Partnership teaching

This is the first in a series of posts about ‘partnership teachers’ – namely teachers who are employed (or part of whose employment) is there specifically to do partnership work.

I convened a special webinar of partnership co-ordinators in December 2020 to discuss partnership teaching, and aim to hold another meeting in February or March. If you’d like to be involved, whatever your field of interest, then please email me and I’ll include you.


Many school partnerships – whether cross-sector partnerships or Multi-Academy Trusts – are now employing a new breed of teacher. These partnership teachers are teachers whose focus of attention go beyond the operational requirements of the specific children in the classes they teach; teachers who are employed to benefit the educational commonwealth rather than an individual school.

These partnership teachers are employed in a myriad of different ways, with diverse ambitions and targets. Easy methods of impact assessment attached to an individual class (“How well have the kids done in exams?”) no longer apply: instead, we are looking for network influence to assess the impact that a given teacher has.

But how can a school which has decided to deploy these teachers best design a work pattern for them? How can they be most effective in what they do?

This project

This project aims to define partnership teachers in different contexts, to describe the different ways in which they operate and to provide a guide to schools about how best to deploy this increasingly important resource. The project brings together best practice from across the state and independent sectors in short ‘nuggets’ that are easy to digest and learn from.

It is of value to head teachers, governors and directors of MATs who are thinking about employing teachers who work for the commonwealth rather than the school.

The work on partnership teachers is set in the context of the work that has been done to define different ‘stages’ of partnership work, particularly for independent schools which are keen to make an impact through this form of public benefit activity.


Initial suggestions about the different species of partnership teacher

The secondee – a teacher who is seconded on a part-time or a full-time basis to a school which is not their principal employer;

The animateur – a teacher who compiles a series of workshops that they deliver to a wide range of different schools and year groups at primary level;

The enricher – a teacher who compiles a series of workshops that they deliver to a wide range of different schools and year groups at secondary level;

The governor (or Director) – a teacher, part of whose role is to act as a governor in another school or as Director of a Multi-Academy Trust;

The curriculum developera teacher, part of whose role is to advise on or write the curriculum arrangements for another school;

The research specialist – a teacher, part of whose role is to oversee or support evidence-based practice in teachers in other schools;

The subject specialist – a teacher, part of whose role is to promote their subject specialism and/or expertise in other schools

The pedagogue – a teacher, part of whose role is to promote outstanding teaching and learning in other schools – including for trainee teachers and for NQTs

The mentor – a teacher, part of whose role is to organise students in their schools to be able to provide effective and safe partnership services;

The supervisor – a teacher, part of whose role is to provide 1:1 support to students in another school – in advice, in supporting an EPQ, in providing Oxbridge entrance support, or otherwise.

The digitiser – a teacher, part of whose role is to generate digital content, primarily for use in other schools.

One thought on “Partnership teaching

  1. Good afternoon Tom

    Your article has inspired me to think how much our long standing educational charity-SATIPS- already contributes to the methodology and the role of partnership teachers within Prep Schools-but with scope for development externally ie via partnerships with Primary Schools. It is embodied in the name SATIPS -Support and Training in Prep, Primary and Senior Schools.

    I would like to think that a possible partnership with ourselves and your good self-with Prep School Magazine and the SATIPS’ web site-as vehicles for communication-has some potential. Forgive me if I am way off track.

    Very best wishes



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