Partnerships in Practice : The Association of Education Partnerships 2nd Annual Conference

Wednesday 11th September
STOP PRESS: CHANGE OF DATE – Conference has been postponed to 11th September 2019
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The Association of Education Partnerships

Who We AreOur Core Beliefs

What are Education Partnerships?

Education partnerships are school led, area based organisations, working in new ways to raise standards and to minimise the current dangers of fragmentation and isolation. They represent the voices of their local schools through membership and consultation and seek to create a contemporary sense of the middle layer. They have differing ways of working with local authorities but all are committed to a local model that works ‘beyond MATs’ and beyond a narrow view of attainment and all are ambitious advocates of a school led, self improving system. (For an introduction to the different models of Partnerships, click here)

What is the Association and who are we for?

Our core membership is some 20 education partnerships across England, who have been meeting informally in a group co-chaired by Baroness Estelle Morris and Christine Gilbert CBE. We have now formed this Association to continue sharing experiences and ideas. Our hope is that the Association will also help expand the conversation to all the other parts of the education eco system that impacts on children and young people.

We are decidedly not precious about membership or participation in our meetings, debates and events. We want to complement, not duplicate, and to work with all those who believe that a strong and healthy school system requires an open, collaborative, accountable and ambitious culture that listens to and works for, the benefit of all. Sign up now if you would like more information or simply to express support for our core beliefs.


To be held on Friday 14th September, the first conference of the newly formed Association of Education Partnerships will focus on three of the big issues local partnerships face.

Our Core Beliefs

Collaboration is everywhere, but it is often inward looking

There is a huge amount of collaborative working currently in the system, through MATS, teaching schools, clusters and federations. Often though there is no obvious structure to link them beyond their own groups. Education Partnerships seek to share good practice between and beyond Mats and other local clusters and to provide the local glue in a fragmented landscape.

Place still matters

Our member organisations define themselves by where they are located. They recognise the continuing importance of local identity and a strong sense of place. Their commitment is to all local children and young people and all local schools.

We need new ways of working with local authorities

Strategic partnerships between local authorities and delivery partners are emerging across the system. We welcome these and understand that local authorities have system wisdom and understanding as well as structures for democratic accountability and links beyond education that still make them a vitally important part of the education landscape.

Unintended consequences leave too many behind

It is in the interest of all local schools that we all have high standards, but an unintended consequence of the current, fragmented system is that some schools may prosper at the expense of others. Education Partnerships believe strongly that all schools need to recognise their responsibilities to support high standards so that no schools in our localities are isolated or left behind.

Social, emotional and cultural capital is also our responsibility

The broader aspects of children and young people’s social, emotional and cultural development can be hard to maintain amidst pressures of curriculum reform and tightening budgets. Who ensures, for example, the quality of practical links with health and social services or the arts? Education Partnerships can provide a central ‘go to’ point , develop models of good practice and offer economies of scale to help all local schools in commissioning and providing the services and experiences that impact on young peoples’ lives.

Partnerships need a national presence and voice

Although emerging widely across the country, and despite often being the commissioned provider for school improvement, there is not yet enough understanding within central government of the work we all do. The Association therefore provides an opportunity to share ideas, challenge emerging practice and act as champions for the necessary changes in national policy that will support our work.

Joining the Association

Membership of the Association is free and open to all organisations and clusters of schools that share our concerns.

For more information please contact

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Our Affiliate Organisations

Barking and Dagenham School Improvement Partnership

Basildon Education Partnership

Birmingham Education Partnership

Brighton & Hove Education Partnership

Buckinghamshire Learning Trust

Camden Learning

Cheshire West and Chester Association of Primary Headteachers

Haringey Education Partnership

Herts for Learning

Learn Sheffield

Lewisham Learning

Liverpool Learning Partnership

NW/LWY School Improvement Partnership Board

Oldham Education Partnership

The Bolton Learning Partnership

The Partnership

If you agree with our aims and would like to show your support, please add your organisation link here:

Contact Us


07949 319509


Contact Us


07949 319509