Our Partnership Schools project, funded by Skills Development Scotland, is a model for school, family and community partnership. It’s based on the work of the National Network of Partnership Schools (find out more on their website) and has been designed, developed and fine-tuned over almost 30 years.
Here’s a quick Q&A to help explain the basics
A: Partnership Schools is a way to form school, family and community partnerships to make things better for young people in school. It was designed, developed and fine-tuned by a team based at Johns Hopkins University in the US over almost 30 years, who now run the National Network of Partnership Schools.
You can listen to Joyce Epstein speak at our 2015 lecture about Partnership Schools here
A: We’ve been interested in NNPS for a few years and have been keen to introduce it to Scotland for a number of reasons:
- the time is right. Parents, schools and communities have a shared interest in helping our children do well at school and beyond. Tapping into that shared interest – and encouraging it – is an important way of making a difference for children.
- Partnership Schools really does make a difference. NNPS has carried out research to show that it helps build strong school communities as well as improving both academic attainment and wider achievement in young people.
- it fits with the work we already do with parent groups all over Scotland: Partnership Schools gives a consistent and successful way of focussing the efforts of school, families and local communities.
- it involves a wide cross section of parents, organisations and different members of the school community (including the pupils) with shared aims.
A: Thanks to project funding from Skills Development Scotland, we have a five-year plan which should see us introduce PSS to around 1/3 of schools. We have started working with just three local authorities (Angus, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and 12 schools.
In each school we’ll work with staff, parents, pupils and community to form an Action Team for Partnerships, which will develop a one-year action plan. Plans take their lead from the School Improvement Plan and are focussed on action and building on what is already happening.
A: The Action Team is like the action arm of the School Improvement Plan (SIP). Before they write their Annual Plans, each team is invited to take stock of what they currently do in their school community to encourage partnerships – what works and what could be improved. Following this audit the team decides on four goals from the SIP for their Annual Plan – two Learning goals, one Wellbeing goal, and one Partnership goal. They will then plan various activities using six types of involvement. As the ATP organises and delivers the activities, SPTC is helping them evaluate their progress and the impact their work has on pupils and partnerships. This evaluation will help the team plan for the following year.
SPTC is also helping each ATP to celebrate their success and will share their good practice through our website, at regional events and in other ways.
A: We’ll keep doing it as long as our members want us to!
A: We’ll be adding a new page to our website and publishing regular updates. Let us know if you would like to receive information to your inbox.
A: Early in the new session we’ll be starting to plan for the next wave of schools. We want to hear from local authority and school teams who are interested in learning more!
Supported by Skills Development Scotland