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School Partnerships with Education For All

The Steve Sinnott Foundation School Partnerships Programme between schools in the UK and other countries brings lasting benefits for young people wherever they live.
School partnerships offer young people the opportunity to:
  • Link directly with international peers.
  • Have a greater understanding of challenging global issues.
  • Create meaningful cross-cultural relationships. Collaborate on curriculum-based activities.
  • Gain a fuller understanding of other countries and cultures.
School partnerships also enableteachers to:
  • Share best practice with colleagues overseas.
  • Learn from education systems in other countries.

Case Study – St Paul’s Church of England Primary School & Lahare Pipal School

What is a school partnership?
A successful school partnership will benefit all schools equally and be sustainable. In order to meet these two aims, we recommend that you:
  • Make long-term plans to commit time and resources to the partnership.
  • Ensure partners contribute equally.
  • Create a task force and involve more teachers and young people as the partnership develops.
  • Agree shared goals for the partnership between schools.
  • Involve others such as parents, media and businesses.
What are the challenges of a school partnership?

Regular communication often proves to be the greatest challenge for schools, especially when there are differences in access to postal services and communications technology. For many schools, using the internet is just not possible, while for others access may be intermittent, for example at weekends or once a month when a teacher visits an urban centre. This will have an impact on the nature of the partnership and it is important that schools are aware and tolerant of the limitations of their partner school.

Top 5 Tips

1) Set up a task force with a coordinator.
2) Make sure everyone in the school community knows what’s going on.
3) Establish a dedicated noticeboard.
4) Establish regular communication through newsletter items and agenda items for the governing body.
5) Make use of school technology such as rolling information screens and school radio.

  • Partner schools are responsible for developing and maintaining communication that works for both schools.
  • Perceptions about timescales differ. It is important partner schools are aware of the other’s constraints.
  • Be aware of making assumptions about your partner school’s resources and level of English
And if things go wrong:
  • Restart communication.
  • Try different forms of communication such as a telephone call.
  • If other things have got in the way of keeping the partnership going from your end – keep calm and carry on!