independent/state school partnerships there will be:
- a£1m partnership fund - which builds on£600,000 announced earlier
to fund a number of pilot projects - to run over two years from next
- a new advisory group to carry out and build on the good work that
has already been done
Addressing the annual Headmasters, and Headmistresses'
conference in Jersey yesterday, Ms Morris said:
'I am pleased to have the opportunity to raise the profile of
state/independent partnerships, and specifically the role that
independent schools can have in helping us improve school standards.
The Advisory Group has consulted widely on this. Their report,
'Building Bridges' which is published today, makes 14
'The government has responded to the report and has accepted all
of the recommendations. I am pleased to announce that Chris Parker,
head of Nottingham High School, has agreed to chair the new
'Some of the report's recommendations are for the short term, while
others seek longer term attention. Most of them call on all
partners in the education service to play a part in encouraging
greater integration between sectors for the benefit of all pupils
and for teachers, too.
'Examples of the partnership projects currently under way are:
- Ampleforth College in York is working on a maths scheme with St
Mary's Comprehensive School in Leeds
- Wells Cathedral School in Somerset is holding workshops with St
George's Community School
- King's College in Wimbledon, London is providing student mentors
for pupils at Hollymount First School
'There must be a change in culture, a move away from the idea
that each sector must operate totally separately from the other.
Happily, this has started to change, and we are beginning to benefit
from the co-operation between the sectors. We look forward to seeing
more projects which demonstrate the value of partnership.
'Our main aim in government is to see standards raised, and the
inspection process is key in achieving this. The joint agreement on
inspection arrangements announced in July builds on existing schemes
for inspecting schools which belong to an association affiliated with
the Independent Schools Council. The two schemes involved have been
evaluated by OFSTED and strengthened so that we have:
- an inspection framework consistent with that operated by HMI
- similar standards of judgement
- suitable quality control and assurance arrangements
- a regular six year inspection cycle
'Our top priority is to raise standards in schools, and we need to
work in partnership with all those concerned in the education of our
children to achieve that aim. I believe that strong partnership is
the way forward, and this will enable us to make best use of
available resources to provide a world class education system.'