NPQSL Day 5 – Working in Partnership

Welcome to the online NPQSL module – ‘Working In Partnership’.

This page contains all of the information that you will need to successfully engage with and complete this content area.

Detailed instructions are given at each point of the module, for your guidance.

There will be an opportunity to send us any questions you have at the end, which we can then pick up on our zoom call later in the term, but if you have any specific questions, do send us an email at the usual address: 

The workshop is best viewed on a laptop, tablet or PC rather than a phone.

Introduction and overview

There are 5 sections that make up this module, each contained within separate tabs, for easy access. All 5 sections cover the content area for this module.

As you work your way through the different sections, you will be directed towards relevant documents (all contained in the drop-down menu to the right of this page, and also on the portal) and posed questions to consider along with exercises to undertake.

You will find it useful to have your learning log at hand to buy phentermine pills online and make notes in throughout this module.

Begin by watching the video below which will outline the overview for the module.

Click the icon on the bottom right of the clip if you wish to enlarge to full screen – make sure you have your sound turned on, or headphones on to listen to the commentary.


When you have finished listening and have the documents you will need to hand, please proceed to part 1 below.

Documents you will need for this session

You should download and refer to the documents listed whilst working through this module. 

Part 1

In sections 1 to 5 below, you will be able to access the full module, which has been divided into separate parts.

Each section has a brief introduction, under which is a video that will guide you through that part of the content area. You will need to pause  a number of times during each video, in order to engage with the materials and to give yourself time to think and record.

Any additional information will be given to you when relevant.

Models of Collaboration

In section 1, you will have the opportunity to think about what collaboration means to you, and what you see as effective when considering models of collaboration and partnerships.

Now, watch the video clip below. Pause the video after each image to give you some time to look and reflect on what it is saying to you.

The collaboration images are available as a pdf in the document store on the top right hand side of the page should you want to refer to them separately or if you would prefer to download them to jot some notes on.


Please type your definition of collaboration here: we will share these with your group as part of the zoom meeting.

Does your definition involve outcomes for pupils?  If not why?  How important do you think this is?


Take some time to reflect on this section before moving on to the next section, in the section 2 tab at the top ↑

Systemic changes to collaboration within the education sector over time:

( you may need to pause the clip below if you have autoplay settings turned on)

As you recall from the Michael Fullen quote we shared earlier, education and the way we work together has had significant changes in the last two decades.

Let’s look at the educational landscape over time to explain some of the changes which have taken place and how the shifts in government policy have shaped our roles and partnerships: some of you may remember some of these!

 Within the UK, there has been an increasing long-standing focus on partnership working and inter-school collaboration because in the main, education is a collegial activity. Many schools work in partnership with other schools or with other agencies (for example, health, housing, police, social care) in order to do their best for the pupils they serve. This process was often ad hoc and informal historically, relying more on personal relationships or common interests, which did not always lend itself to sustained school improvement with outcomes at its heart.

  • Prior to the way we work now, we knew that factors relating to a child’s domestic situation and their health impacted on their learning, but didn’t have a joined up multi agency approach to supporting young people and their families, so a more holistic approach was needed if real improvements were to be achieved over the longer term.
  • The belief that it was impossible for any government department to deal with these issues in isolation underpinned a range of initiatives which sought to promote a more cohesive and coordinated approach to tackling deprivation and social exclusion.  For example Education Action Zones, Sure Start Early Years centres,  and the creation of ideas like New Deal for Communities and targeted Single Regeneration Budget funds, some of which survived.  However new thinking was often superseded with different ideas and thinking in subsequent government changes.
  • This ad-hoc approach changed considerably with a focus on more joined-up thinking, culminating in the Every Child Matters agenda which was borne in 2003. This agenda saw a shift to placing children at the heart of service provision, being configured around their needs rather than those of provider organisations.
  • In 2005, the government promoted Education Improvement Partnerships (EIPs) as a way of rationalising existing partnerships and the secretary of state indicated that co-operation was necessary for the delivery of comprehensive education for all pupils (DfES, 2005a). This report stated that confident schools want to collaborate with others in the community to drive a shared agenda for improving standards, to share resources and good practice, to ensure high-quality provision for all young people and to underpin what became known as ‘community cohesion’.
  • Of course, the academy and free school agenda has marched forwards which again is today lending itself to many new ways of working and collaborative models, as well as significant opportunities for staff in relation to CPD and career procession.
  • There has been a growth in schools working in partnership through initiatives that are clearly focused on school improvement, such as national and local leaders of education (NLEs and LLEs), executive headships, networks, collaborations, federations, teaching schools and chains of schools.
  • The coalition government’s white paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’ (HMSO, 2010), introduced the notion of a self-improving system, where schools are now primarily responsible for school improvement. This self-improving system stems from the principle that teachers learn best from one another and should be in more control of their professional and institutional development.
  • The white paper clearly states: “We expect schools to use their increased autonomy to explore new ways of working together – but collaboration in the future will be driven by school leaders and teachers – not bureaucrats”. HMSO, 2010, Paragraph 5.6, p52

Now, watch the video clip below.


Here are the four questions for you to consider.  Spend at least a couple of minutes on each one and jot down some notes in your learning log: this will help you later when reflecting on this content area:

  1. Why do you think that working in partnership is crucial to the future success of the school system?
  2. For what purposes, do you think, can a collaborative partnership be used?
  3. What role as a senior leader would you expect to play in leading partnership working within and beyond your school?
  4. What would you consider to be the strengths you bring to this work? How do you know?


Take some time to reflect on this section before moving on to the section 3 tab at the top ↑

Barriers  to Collaboration 

( you may need to pause the clip below if you have autoplay settings turned on) In this section, let’s look in a little more detail about some of the teams or networks you are involved in. Have two groups or teams you work with or have done historically in your mind for this section. Pause the video as you move along, to reflect on the questions which have been posed.

Record some next steps in relation to your teams – can you identify any barriers to the way you have been working which will allow you to achieve your team goals more readily?

Take some time to reflect on this before moving on to section 4 at the top ↑

Who do we collaborate with? What are the benefits of these collaborations?

You may wish to download the two relevant handouts from below or in the document store which can be used to support this section:

  1. Collaboration identification handout
  2. Stakeholder mapping tool blank

Now, watch the video clip below.


We now have another short clip for you to engage with.

Here are those 3 questions again from the first clip.  If you have yet to do so, think about each one for a few minutes and record your reflections in your learning log.

  1. Which partnerships you are involved in have had the most impact on improving pupil outcomes? How do you know?
  2. How can you measure the impact and effectiveness of partnerships you have engaged in or established in terms of pupil progress or attainment?
  3. Who else, apart from those you have identified on the collaboration circles, can support you / your school with school improvement activities?

Take some time to reflect on this section before moving on to section 5.


Case studies

In the document store are two case studies: one from business and one from an educational setting – they both look at how they have used partnerships to support improvement in their organisations. Spend some time reading both of them:

We are going to look in more detail at the first one – the non-school based article. Look at the the core principles which were drawn out from their views of effective partnerships.  Consider if these are applicable to you within a school context as well and how helpful these points are in supporting your view of effective collaboration.

  • Principle 1 – Focus less on defining the business plan and more on how you’ll work together.
  • Principle 2 –  Develop metrics pegged not only to alliance goals but also to alliance progress.
  • Principle 3 –  Instead of trying to eliminate differences, leverage them to create value.
  • Principle 4 –  Go beyond formal governance structures to encourage collaborative behaviour.
  • Principle 5  – Spend as much time on managing internal stakeholders as on managing the relationship with your partner.

Note down what you can learn from their ideas and from the school based case study.

Reflection on this content area

Please watch the video clip below.

  Take some time to reflect on this section and previous sections before moving on to part 2 below, ensuring you have referred to the assessment criteria for this content area in your reflections.

Part 2 - Questions and completion

There are two tabs below:

  • Questions,  and;
  • Completion record and evaluation

If you have any questions, please pop them in the space below and then move to the completion record so we have a record of your completion and an evaluation of this module.

Complete the questions form (if you have any) and then the completion and evaluation form.


Use the form below to record any questions you may have in relation to this module. We will endeavour to answer as many of your queries as possible during our online Q and A workshops.

Please fill out the short form below with your contact information so we have a record of you completing the session. When you have done this, please complete the evaluation of the session and submit your form. If you have a specific questions about your own project or this module, feel free to email us at the usual address:  

Thank you for completing the online module.  We look forward to seeing you as part of our virtual sessions later in the term.


To access all of the slides and resources from each of your face to face sessions, head to the NPQSL portal