How the partnership works
The Strategic Education Partnership has been established to enable the local authority and the school and college system in Bexley to work collectively and transparently to produce solutions to complex challenges impacting on the quality of children’s education and attainment. Through collective responsibility, the Partnership aims to raise standards and improve educational outcomes and life chances for all children and young people in the borough. Our principal aim is to work collaboratively for all Bexley children, supporting the development and growth of good and outstanding schools.
On the Strategic Board and sub-groups, the representatives of the education community come from 34 primary schools, 9 secondary schools (6 non-selectives and 3 grammar), 1 alternative provision provider, 5 special schools and 2 post-16 colleges. They represent 15 multi-academy trusts, 1 umbrella trust, 3 single academy trusts, 7 community primary schools and 2 voluntary-aided primary schools. Including task and finish groups, many more are indirectly involved.
There are 10 school governors, serving on sub-groups and on the Strategic Board.
The Strategic Education Partnership resulted from a review of education in Bexley ahead of the removal of the Education Service Grant (ESG), carried out by ISOS Consultancy in 2017. It identified both a need and desire for a collaborative approach between the LA and the local education system.
In September 2017, Full Cabinet gave unanimous approval to continue to invest in education services, including the Strategic Education Partnership, which was launched on 18th January, 2018.
ISOS returned in March 2019 to report on the progress made, one year on. The process included peer reviews, meetings and interviews with key stakeholders (including the Cabinet Member for Education, a representative of the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office, the Director of Children’s Services and CEOs of multi-academy trusts operating in Bexley) as well as a survey of all stakeholders. The results were extremely positive, with the most important achievement being the marked improvement in relationships between the local authority and the schools community.
In the year ended March 2020, the sub-groups worked on 20 key deliverables and in the year ended March 2021 each had an action plan, which was adapted to reflect the changes made necessary in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2021 the membership was renewed and more schools, including from a larger number of multi-academy trusts have chosen to participate.