Setting up school partnerships

Information for schools and universities on sharing expertise and resources, and bidding for cross-sector partnership grant funding.

Applies to England



The Department for Education has announced a grant funding programme, for cross-sector partnerships, to support both new and existing partnerships.

The bidding window is open from 9 October 2019 until 29 November 2019.

We want to encourage schools to build sustainable and reciprocal partnerships with universities, independent schools and selective schools.

This collection of guidance will help potential partners to set up, formalise and evaluate their partnerships.

This guidance is for all schools, colleges and universities:

  • headteachers, teachers and staff
  • governing bodies, proprietors and management committees

The guidance will help you to assess your needs and identify ways to establish or grow a partnership to meet those needs.


The Department for Education would like to thank the following institutions for sharing information on their partnerships during the development of this guidance:

  • The University of Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Educational Trust
  • The University of Surrey and Kings College Guildford
  • Leeds Beckett University, Bright Futures Educational Trust, and ImpactEd
  • The University of Kent and the University of Kent Academies Trust
  • Highgate School and the London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham
  • Southwark Schools Learning Partnership
  • The University of Coventry
  • The University of Sheffield, Sheffield High School and Sheffield South-East Learning Partnership
Published 6 November 2018
Last updated 9 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added new grant funding programme for cross-sector partnerships, bidding announcement and information.

  2. First published.