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At a conference hosted by Highgate, Lord Agnew today announced a new fund of over £200,000 to help schools across England to build partnership programmes.

State schools, independent schools and universities will be able to bid for up £20,000, under this new fund, to create and expand their partnership work. Money could cover more basic activities (such as transport costs between sites) or the costs associated with holding CPD seminars for teachers, thus enabling institutions to share expertise and resources.

At today’s The Schools Together Group conference at Highgate, Lord Agnew spoke via video. He said: ‘This government’s ambition is to create an education system that extends opportunity to everyone. One of the ways in which we can extend opportunity is through partnerships – schools working with other schools and universities to share what’s best about each sector.

‘Today, I am pleased to announce grant funding of over £200,000 to directly support school partnerships. This funding will create fantastic opportunities for schools, which could use grants either as seed funding for new partnerships, or to expand and deepen existing ones.’

Adam Pettitt, Highgate’s Head, said: ‘Partnership work is at the very heart of all we do at Highgate and is channelled through our innovative Chrysalis Partnership Programme, involving over 50 partner schools across London and our sponsorship of the London Academy of Excellence in Tottenham. We are happy to host this conference and to hear about this exciting new funding from Lord Agnew, which will clearly encourage new partnerships, and deepen existing collaborations, across England.’

Bids of over £5,000 will require match funding from the partnership, to ensure pupils continue to benefit beyond the existence of the fund, while larger bids will be capped at £20,000 – excluding the match funding element – so as many schools as possible can take part. The Department for Education is particularly looking for bids that support partnerships which are impactful, sustainable, and mutually beneficial, and that will actively tackle disadvantage. Further information will be published in the autumn, when schools will be invited to submit bids.