Heads, governors, academy leaders and senior staff representing all four schools in the town of Oundle, alongside Thomas Deacon Academy and Kettering Buccleuch Academy, gathered in the Great Hall last week for the official launch of their new partnership, the Oundle, Peterborough and East Northants (OPEN) Learning Partnership.
Other guests included Oundle’s Mayor Jerry Hutton, former MP Andy Sawford and university representatives from Oxford and Goldsmiths. Janet McMurdo, Head Teacher at Oundle CE Primary School opened the evening to mark the latest phase of this local initiative, and the evening was rounded off by a joint presentation by Oundle Head Sarah Kerr-Dineen and Liz Dormor, Principal of Prince William School. Julie Taylor, CEO of the Thomas Deacon Education Trust, delivered the evening’s keynote speech on ‘The Potential of Partnership’.
The OPEN Learning Partnership is a collaboration between primary and secondary schools from both maintained and independent sectors which aims to offer opportunity and experience that individual schools could not offer alone, allowing pupils to work with, and be challenged by others of similar ability or interest. Each member school will promote and facilitate access for pupils and teachers to partnership activities, and act as host for events which take place in their school. Activities in recent years have included science events, maths conferences, engineering challenges, open lectures, debates and shared professional meetings of teachers.
The founding Chair of the OPEN Learning Partnership is Gordon Montgomery, Head of Community Partnerships at Oundle. “This formal partnership is just the next phase of maturing school-to-school connections which have grown in recent years. Every school in this partnership has expertise to contribute in order to help address our common areas for improvement.”