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Wednesday, September 22, 1999 Published at 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK


Boost for school partnership scheme

The partnerships are designed to raise standards and benefit all pupils

State and independent schools are being encouraged to come up with ideas on how they can work together to raise standards.

The government has announced funds of £400,000 for partnership projects running in the academic year starting September 2000.

Schools with proposals will be invited to apply for grants to implement the projects, which are designed to benefit both the state and private sector.

Examples of ways in which partnerships could work include independent schools being funded to teach minority subjects such as Latin and Greek to pupils in the state sector.

Guidance for schools

This could be done via the Internet, or with videos, giving state school pupils access to subjects which many comprehensives cannot afford to offer.

[ image: Independent schools could teach minority subjects to state pupils]
Independent schools could teach minority subjects to state pupils
School Standards Minister Estelle Morris announced the money at the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) in Eastbourne, and launched guidance for schools on how partnerships can work.

She highlighted a number of partnerships which are already up and running and proving successful.

These included a scheme being run by the independent Cokethorpe School, and state school Henry Box in Witney, Oxfordshire, to provide Latin taster courses, Latin and Greek literature classes and a classical civilisation A level course.

Other successful schemes included a music project being run by Wells Cathedral School and the inner-city St George Community School in Bristol, and a partnership between James Allen's Preparatory School and Charles Dickens School in Southwark to raise standards in maths at Key Stage 1.

Barriers broken

Ms Morris said: "I am very pleased with the success of the independent/state partnership scheme so far.

"We have stressed on a number of occasions that partnership in education is the way forward.

"I am particularly encouraged that these partnerships are very much an indication that barriers which once existed between the state and independent sectors appear to be a thing of the past.

"Co-operation and partnership between schools mean that children stand to benefit from new opportunities."

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