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It is all about partnerships….that is where the future lies!

February 5, 2013

I have recently been reading the sad (but also angry) story about the forced changes (refuse to use that new word beginning with ac….) to Roke Primary   and wondering as to what is the best way to ensure that we, as governors, help schools deliver the good quality education that all children are entitled to, without having to constantly be looking over our shoulders and wondering when will be next!

After some discussions on Twitter with other governor colleagues, and some of my own experiences over the years as a school governors, I do feel that the best way forward is for schools and governors to learn to collaborate with other schools.  This is not done often enough at the moment.  I still hear tales of schools being put into Special Measures and individual governors not wanting to accept that they need to relinquish power and accept help from other good schools and GB in their areas.

Governors need to start to think as to how their schools can collaborate with others, what can they learn from them and also identify what they have got to offer to potential partners.

So IMO there are a number of options schools can pursue:

1) Start to look around to creat a collaboration with another school – in the old days this was called a soft federation.  You will learn lots from the partner school and so will they:  just to mention improved CPD;, better value for money due to economies of scale and also increased accessed to expertise and skills.

2) You can also explore the concept of a federation. There are different models that can be developed.  For example,   having one GB and two sets of committees for the different schools or else merging all the committees.  There are many different examples out there.  Just remember to be flexible.

With any of the above, here are some pointers that I have picked up from my experience:

1)Make sure you carry all the governors with you.  There will be some who are not happy about them but it is vital that they are shown the benefits. Trust is key!

2) Try and identify a strong headteacher to work with such as a National Leader.

3) Always be open and transparent in your consultations with your stakeholders.  This is really important and it is vital that they feel that their views are valued.

Have a look at this OFSTED report on partnerships and collaborations.

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