Partnership between St Matthew’s School and St Barnabas’ Primary School from September 2020.
Why are we working with St Barnabas’?
St Barnabas’ has a vacancy for a Headteacher. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Governing Body (GB) was unable to carry out the rigorous recruitment process needed to secure a strong Headteacher from September.
The Governing Body of St Barnabas’ approached us and asked if we would consider supporting them. Mrs Jewitt and the Senior Leadership Team have considered this carefully and would like to support another local school. They see this as a positive step which will enable our senior staff to flourish. The Governing Body of St Matthew’s voted unanimously to support this decision. We believe that this partnership will provide Mrs Jewitt and the Senior Leadership Team with professional development experience whilst strengthening links with another local school.
Is a partnership between schools unusual?
Partnerships are increasingly common, especially with small schools. They are set up for a number of reasons. These might include:
- difficulty in recruiting a Headteacher
- they enable schools to share resources and expertise to make the most of school budgets
- the teachers and teaching assistants in each year group will have an opportunity to share ideas, best practice and materials with their colleagues in the partner school
- an excellent professional development opportunity for subject leaders
Our partnership is based on a shared agreement, but there is no change to the legal structure of either school.
What are the benefits of a partnership, and in particular, with St Barnabas’?
Partnerships between schools are increasingly common in inner London. It is likely that St Matthew’s and St Barnabas’ would be required to consider a partnership at some point in the medium term as we are small schools and financial restraints could make it difficult for us to continue to provide the rich education we wish to, with the staffing levels we would like. By taking on a partnership now, for one year with a like-minded, nearby school, it provides us with an understanding of how a partnership works and gives us the benefit of experience if, in the future we have to consider a longer term partnership.
St Barnabas’ is an LDBS school similar to St Matthew’s in its ethos and profile of pupils, parents and governance. It is local, only 20 minutes’ walk away. Both schools can learn from each other and we believe the partnership will strengthen us further.
What will happen in the short term?
- Mrs Jewitt will become Executive Headteacher of St Matthew’s and St Barnabas’
- Ms Green (Assistant Headteacher, Curriculum) and Mrs Selinas (Assistant Headteacher, Inclusion) will be the ‘go to’ people (as they are now) when Mrs Jewitt is not in school
Parents will continue to speak to class teachers in the first assistance and then the relevant Assistant Headteacher when required.
Whilst Mrs Jewitt will be spending the equivalent of four half days a week at St Barnabas’, she will continue to be at St Matthew’s almost every day. You and the children will still see her regularly throughout the school week. The staff teams will continue to benefit from her knowledge and experience.
Who will lead St Matthew’s when Mrs Jewitt is not on site?
Just like the current arrangements, when Mrs Jewitt is not in school, Ms Green and Mrs Selinas will lead the school in her absence. Mrs Jewitt, Ms Green and Mrs Selinas will continue to be in regular, daily contact about St Matthew’s.
How will the partnership affect admissions?
The admissions policies of each school will remain unchanged. There will be no special transfer arrangements for pupils between the schools.
What will be different for our children?
The children at St Matthew’s will continue to be taught the same curriculum and will still see the class that work in their class, Mrs Jewitt, Ms Green and Mrs Selinas regularly throughout the week.
Will the partnership affect the schools in other ways?
The ethos and values of each school will remain distinct and unchanged.
As the partnership develops, there may be opportunities for shared resources, curriculum development and extra-curricular activities.
How will governance of the schools be affected?
The schools will continue to have independent Governing Bodies and each GB will continue to be responsible for the development of their respective school.
How will budgets and costs be managed?
The finances of the schools will remain independent. Resources used by one school, but supplied by the other, will be invoiced as appropriate.
There is no special funding to support a partnership.
Costs of training in which staff from both schools can participate will be split between the schools, offering savings to both.
There are no ongoing additional costs to cover, specific to the partnership.
How will the partnership be assessed?
Our primary concern is the outcomes for the pupils of St Matthew’s. Therefore, we will closely monitor the progress that children are making in every year.
We may then be looking for wider benefits from the partnership, including access to resources, recruitment and retention, improved professional development opportunities for our staff and improved learning and enrichment opportunities for pupils.
The partnership will last for one year and will be reviewed every term (six times within the year). Towards the end of the academic year, a decision will be taken as to whether to extend, dissolve or move towards closer collaboration.
In the event the partnership does not continue, Mrs Jewitt will return to her full-time role at St Matthew’s and St Barnabas’ will advertise for a substantive Headteacher.
If you have any further questions, please do send them via email to the Governing Body at email@example.com
Fr Philip Chester on behalf of the Governing Body of St Matthew’s
9th June 2020