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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 Chris Whittington.
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.
- 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 Chris Whittington.
Chris brings his creative thinking to bear on devising pragmatic solutions to complex organisational issues. He is very interested in the concept of social justice and how social capital can be realised through partnerships and has a flair for finding common ground between individuals.Colin Hopkins, Diocesan Director of Education, Lichfield Diocese.
Helping teachers as people
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As a teacher, or a professional working in the education sector, there are multiple issues that you may face. Whilst we do offer advice about educating children from a variety of backgrounds in a safe and caring environment, we also offer advice to you as an individual. We understand that the pressures and numerous challenges facing those in charge are not always classroom based.
Education is one of our core sectors. This allows us to combine our specialist subject knowledge and experiences with our personal approach to individual cases. Our clients tell us that the service they receive from us is unique, and we believe this comes directly from our commitment to the purpose of our firm: 'to improve lives, communities and society’.
Leader of the education team, with extensive education and public law experience.
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