The four stages of partnership activity – for discussion!

The post below is the iteration (as of January 2021) of ‘four stages of partnership activity’. It builds on the work of ‘The Missing 2000’ and ‘All Together Now’, and aims to develop the initial continuum into four discrete stages (although it has been pointed out that a ‘spiral’ may be a more effective metaphor.

I would genuinely welcome any comments on the below as a response to this blog.

 Characteristics of ‘emerging’ partnershipsCharacteristics of ‘established and sustainable’ partnershipsCharacteristics of ‘regional excellence’ partnershipsCharacteristics of partnerships which are part of a ‘national educational commonwealth’
LeadershipLed by teacherLed by senior leader / dedicated partnerships co-ordinatorLed by team of individuals with direction from a committed Head.Strategically incorporated as a core pillar of the school’s activity
PlanningReinventing the wheel with each new projectInformed by successful projects elsewhereCollaborating actively with other partnerships to achieve shared goalsCollaborating nationally with key bodies of all kinds (universities, agencies, government).
FinanceRun on a shoestringAware of funding sources and modelsFinanced as a proportion of fee income, with 5-10 dedicated staffWell-financed, with over 10 dedicated staff, mostly teaching.
CoherenceFragmentedCohesive with clearly articulated goals
CommunicationNo time for communicationCommunicated to alumni, parents, students and potential donors in an organised wayValued regionally by all key educational stakeholders.Valued nationally.
Impact assessmentNot assessed for impactHigh quality and reflexive
SustainabilityOne offIterative and repeatedLong-termPermanent
TargetingWorking with ‘state sector kids’Targeted on pupils who really need support, e.g. SEN, the most able or pupil premiumTargeted on regional problems that need resolution.Targeted on the most complex national educational problems – educational coldspots, children in care, PRUs.
Balance of the relationshipPerceived as patronageMutual and reciprocalMutual and reciprocalMutual and reciprocal
General designAd hocPlanned collaboratively cross-sectorPlanned around ‘points of excellence’ (e.g. university admissions) in one of the schools in the partnership.Planned around ‘points of difficulty’ – the most intractable national educational problems.

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