Over the past five years, partnerships between schools across Abingdon have gone from strength to strength. Building on these relationships, a formal, mutually beneficial and impactful partnership has been created for the young people, staff and parents of our local area: the OX14 Learning Partnership between the secondary schools John Mason, Fitzharrys, Radley, Abingdon, Larkmead, and St Helen and St Katharine. The UK government highly recommends these sustainable, formalised partnerships and it is an area of real growth. Schools are working together to ensure better outcomes for all, realising that collaboration really is the key to success.
Meetings between the school leaders about the key priorities for each school and how a collaborative, partnership approach could help deliver those priorities as well as support further partnership aims revealed common themes of raising aspirations, widening opportunities, and reciprocity. Each school has committed to a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines the details of the partnership and includes the core aims:
- INSPIRE: To provide opportunities for aspiration and challenge though widening horizons for all stakeholders.
- CHALLENGE: Use extra-curricular activities to develop character, promote cultural engagement and support civic pride.
- SUPPORT: Support the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff and parents using a whole partnership approach.
A student voice committee will also play a large part in the development of the partnership, not only in the planning and running of events but also as an opportunity for students to have their views heard and collaborate with students from across the partnership.
A partnership with clear aims and commitment from all involved can achieve great things, most of all a sense of belonging and sustainability in a world where young people have faced a period of great challenge and change.