Usually based at 10 Maze Green Road, on 5th July, Jeremy Gladwin, Headmaster of Bishop’s Stortford College, was invited, together with 16 other Heads of the “big hitting” Independent Schools, to 10 Downing Street.
The two hour Roundtable discussion with Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Agnew the Independent Schools’ Minister, members of the Department for Education and Policy Advisors to the Prime Minister was called in order for Government Education officials to hear about the characteristics of successful partnerships, and to consider how the DfE might help.
The Head of the No 10 Policy Unit has recognised that, as independent education providers, independent schools are often more than just schools and actively contribute to the community. The Secretary of State was particularly complimentary about the Bishop’s Stortford Educational Trust (BSET), set up four years ago of which the College is a founding member, as a vehicle to support the children of Bishop’s Stortford.
BSET is a State/Independent partnership of equals between the College, Bishop’s Stortford High School, Birchwood, Hockerill, Leventhorpe and St Mary’s, together with representatives of the local consortium of Primary Heads, where all parties benefit from mutual cooperation and support.
The College Headmaster, Jeremy Gladwin, said, “I am very proud to represent BSET and have shared with the Secretary of State the good work going on between our local schools. The Department for Education are excited by what we are doing together, here in Bishop’s Stortford, and will be sharing our model with other schools in other towns across the country as an example of good practice in State/Independent cooperation. He recognises us as a group of Head teachers who are all determined to work together for the good of all member schools.” Mr Gladwin went on to say, “I have encouraged the Secretary of State to meet further with my state school counterparts to hear at first-hand about the benefits of our cooperative model to include Initial Teacher Training, the Continuing Professional Development of our staff and the opportunities for working together with a Multi Academy Trust model at the heart of future planning. The Department for Education responded that they would try to achieve such a meeting in the near future.”
Mr Gladwin continued, “We are fortunate to live in a town, where the educational provision is so broad and so good. All the schools in our town provide a superb education for the children of the local area and the close cooperation between the Head teachers is investing time and resources in an even brighter future for Bishop’s Stortford as a hub of educational excellence.”
The College Headmaster will continue to work closely with the Department for Education to produce a model of partnership work that can be replicated across the country and to encourage all schools, of whatever type, to work together in the best interests of and for the education of children.