Every week, sixth form students from St Mary’s Calne, in Wiltshire, work with children at The Springfields Academy as part of a mentoring programme which aims to develop the younger pupils’ social skills, self-belief and communication skills. In London, The Royal Ballet School provides training to children who would not normally have access to ballet classes and Twickenham Prep School invites pupils from a range of schools to take part in chess tournaments. There are examples of independent and state schools working together to create a joint Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Churcher’s College, in Petersfield, Dame Allan’s Schools, in Newcastle upon Tyne, and City of London Freemen’s School are just a few independent schools to have teamed up with neighbouring state schools to do this.
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Broadening the take up in modern foreign languages For many years, the proportion of independent school pupils choosing modern foreign languages (MFL) has been higher than in the state sector. For this reason, ISC schools and the partnership work surrounding MFL remains central to the survival of these subjects at university.
Through language partnerships, students from the state sector are given the opportunity to learn German, Italian, Latin, Greek and Mandarin, amongst other languages. Colfe’s School, in London, offers a number of options to local state school pupils, including Trinity School in Lewisham, such as beginners’ German classes, GCSE French boosters and breakfast clubs for Year 11. The MFL courses provide additional exam support, introduce younger pupils to German, stretch the most able pupils at state schools and provide a genuine enrichment opportunity.
Cokethorpe School, in Oxfordshire, gives Latin lessons to Henry Box School (HBS) pupils in Year 9 and above, after being made aware that the school was no longer able to offer the subject to its pupils. This partnership has extended to Cokethorpe providing tuition for HBS’ A-level students. As well as regular MFL partnerships, many schools host annual events. Portsmouth High School GDST runs a festival for Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from 12 local primary schools. Senior school pupils join specialist languages teachers in leading the sessions to teach a carousel of taster lessons ranging from Japanese, Hindi, German, Bengali, Farsi and Mandarin to Greek and Italian.
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“We have always felt a sense of warmth from Colfe’s – teachers and pupils just seem really happy to be there – it is a great fit for Trinity and shares many of the values of hard work, aspiration and sense of community that we promote in our young people. Our students benefit hugely from the academic enrichment sessions and the Leathersellers’ Scholarship programme* provides our brightest and best with the opportunity to study for their A-levels at a fantastic local school. Trinity pupils have integrated well and have achieved great things. We enjoy working with Colfe’s and look forward to continued success with our partnership.” Fidelma Hanlon, assistant headteacher and director of character education, Trinity School in Lewisham
"The most natural and open partnerships occured where there was an existing relationship, and as such, partnerships should consider exploring existing networks both formal and informal." Mike Bourne, Department for Education, Independent State School Partnerships (ISSP) Impact of and lessons and learnt, research report, July 2017
* The Leathersellers’ Scholarship programme enables pupils from non-privileged backgrounds to join Colfe’s sixth form each year on fully funded places.
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Sharing facilities ISC schools have for many years opened their doors to state school neighbours. Collectively, 1,436 facilities are shared with local state schools. This willingness to share resources with other schools demonstrates the steps taken by independent schools to be supportive and active members of their local communities. It is important to remember that whilst some ISC schools have impressive facilities, many do not. For example, there are only 62 allweather athletics tracks across all ISC schools. Despite this, ISC schools are ready and willing to do more to help all children access outstanding facilities.
The facilities at Alleyn’s School, in Dulwich, were used by local schools for a total of 495 hours over the last academic year – this included the use of its performing arts theatre, playing fields, swimming pool and athletics track. Science days are held at Brentwood School, in Essex, where children from local state primary schools learn at the school’s science faculty and use facilities and equipment they would not otherwise have access to. Mayfield School, in Sussex, is one of many independent schools to share its swimming pool with several local state schools, while Witham Hall, in Lincolnshire, offers use of its sports facilities to local schools as well as to children at an autistic residential care home.
“The opportunity to use the theatre at Alleyn’s School was very important to us. The children thoroughly benefited from the experience in terms of giving them an insight into future opportunities for music and drama at secondary school. The confidence we saw in the children was fantastic and the parents were very impressed by their talents.” Kathryn Farrelly, key stage two phase leader at Heber Primary School
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University access and careers ISC schools have a very successful track record of educational achievement and students go on to good universities. In 2016, 91% of all ISC pupils went on to higher education, and of those doing so, 94% continued their education within the UK. The majority (55%) went on to a Russell Group university, including 6% who took up a place at either Oxford or Cambridge. ISC schools are keen to share knowledge and experience with state school partners to help even more young people realise their potential. Practical support, conferences, mock interviews and workshops are examples of partnership projects which help children from all backgrounds go on to become successful graduates. The head of sixth form at St Albans School, in Hertfordshire, works with several state schools sharing knowledge and good practice as well as providing practical support to students with the UCAS application process. Harrow School offers advice and support to young people known to YMCA West London who are applying to study law at university. The project aims to encourage those who might not otherwise do so, to consider studying the subject. At the same time, academic departments at Harrow arrange mock interview exchange programmes, with up to 10 state schools taking part in any given year. Redmaidsâ€™ High School, in Bristol, organises and hosts an annual Women and Careers Conference. Working with state and independent schools across the region, 15 and 16-year old students from Bristol, Bath, Bruton, Cheltenham and Exeter are brought together to hear from leading specialists about careers available in medicine and how to achieve places on scientific and medical degrees.
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Contributing to teacher training ISC schools work alongside state schools to bring teachers from both sectors together to share experiences and develop professional skills. These partnerships are hugely valuable for all involved. By sharing best practice teachers learn about different approaches and ways of working.
In an innovative independent and state school partnership, Bolton School Girls’ Division has been working with Prestolee Primary School and Prestolee SCITT to improve the quality of teaching and learning in science in order to develop trainee teachers’ confidence and subject knowledge whilst increasing children’s enthusiasm and interest. In Oxfordshire, Abingdon School is working with Fitzharrys School on the Abingdon Fitzharrys Teaching and
“My leadership has been enhanced by the collaboration and sharing of ideas that come from working with an experienced and leading educationalist, Derek Peaple, the head of Park House.
State academy Wycombe High School and independent school Headington are leading on establishing a maths and physics School Centre for Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) to train muchneeded teachers in the two subjects. The new SCITT will draw on expertise from all involved and take its first applicants in September 2018.
Ricki Smith, principal at St Gabriel’s, in Berkshire
Learning Partnership, which enables staff to shadow one another over the course of three half terms. Teachers reflect on and apply improvements to their practice using ‘action based research’ before assessing teaching and learning progress. In an even wider example of partnership working, the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) and the Association of State Girls’ Schools (ASGS) have this year launched a pioneering new mentoring scheme to encourage women teachers to learn the characteristics and skills required for senior leadership in schools. Each GSA participant will be paired with an ASGS counterpart, so they can share experiences outside their current school. As well as meeting separately with their mentor, each pair works together on a local community project, paving the way for further independent-state school partnerships.
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Leading through governance There are at least 558 ISC schools that have members of staff serving as governors at state schools, which not only demonstrates their commitment to helping all school pupils thrive, but also their desire to help raise educational standards within local communities. Across the country, independent school leaders serve as governors of state schools, academies and multiacademy trusts (MATs) or as trustees on educational boards. The head of juniors at Oldham Hulme Grammar School acts as a trustee for the Harmony Trust – a MAT consisting of five primary schools in the Greater Manchester area, the head of sixth form at St George’s School, in Ascot, is a governor at Northmead Junior School, in Guildford, the headteacher at The Froebelian School, in Leeds, has been an active governor at Clayton Village Primary School for over four years and the principal of Gosfield School, in Essex, serves as a co-opted governor of Gosfield Community Primary School.
Putney High School headmistress Suzie Longstaff, who is governor of Waldegrave School, in Twickenham, said of the role: “I am very aware of the beneficial two-way relationship that such a position brings. I learn as much as I am able to give.” Governance partnerships frequently involve more than two schools. A partnership between The Manchester Grammar School, Haveley Hey Community School and The Willows Primary School provides educational expertise to governors, while also creating learning opportunities for pupils and giving guidance to teachers and teaching assistants on good practice. Taunton Senior School has entered into collaboration with the Levels Academy Trust, comprising four primary schools in the Langport area of Somerset. Taunton School provides members of staff to sit on the trust and governing boards – working together to develop training opportunities and share skills and resources.
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“The SpringBoard bursary programme has not just impacted significantly on the SpringBoard pupils’ life chances but also this community. There is a sense of self-belief and confidence spreading across the community and this is as a consequence of the collaborative work of SpringBoard and the school.” Sue Yates, headteacher at Blacon High School, in Chester
Helping disadvantaged children to board 22
Independent schools offer high quality education to parents and financial support to help children from lower income families. ISC schools spend £380 million each year on meanstested bursaries and scholarships, mostly for children from low income households. Over 40% of those on means-tested bursaries have more than half their fee remitted. In June 2017, a merger between the Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF) and The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation created the largest bursary charity in the UK. Currently, RNCF/SpringBoard has 650 vulnerable or disadvantaged children in over 100 of the country’s boarding schools. Through these places, the children and young people have an invaluable opportunity to fulfil their true academic and personal potential, while benefitting from a strong pastoral framework. The scheme has demonstrable success, as shown through the
National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) impact assessment report which states: “A range of impacts are being realised for pupils including: improved academic progress and attainment; raised aspirations, broadened horizons and enhanced future prospects; improved social skills and interactions and increased awareness of social diversity; and increased confidence and well-being. Many of the above impacts have been achieved as a result of pupils benefitting from a stable and secure school environment.” The newly-formed charity’s ambition is to have, at any one time, 1,000 pupils in boarding schools – creating a powerful ripple effect on social mobility through local communities. It has a twin track referral process, accepting direct referrals from schools and families and referrals from community groups.
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Partnerships: the truth The most successful partnerships arise voluntarily when heads or teachers at independent and state schools choose to work together for the benefit of pupils. Across the country, the number of partnership projects has been steadily rising, as relationships between schools develop and more opportunities for joint working emerge. Where there is mutual enthusiasm and reciprocity, schools know best what they need and what is likely to work. Effective partnerships have clear and specific aims, such as to increase the number of girls taking physics A-level or increase the proportion of pupils going to top universities. It is vital that responsibility for these partnerships lies with committed school leaders. ISC schools are hugely diverse, from the very large well known schools which attract pupils from around the country and the world, to very small and academically non-selective schools. Many schools simply do not have the capacity to undertake large amounts of partnership work. Most would struggle to sponsor academies and only a few could afford to second teaching staff. Many do not have extensive facilities. Forced engagement could therefore have negative effects on, for example, small prep schools that do not have any spare resource. Such schools might not be in a position to engage to a high degree or may have to redirect money that is currently used for bursaries and scholarships.
â€œSchools working together is what fuels the oxygen of collaboration. Whatever type of school it has been my pleasure to work with, I have always seen huge benefits from professionals sharing ideas, knowledge and challenges. As national schools commissioner, a key priority for me is to ensure that this quality of dialogue takes place across sectors so that more children benefit from this interaction.â€? Sir David Carter, national schools commissioner
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Independent schools: myths and lies “Independent schools do nothing to aid social mobility.” In addition to the huge amount of partnership work independent schools do with the state sector (of which this report provides only a glimpse), ISC schools are committed to helping out families from all walks of life through fee assistance. A third of our pupils receive help with their fees. A significant majority of fee assistance is provided directly from the schools themselves and more than 5,500 pupils at ISC schools pay no fees at all.
“They are damaging state schools.” Most children educated in independent schools are entitled to, but do not take up a place at, a state school. This saves the government £4 billion a year*, money which is thereby freed up to spend on the state sector. Many independent schools are specialist schools – they are for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, music or dance schools, cathedral choir schools, schools for pupils of high ability, boarding schools and international schools. They fill gaps left by state provision. Sutton Trust research has consistently shown that it is not independent schools that generate social division within education but state secondary schools – the top 500 of which are highly socially selective.
“Independent schools are imposing, traditional institutions for the wealthy.” Of our 1,300 schools over 1,000 have fewer than 600 pupils. Only half are academically selective. The average yearly fee for an independent day school is £14,100; for half the schools the fees are less than that. ISC schools are spending £380 million each year on meanstested bursaries and scholarships, mostly for children from low income households. Over 40% of those on meanstested bursaries have more than half their fees remitted. Alongside traditions sits a culture of innovation, experimentation and original thought; Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking hail from independent schools.
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“These schools are mainly filled by the children of oligarchs.” There are 3,044 Russian pupils of the ISC total 522,879. There are 27,281 non-British pupils whose parents live abroad, 5.2% of the total. Many of these are at international colleges where students contribute greatly to the local economy and go on to UK universities. The average independent school family is a middle-class dual income household where the salary of one parent pays school fees. The typical independent school parent struggles to pay the fees and makes sacrifices to do so. The ethnic make-up of ISC schools broadly mirrors that of state schools, with 32% of pupils from a minority ethnic background.
“It is not fair they have charitable status and can therefore avoid tax.” Education has been defined in law as a charitable purpose. Fewer than half of the UK’s independent schools are charities, but those which are must report public benefit activity to the Charity Commission annually. These schools aid social mobility by providing free places for children from lower income homes and by running partnership projects with state schools. The contribution of independent schools to the UK, estimated by Oxford Economics at over £11 billion in 2014, far outstrips the £150 million they collectively receive in charitable benefits. .
All figures within this booklet come from the ISC Annual Census 2017, unless otherwise stated: isc.co.uk/research/annual-census *Oxford Economics Report, 2014, The impact of independent schools on the British economy
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Constituent Associations Girls’ Schools Association Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference Independent Association of Prep Schools Independent Schools Association The Society of Heads Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools The Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Affiliate Associations Boarding Schools’ Association Council of British International Schools Scottish Council of Independent Schools Welsh Independent Schools Council Independent Schools Council First Floor, 27 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9BU 020 7766 7070
www.schoolstogether.org Celebrating and encouraging partnership projects Schools have been engaged in partnerships for many years. The main motivation is a desire to collaborate with other schools in the local community for mutual benefit. The Schools Together website demonstrates the excellent work that is already going on and helps and inspires more schools to get involved. Schools can register to add partnerships: www.schoolstogether.org/register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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