Event celebrates partnerships between independent and state schools

Celebrating Partnerships saw leaders gather to hear about the diverse ways in which independent schools and state schools are working together

The importance of close ties between state and independent schools was underlined at an event in Parliament earlier this month.

Celebrating Partnerships, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Independent Education, saw education leaders gather from across the country to highlight and learn about the diverse ways in which schools are working together.

Among them were a trio travelling from Bolton: Sue Hincks, headmistress of Bolton School Girls’ Division; Paul Hodkinson from Bolton Impact Trust; and Mike Sidebottom, from the mixed secondary Smithills School. Once in the capital, they met up with the newly elected Bolton North-East MP, Mark Logan.

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“It is always a privilege to spend time with Paul and Mike, who are so committed to education in Bolton,” said Hincks.

“Schools are stronger when they work together and partnerships between state and independent schools are extremely beneficial to all.”

independent school
Sue Hincks, head of Bolton School Girls’ Division, with Paul Hodkinson

Areas of collaboration discussed at the event included subject support in maths, science and modern foreign languages; teacher training; setting up and sponsoring new state schools; and careers and higher education workshops and advice.

Examples of meaningful collaborations were recently highlighted in an Independent Schools Council (ISC) report, Celebrating Partnerships.

“Working with the Department for Education, we have been making huge strides to develop and strengthen partnership projects between independent and state schools, which benefit tens of thousands of pupils every year,” said Julie Robinson, ISC chief executive.

“Collaborating with local communities and other schools is part of the very essence of our schools. We know that, when carried out effectively by schools choosing to work together voluntarily to achieve clear and specific aims, partnership projects have the potential to unlock new educational experiences for all involved.”

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