Benefits of collaboration in schools

One thing you can say with some certainty about the provision of education is that it will involve collaboration.

Benefits of collaboration in schools

There are numerous reasons why schools, academies, nurseries and other providers of education are looking to develop more formal collaborative structures.

Whether you are looking to ensure greater financial security, address pressures on resources or you are passionate about delivering community services, the benefits of collaborative working in schools are clear.

School collaboration models

School collaboration models come in many forms, ranging from a simple memorandum of understanding, through to multi-academy trusts and jointly owned companies. We are finding that an increasingly popular form of school collaboration is the contractual collaboration model.

The contractual collaboration model

With a contractual collaboration, those wishing to collaborate formalise the arrangements between them using a fixed term contract. Some of the features of a contractual collaboration model that clients find attractive include:

  • you can agree to do as much or as little as you want;
  • it does not change the governance or nature of your school (i.e. from a maintained school to an academy);
  • it provides a relatively simple arrangement where different types of schools and education providers can collaborate on an equal footing with an equal voice.

If you’d like to know more about school collaboration models, please contact Phil Watts or Katherine Sinclair.

Recent school collaboration projects

We advised a group of seven community primary schools who wished to formalise their existing relationships with each other and extend this to including the pooling of resources for certain agreed activity and obtaining economies of scale savings through collaborative procurement of goods and services.

We advised a group of 15 maintained nursery schools who decided that a contractual collaboration model would provide the right level of formality to underpin and guide their work to address significant funding challenges while preserving the autonomy of each participating nursery school.

School collaboration advice

Our team has a wealth of experience of providing schools, academies, dioceses and other education providers with practical, pragmatic advice, to guide you through the process of establishing the right collaborative arrangement for your needs. You will want to ensure that your collaboration model delivers value for money for the time you will invest in it, and provides sufficient protection against risk. 

We provide:

  • The right school collaboration model for you – advice on the most suitable collaborative model to meet your needs;
  • Presentations and briefings – to governing bodies, partners and other stakeholders on the proposed arrangements;
  • Support throughout – to be with you through the process of establishing your school collaboration, facilitating conversations between heads, chairs and partners;
  • Training – we provide bespoke training and seminars on what underpins effective collaboration in schools, including the importance of establishing a strong level of understanding and ‘cultural synergy’ with potential partners at the outset, including agreeing on a shared vision, set of core values and ethos.
For more information

For more information on school collaboration, please contact Phil Watts or Katherine Sinclair.

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Phil Watts

Senior associate

Senior associate in the governance, funding and corporate team