United Learning has today unveiled a £5m donation from Alan Howard which will be used to establish the United Learning Partnership Fund, a unique collaboration between United Learning's 50 independent schools and academies and other independent schools.
- Largest donation ever given for joint Independent School/State School/Academy collaborations
- £5m start up donated by Alan Howard
- Partnership Fund will deliver professional development for teachers and shared experiences for pupils
- Partnership Fund to benefit all United Learning schools and academies
- Additional independent school associates already signed up to benefit
- Marlborough College, RGS Guildford, JAGS, Manchester Grammar School, Bolton Boys' School and St Paul's Boys amongst first Associate Members
- Institute of Education providing support for the project
- Outstanding leader sought to pioneer new initiatives
- Additional partnerships with cultural, academic and sports bodies to be announced
The donation is the largest ever UK donation for collaborative work between the two arms of the education sector and will be used to deliver professional development for teachers across the sector and exceptional shared experiences for pupils. Additional support on the professional development side will come from the Institute of Education.
Launching the Partnership Fund at United Learning's Best in Everyone Awards Ceremony, which celebrates exceptional achievements by students across the Group, Jon Coles, Chief Executive said:
"We are indebted to the generosity of Alan Howard for his remarkable gift to us which will benefit teachers and students from across our schools and academies and far beyond. This is an opportunity to do something unique in UK schools and provide training for staff across the board and give young people the advantages of exceptional enrichment experiences.
"That we have attracted schools such as St Paul's Boys, Marlborough, RGS Guildford and Manchester Grammar School to join ours such as Guildford High School, Paddington Academy and William Hulme's Grammar School, demonstrate the potential that this alliance has to partner staff and students from across the education sector for mutual benefit".
"Over the summer we will be looking to appoint an exceptional individual with the experience and initiative to give the Partnership Fund the leadership to make the very most of the opportunity it presents. We will also be developing partnerships with national bodies who can help us provide exceptional cultural, academic and sports experiences for our young people".
Alan Howard, whose donation has made the Partnership Fund possible said:
"Students deserve the best, especially when it comes to education. I am very pleased to support a visionary team of educators who have developed an innovative approach to encouraging students to aim high while providing them the tools to achieve their goals. The team is committed to do what it takes to make this project a great success and I am honoured to be backing their efforts."
Fiona Boulton, Headmistress of Guildford High School said:
"This funding demonstrates a multi-million commitment to assisting staff and children at all types of school from benefitting from shared training, development and pupil experience. We are delighted to be part of this.
"The benefits of such a partnership work both ways. Being part of a group of both independent schools and academies, we already learn and share so much with our colleagues. To have a greater opportunity to do so, and with other schools, is wonderful".
Martin Boulton, High Master of Manchester Grammar School said:
"There is increasing recognition of the value of such school based partnerships in developing teaching and enhancing the educational experience of pupils. The opportunity to share expertise and best practice is something that we welcome greatly. There is no doubt that collaboration between independent schools and the state sector can only bring benefits to both parties, and we are delighted to be involved in this venture."
Frank McCarron, Principal of Stockport Academy said:
"The Partnership Fund opens up doors for us to give our students the type of exceptional sports, academic and cultural experience that previously have been available only to a very few independent schools. It will be hugely beneficial for us as an academy and we likewise look forward to sharing our training and development with others outside our Group".
Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College said:
'This is a unique opportunity and one to which we are delighted to contribute. Colleagues at United Learning are well-placed to develop the way of finding the best of both worlds between the independent and academy sectors. We hope our own expertise will provide valuable input. The range of excellent schools involved in the partnership is a great chance for collaboration. Having a project centred around professional development and teaching itself will deliver demonstrable improvement.'
Philip Britton, Headmaster of Bolton School said:
'We are very much looking forward to tapping into what is a fantastic resource for learning and sharing across different types of school. Not only do we get to offer our pupils a wider range of exceptional experiences, we are also able to access state of the art professional development to go alongside our existing excellent provision. We feel sure that, over time, this partnership will deliver a host of benefits and lessons for the education sector as a whole.'
During its first year, The Fund will:
- Launch teacher development programmes in two key subjects;
- Begin a programme of vivid shared cultural and sporting experiences for students;
- Support clusters of schools to improve access to top universities;
- Deliver residential events for the most able students to support their university preparation.
Discussions are currently underway with other potential donors in order to build the Partnership Fund and deliver initiatives in other key areas and offer access to a larger number of schools.