Working Together – Cross-Sector Collaboration in Schools

Mark Nicholson

Deputy Head (Partnerships and Inclusion), Hampton School

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One of the highlights of the last academic year was witnessing our partnership activities – many of which were put on hold during the global pandemic – flourishing again as pupils and colleagues from different schools resumed a range of mutually enriching collaborations.

Hampton’s community partnerships programme is integral to our School’s aims and ethos. We aspire to enable Hamptonians not only to make sense of the world around them, but also to want to go out and make a difference for good. Our pupils’ active engagement with their local community reinforces our core values and we are very much aware of how cross-sector coalitions lead to better educational outcomes and opportunities for everyone involved.  We know that independent and state schools can achieve great things when they work closely together.

Hampton has run a large and varied partnership programme for many years; around 2,000 pupils from 70+ maintained schools take part in a wide array of activities. These range from ‘Lion Learning’ (our Saturday School for local Year 5 primary school pupils) to our annual Junior Schools Music Workshop. Children from a range of schools share our sporting facilities, including the 3G sportsground and climbing wall. We are also enthusiastic supporters of our local Independent /State Schools Partnership, which brings pupils from seven local schools together for a range of specialist teaching days.

There are many advantages to pupils taking part in our partnership initiatives, but Common Room colleagues also benefit from excellent opportunities for professional development.  Exposure to different ways in which partner schools operate has a positive impact upon teaching and learning at Hampton.

One of our most recent exciting initiatives has been the opening of a pioneering Sixth Form college for the young people of Feltham. Hampton and our neighbouring girls’ school, Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) are two of the founding partners, along with Reach Academy, a successful state school in Hounslow.  Our three schools have enjoyed a mutually beneficial teaching and learning partnership for over six years and it has been wonderful to see this longstanding relationship lead to the opening of Feltham College.


Our partnership involves a broad and flexible range of support, with teachers from Hampton and LEH providing 28 periods per week of teaching time across a range of subjects. They work in close collaboration with colleagues at Feltham College to ensure that the Sixth Form expertise they offer is directed where it is most needed, whether through focused revision classes or by offering catch-up support to individuals. Pupils from Feltham College also benefit from academic enrichment sessions run by the two independent schools, to enhance their university applications. Laboratories and equipment at the independent schools contribute to the provision of science subjects; Feltham College pupils will also enjoy co-curricular opportunities at Hampton and LEH, for example in music and sport.  All three schools also benefit from mentoring opportunities for newly qualified teaching colleagues.

Teachers and pupils from across all three partner schools are enthusiastic about the Feltham College partnership and many advantages are already evident. This is an incredibly exciting and rewarding initiative, with all involved fully committed to continuing to offer transformative opportunities for the young people of Feltham and Hounslow.


7 October 2022