Collaborative Working

The fundamental principle of the Collaborative is a group of schools working together to enhance staff professional learning in ways which add value over and above the impact of schools working separately. This involves managing the resources for professional learning – people and money – in ways which increase the capacity of individual schools.

Collaborative working increases coherence of the many national initiatives by building a sustainable local model that draws upon the strengths and good practice of the member schools. Headteachers and school staff work together in local clusters to drive forward the agenda within the Collaborative, identifying training needs and opportunities for joint practice development. The BPLC works in partnership with Bury Development & Training Centre and school governors to enrich teaching and learning within Bury.

The BPLC is very clear that its focus is not just to provide centralised training but to facilitate the professional development of staff through peer support and joint practice development. With this in mind, local clusters organise area meetings in line with their priorities. All areas hold year group meetings once per term and some clusters also organise subject meetings. These are starting to become an established part of local cluster activities. A range of topics have been the focus of these meetings including moderation of assessments, policy development, joint planning, classroom resources and organisation, changing government policy and teaching strategies.

This second year of the BPLC will see a strengthening of collaborative working through ‘joint practice development’. Our keynote conference in October with David Hargreaves will explore how to build and sustain deep partnerships between schools, with a particular focus on 'joint practice development' as a central element in the way that partnerships can transform teaching and learning.

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