Interview with Helen Wright for ISM+ Magazine

I much enjoyed being interviewed by Helen Wright for ISM+ about the past, present and future of cross-sector collaboration. We’ve travelled a really long way in the past ten years – but even then, the potential of cross-sector partnerships is only just beginning to open up. Tom Arbuthnott – Deputy Head (Partnerships) at Eton CollegeContinue reading “Interview with Helen Wright for ISM+ Magazine”

On cauliflowers, swedes, trebuchets and the impact assessment of cross-sector partnerships

My latest blog is a guest post for the Eton College Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning and can be found at Assessing the impact of cross-sector partnerships: a practitioner’s guide | CIRL (, It is reproduced below: Did you know, when fired from a trebuchet, that a swede travels further than a cauliflower?Continue reading “On cauliflowers, swedes, trebuchets and the impact assessment of cross-sector partnerships”

How to be strategic in your first year as partnerships leader

Failure, they say, is good for the soul: and my soul was definitely honed and muscular by the end of my twelfth failed interview for a post in school leadership teams. By the time I came to interview for my current role, I was pretty good at turning thin (outreach and partnerships) experiences into powerful-soundingContinue reading “How to be strategic in your first year as partnerships leader”

On ‘partnerships’ and ‘outreach’

I have never thought that I particularly resemble the great Rodney Trotter. That didn’t stop the first Year 8 class I ever taught as an NQT. In a school which set by behaviour, the eight surliest reprobates in a sleepy Surrey town were mine to teach: and they were convinced that Rodney Trotter and IContinue reading “On ‘partnerships’ and ‘outreach’”

Partnerships: locked down or locked up?

Imprisoned Partnerships – how to make school to school links work for you in lockdown I feel for Ernie Bevin. On being made Lord Privy Seal, Bevin famously complained, “but I am neither a Lord, a Privy nor a Seal.” We might say the same thing about school partnerships at the moment – lockdown, andContinue reading “Partnerships: locked down or locked up?”

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.Continue reading “Partnership teaching”

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.Continue reading “The four stages of partnership activity – for discussion!”

How can the ideas in ‘The Missing 2000’ make our partnership projects more effective?

This piece, written by Tom Arbuthnott and Anushka Chakravarty, was the opening chapter to ‘The Missing 2000’, synthesising the best practice ideas which emerged from the publication. If we replicate the projects in this volume across the country, we will begin to make a difference. However, we do understand that, for many schools and partnerships,Continue reading “How can the ideas in ‘The Missing 2000’ make our partnership projects more effective?”