Department for Education
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New era of cooperation between state and independent sectors
-Focus on Gifted & Talented and Progression to University-
-Eton One of First on Board-
Independent and state schools will join forces to raise the aspirations of gifted and talented pupils and encourage more disadvantaged children to go to university in a scheme announced by Ed Balls and Andrew Adonis today.
23 projects will be funded with over £4million to 2011.
One of England's oldest public schools, Eton, is on board and will partner a number of local state schools, including Langleywood - set to become an academy in September.
Independent State Schools Partnerships have been running successfully for a decade, involving around 330 schools and funded by £10million. This year, for the first time, the projects on the scheme must:
* Have a focus on gifted and talented children;
* Aim to increase university applications from children from disadvantaged backgrounds;
* Raise attainment and participation in maths, science and/or languages.
182 schools will be involved in partnerships over the next three years, 145 state and 37 independent schools.
Schemes involve summer schools; e-learning and video lesson link-ups; careers and university days; joint maths, science and language projects and master classes.
In the past partnerships have typically consisted of two or three schools working together - this year partnerships are larger and more ambitious than ever, with higher levels of local authority and charitable organisations involvement.
In addition to partnerships being led by schools, project leads include the University of Leeds, North Somerset Local Authority, Waveney Community Forum, Warwickshire Education Business Partnership, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Cumbria Children's Services.
The largest partnership will be a London based Gifted & Talented programme, involving 18 schools across seven boroughs, funded by over half a million pounds.
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, said:
"I'm really pleased to see independent and state schools have worked together to help raise standards for all. I'm delighted that more schools, including Eton, are now coming on board to ensure all children can reach their full potential."
Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, said:
"This is a new era for independent/state schools partnerships. They have been a success to date, helping provide thousands of children with academic and pastoral opportunities. Now it is vital that we focus on getting the most able young people, including those from poorer backgrounds, enthusiastic about the idea of going to university.
"There is also a new focus - on science, maths and languages. I want to see a generation of highly educated people equipped to lead the country in these fields. These partnerships are part of the wider vision to achieve this. We can't afford to let talent go to waste."
Eton College in Windsor was founded in 1440 and was one of the first nine schools to become independent under the Public Schools Act 1868, they will be partnering six schools in Slough, Windsor and Hounslow.
Headteacher Anthony Little said:
"We are very happy further to develop our relationship with local schools and to be involved with the London Challenge. We will play our part in helping to raise aspirations and levels of achievement, and, in particular encouraging able young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to aim for the best universities."
Tricia Ellison, Senior Adviser at York City Council, who have run a partnership for the past year said:
"We want to inspire talented young people to consider pursuing science subjects throughout their academic careers. Master classes that demonstrate how important scientific knowledge is to the world around us are a great way of engaging them.
"We are fortunate that science teaching in the city's state schools is very healthy, but joining forces with private schools will yield significant benefits for both sectors. Collaboration between state and independent sectors is helping us share best practice and is fostering social cohesion; our wider partnerships are bringing young people in the city into contact with outstanding expertise and resources."
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Full details of all the projects funded from 2008 to 2011 go to http://www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2008_0094
2. The ISSP Scheme funding is intended as pump priming money and partnerships are encouraged to be long-term and sustainable.
3. All maintained and independent schools in England can apply for grant. An organisation may bid on behalf of a group of schools, e.g. a local authority or voluntary organisation. Each proposal should include a minimum of at least one independent school and three maintained schools.
0870 000 2288
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