All HMC schools in the UK are at the heart of partnerships with state schools, social organisations or neighbourhood groups – providing real, tangible benefits to their local communities. Charitable work for schools’ localities and beyond is highly prevalent, too. HMC schools ensure many pupils receive bursaries and support pupils from a variety of backgrounds to attend.

Partnership working

Partnership activity takes a variety of forms from shared governance initiatives, academy or free school sponsorship, joint teacher training and professional development ventures, summer schools, collaborative work in STEM and other subjects, help with university applications, student led teaching projects and regular and highly valued meetings between leaders in the state and independent sectors.

In addition, the sharing of facilities such as playing fields, sports centres and theatres with community groups and state schools give children who are not pupils at independent schools an opportunity to benefit from the schools’ educational resources.

Every year ISC publish the Celebrating Partnerships booklet to demonstrate the breadth and depth of collaborative programmes taking place.

We’re always proud to see so many HMC schools featured. The 2023 booklet can be found here.

Previous years’ booklets can be found on the ISC website and further information about school partnerships can be found of the Schools Together website too.

Case study: Hampton School and Lady Eleanor Holles School – founding partners of a pioneering sixth form college

Hampton School and Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) are among the founding partners of a new sixth form college – broadening choices and transforming opportunities for young people.

Feltham College opened in September 2022 as a centre for academic and vocational excellence in the heart of the town, playing a key role in rejuvenating a historically deprived area that has experienced significant pandemic-related job losses.

Courses range from traditional A Levels which are supported by Hampton School and LEH, to professional qualifications in music, catering, health and social care.

The new sixth form college is affiliated to Reach Academy, Feltham – already renowned as a ground-breaking local education provider.

Alongside Reach Academy, Hampton and LEH, other partners include Kingston University and East London Arts & Music Academy, as well as Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and award-winning London restaurateur Jacob Kennedy.

The innovative approach taken for the new college could provide a helpful blueprint for other areas of the UK seeking to boost their post-16 provision.

Case study: Pocklington School – successful outreach

Pocklington School runs a Schools Outreach Programme where it works with 25 infant, junior and senior state schools in its local area, sharing experience, facilities and expertise.

The programme began following discussions with the headteachers at a number of schools to assess areas of need – and is reviewed annually to adapt to changing situations.

Pocklington School’s outreach programme includes help with careers and university practice interviews for Year 11s and Sixth Formers; best practice sessions covering subjects including curriculum and timetabling, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, ICT, and sports workshops.

The programme also includes a Primary School Maths Challenge competition in conjunction with the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust and primary school science competitions and workshops.

The school is also boosting communication and language skills through an initiative focussed on early years learners.

Case study: Abingdon School in Partnership

Abingdon School in Partnership, ASiP, delivers a huge range of activities in its local community and beyond – involving 80 schools and institutions and more than 4,000 pupils.

Amongst the many partnership schemes with Abingdon School at their heart is the OX14 Learning Partnership. Together with fellow HMC schools – Radley College, and St Helen and St Katharine – a group of six state and independent schools put boosting aspiration; using extra-curricular activities to develop character; and mental health and wellbeing support at the programme’s core. Activities include Academic Coaching by older students; performing arts visits and practical workshops; and safeguarding and mental health training for sixth formers who then become Peer Support Leads.

Abingdon School also leads the Abingdon Science Partnership (ASP), working with local state primary and secondary schools, community groups, and national organisations, to support high quality STEM learning and experiences for all.

The ASP aims to strengthen participation in STEM subjects and has developed a regular programme of workshops and long-term activities to enhance STEM learning.

"ASP has engaged hundreds of primary school students with WOW moments. It has supported staff both experienced and new with training and advice, and is an invaluable resource share point allowing staff and pupils across the partnership to access funding and to take part in real science enquiry projects. "
Partner Primary Teacher

In secondary schools, A-level and GCSE extension workshops and research projects with academic partners are a key feature of the ASP’s work, as well as offering classes in GCSE Astronomy.

The ASP is also the main supporter of the local Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology; administers lead school status for the Institute of Physics and runs Saturday Science Clubs in its local area.

The school is also involved in further Arts, Academic and Primary School partnerships.

Find more case studies

Pupil bursaries

Many pupils receive bursaries and other fee assistance to attend HMC schools. There is a substantial amount of financial assistance with more than a third of pupils in HMC schools across the UK receiving financial support.

Case study: Amir

Amir is currently studying Medicine at Jesus College, Cambridge, having left Latymer Upper School in 2018. He joined in Year 7 and received a full bursary throughout his time at the school. He was the first person in his family to gain A levels and go on to university.

Amir’s aspiration is to become a neurosurgeon and he’s been working very closely with the neurosurgery department at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge.

“A bursary is truly life changing and I am in no doubt that it has played a critical part in shaping the journey that I am on today.”
Amir, former pupil at Latymer Upper School

During his time at school, Amir enjoyed playing football and rugby and participating in music. He credits his education with giving him an inherent love of learning and academia and for encouraging a healthy extracurricular life.

Find out more about the range of partnership work delivered by state/independent schools on the Schools Together website.