Independent and State School Partnerships

Education – in the House of Commons on 1st November 2021.

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Photo of Brendan Clarke-Smith Brendan Clarke-Smith Conservative, Bassetlaw

What plans he has to help encourage partnerships between independent and state schools in (a) Bassetlaw and (b) England.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The Government are committed to cross-sector partnerships across England. We are aware of the partnership in Bassetlaw between Worksop College, an independent school, and 11 local state schools. We continue to work constructively with them to encourage more schools to engage with such partnership working.

Photo of Brendan Clarke-Smith Brendan Clarke-Smith Conservative, Bassetlaw

I thank the Minister for his answer. He mentioned Worksop College, an independent school in my constituency, which offers chemistry roadshows for local state primary schools, hosts a weekly parkrun for local junior school pupils and does a lot of other community work. Does he agree that such independent/state school partnerships can be a key part of educational recovery? Does he welcome the forthcoming “Celebrating Partnerships” report from the Independent Schools Council, and will he therefore encourage all schools to get involved in cross-sector partnerships?

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The short answer is that I will, and I welcome another question from another former teacher on the Conservative Benches. Such partnerships can form a key part of economic recovery, and I welcome the forthcoming “Celebrating Partnerships” report. I am very pleased to note that my noble Friend Baroness Barran has written the foreword for that important publication.