State schools, independent schools and universities will be able to bid for up £20,000 to help them build partnerships, through a new fund announced by Schools Minister Lord Agnew, today.
The grants will give schools an exciting opportunity to expand current partnerships and create new ones. Money could be used to cover basic things such as transport costs between sites or extra curriculum resources, as well as costs associated with holding CPD seminars for teachers.
Speaking at the Schools Together annual conference, Lord Agnew will tell delegates that over £200,000 will be available for partnerships to bid into from the autumn. The plan will allow state schools, private schools and universities to share expertise and resources.
Speaking via video today, Lord Agnew will say:
“This government’s ambition is to create an education system that extends opportunity to everyone. One of the ways in which we can extend opportunity is through partnerships – schools working with other schools and universities to share what’s best about each sector.
“Today, I am pleased to announce grant funding of over £200,000 to directly support school partnerships. This funding will create fantastic opportunities for schools, which could use grants either as seed funding for new partnerships, or to expand and deepen existing ones.
“I invite you – as leaders in education – to use this opportunity to bring about a new wave of meaningful partnerships, and to encourage others to think about how similar collaborations could benefit their schools as others across the country have already.”
Bids of over £5,000 will require match funding from the partnership, to make sure pupils continue to benefit beyond the existence of the fund, while larger bids will be capped at £20,000 - excluding the match funding element - so as many schools as possible can take advantage of the grants. For all those schools to benefit, and to benefit to the greatest extent, the department will be looking for bids that support partnerships that are impactful, sustainable, mutually beneficial and that will actively tackle disadvantage.
The creation of the fund builds on the publication of a suite of partnership guidance late last year, released to support schools in setting up, delivering and evaluating their partnerships, and the Joint Understanding the Department for Education agreed with the Independent Schools Council, last May.
Further information on the partnerships fund will be published in the autumn, at which point schools will also be invited to submit bids.