Best Way to Work with Other School

As we are constantly told, teaching is a team-orientated occupation. In order for strategies and policies to be the most effective possible, they need to work collaboratively across the whole school.

The Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED) frequently praise schools that are looking towards the community to help support their education system. This means that the school is not simply a closed unit where education professionals teach children the National Curriculum, but has a real impact on the social community it is based in.

Work with Other School 1 Best Way to Work with Other School

One of the real tests is working with other schools within the area. Until 2005, this idea was supported by the Beacon Schools project, which has sadly now been phased out. The idea was to build partner­ships between schools so that they could share their knowledge and effective strategies with others, in order to actively encourage more positive learning. The aims and initiatives behind this project are still maintained.

For secondary schools, the Leading Edge Partnership Programme offers the chance for education professionals to work together to con­front the challenges many schools face. For primary schools. Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLNs) are being set up to help schools work together and encourage higher standards in literacy and numer­acy, and to establish a wide and varied curriculum.

The benefits of working with other schools can be very great, pro­viding everyone involved knows what they intend to get out of the partnership. It can be very easy to begin a union whereby it appears that both schools will benefit, but in reality the amount of collabora­tion grows thin, and the alliance occurs only in name. For a partner­ship to work, it is necessary to initiate and maintain positive plans, such as:

  •  Community-wide school meetings
  •  Sharing resources and strategies
  •  Inviting additional students to use your campus facilities
  •  Approaching other education professionals to share their ideas and achievements.

Linking with other schools does not have to be the responsibility of senior management or Head of Department: all teachers can get involved in promoting optimistic thinking between schools.

Rules to remember when you are working with other schools

  • Always avoid the ‘my school is better than your school’ attitude. Treat all schools within the partnership as equals; your mission is to improve education opportunities community-wide, not to merely showcase your own school’s achievements.
Work with Other School Best Way to Work with Other School
  • Be especially clear about what you hope to get out of the part­nership – it must be seen to be making a difference, not simply looking impressive on the Local Education Authority reports.
  •  Bring lots of ideas to the table, and be prepared to share them. Don’t try to ‘piggy-back’ on another school’s achievements; find ways of attaining them yourself.
  •  Be prepared to accept criticism – some schools may not find your methods or ideas to be practical and will have other ways of working. Be ready to try new ideas, regardless of your personal scepticism.

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