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Working in partnership

Published: 1 September 2021

Staff are growing in enthusiasm and our children have seen the profile of science raised throughout the school, both in terms of lesson delivery and extracurricular opportunities.
Nashim Prabatani, Swadlincote Partnership, 2020

The School Partnerships programme offers five years of funding, support, opportunities and teacher CPD to schools that are committed to working together to enhance physics teaching and learning. The Trust is now inviting applications for new school partnerships starting in September 2022.

Teacher CPD and raising students’ science capital and career aspirations are at the heart of the school partnerships programme; partnership funding for enrichment and extra-curricular activities adds another dimension to the teaching and learning of physics, encouraging learners to take physics further.

“We hope that the partnership programme helps to increase the number of students going on to take physics at GCSE, A-level and at university, as well as thinking about how physics can contribute to career aspirations,” explains Wendy Cox, Head of Education at the Trust.

“The additional support and opportunities available to physics teachers (and technicians) in partnership schools can enhance their subject knowledge and career development, contributing to job satisfaction and teacher retention.”

Two hands holding two large magnets together

The programme supports local clusters of schools and established collaborations, such as multi-academy trusts, as well as providing regional support through place-based partnerships.

The Swadlincote Partnership joined the Ogden network in September 2020. “The partnership has been an excellent opportunity for us to branch out and work collaboratively with other schools in the area,” says Partnership Co-ordinator, Nashim Prabatani. “Working as part of an enthusiastic, supportive and forward-thinking team has supported our development, challenging us to question our delivery and provision of science, and always ask ourselves, how can we improve this?

“Staff are growing in enthusiasm and our children have noticeably seen the profile of science raised throughout the school, both in terms of lesson delivery and extracurricular opportunities,” she concludes.

Five years of funding

A local cluster partnership can apply for up to £2,500 per academic year for the first three years and up to £1,000 in the fourth year for partnership activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. A further grant of up to £250 is available as partnerships move into their legacy phase. In the first year, partnership co-ordinators are awarded a time buy-out giving them half a day a week to build relationships across the cluster and establish the partnership.

An established collaboration partnership (ie a MAT) can apply for up to £2,000 per academic year for the first three years and £1,000 in the fourth year for activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. The partnership lead is eligible for up to three years of time buy-out to support the partnership.

Teachers at all partnership schools can also access CPD from Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3. Building on the success of the Ogden primary CPD programme, the Trust also offers a Key Stage 3 CPD scheme for non-specialist physics teachers in partnership schools. The programme includes three twilight workshops covering transition, diagnosing misconceptions and purposeful practical physics. It has been designed to support and enable non-specialist teachers – committed, confident teachers, delivering hands-on, inspiring physics can only enhance the learning experience of pupils.

“We strongly believe that the scientist who is going to solve the world’s current problems – such as climate change or plastic pollution – is currently sat in one of our partnership schools. It is our responsibility as teachers to engage and inspire them to be able to solve scientific problems, giving them the passion and love to go further in the subject. It is so pleasing to look at the impact the partnership has had on the children we teach. I can’t wait to develop it further!”
Matt Crook, Halton Partnership

Learn more about forming a partnership and how to apply

Partnerships normally comprises four or more schools and can be a mix of maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools, across the primary and secondary sector. We welcome applications from any schools in England but are especially keen to work with new partnerships in rural and coastal areas, as well as schools based in areas of social deprivation.

“Empowering the teachers in our partnership has been at the hear of our first year, up-skilling teachers and increasingly their confidence in delivering high-quality, hands-on physics to create a positive cascade throughout our schools.”
David GregoryBlyth Valley Partnership

Read more about some of our partnerships and what they have achieved in our Ogden partnership case studies.

Find out more about our partnership programme.

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