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Forming a partnership

Applications for new partnerships open annually between September and January. The partnership programme supports local clusters of schools and established collaborations, as well as providing regional support through place-based partnerships.

The School Partnerships programme provides funding for schools over a period of five years. It supports local clusters of schools and established collaborations, as well as providing regional support through place-based partnerships. Partnerships must include a minimum of six schools and must be mixed phase – primary only applications will not be accepted.

An Ogden school partnership involves time, energy and commitment from all members of staff involved. Please consider whether you will have the time available to organise a programme of activities outside your normal teaching timetable before applying. The programme will need the support of your senior leadership team and headteacher, including time out of school to attend partnership meetings.

Applications for new partnerships open annually between September and January. Before making an application, please read the information below to ensure you understand the application process and complete the correct application for your school. 

Eligibility criteria

To help ensure sustainable, effective partnerships that support student transition across the phases, partnership applications must:

  • Have a minimum of six schools.
  • Be mixed phase (primary and secondary). Primary only applications will not be accepted.
  • Comprise schools that are already in contact and agree to registering an interest in the programme.

Within the application criteria, priority will be given to:

  • Secondary school(s) without a physics specialist.
  • Schools with students in under-represented/disadvantaged groups.
  • Schools with science/physics teachers in under-represented/disadvantaged groups.
  • Schools with above national average FSM%

Criteria for applying

Priority areas for partnerships starting in 2025-26 have been identified using the government opportunity areas cross-referenced with IDACI and ONS data for levels of deprivation. Areas have also been selected based on the current level of physics and STEM engagement.

London: Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets

South: Bognor Regis & Littlehampton, Brighton & Hove , Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings & Rye, West Somerset

East: Bury St Edmunds, East Lindsey, Fenland & East Cambridgeshire, Ipswich, Leicester, Lincoln, Norwich , Nottingham

Midlands/West: Banbury, Birmingham (Ladywood, Sparkbrook, Small Heath), Cannock Chase, Matlock, Stoke-on-Trent

North: Bradford, Doncaster, Hull, Middlesbrough, Scarborough & Filey, Sunderland

Please note:

  • funding will only be paid directly to a school (it cannot be paid to an individual or organisation)
  • schools who have previously received funding will not be eligible to apply for a new partnership
  • No more than one in six partnership schools can be a independent or grammar school
  • partnerships must complete and submit all paperwork by the given deadlines to be eligible for funding in the following year, including a report and review in the fifth and final year.

Making an application

A contact at the lead school in the proposed partnership should complete the expression of interest which is the first stage in joining the School Partnerships programme. All open applications will be invited to a Q&A webinar in early January and expressions of interest need to be submitted by 10 January. Following the expression of interest deadline, there will be an assessment period (up to five weeks) to review all submissions.

If your expression of interest is successful, you will be invited to stage two where you will collaborate with the named schools in your partnership application and submit a grant application for funding. New partnerships officially start in September.

Further details about the application process are available here.

Which partnership is for me?

  • A local cluster partnership is a group of four or more schools within a local area who want to collaborate on projects that enhance the teaching and learning of physics.
  • An established collaboration partnership is a group of four or more schools associated through a multi-academy trust (MAT), MAC, federation, educational trust or similarly related organisation, who want to collaborate on projects that enhance the teaching and learning of physics

If you have a regional responsibility for physics education, and would like your area to be considered for regional support, please contact our programme officer.

If you are interested in joining an existing partnership search our directory for partnerships near you. You should then contact our partnership team who will be able to advise you, but please note Рschools are only able to formally join a partnership in the new bid round in the summer term.

Applications

Expressions of interest must be completed before 10 January 2025. Applications will open 1 September. Choose from the options below to start your application.

A group of diverse students looking at DNA.

Local cluster partnerships

A group of four or more schools within a local area who want to collaborate on projects that enhance the teaching and learning of physics.

Local cluster partnership

A group of students alongside their teacher in a classroom. Discussing about their work.

Established collaboration partnerships

A group of four or more schools associated through a multi-academy trust (or similar) who want to work together to enhance the teaching and learning of physics.

Established collaboration partnership

Find out more about the application process

Thinking about applying? Learn more about the application process

Read more on the application process

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