The Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership
The schools in this area have a long established practice of working closely together within the Elmete Partnership of Schools & Services (EPoSS) Family of Schools. Nine of these schools (as listed above) took this collaboration further in January 2014 by setting up The Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership (WVLP).
The Partnership is a Cooperative Educational Trust, enabling each school to keep its unique identity and autonomy, whilst simultaneously working closely together to benefit our children, young people and communities.
The schools involved are all recognised as Good and Outstanding establishments by OFSTED and as such have a very secure base on which to build a strong, effective partnership. The Governing Bodies of these schools believe that a Trust of this kind is the best way to ensure the long term, sustainable collaboration that is required to meet our common aims.
The WVLP seeks to develop practice across the schools to further enhance the provision and opportunities available to our children and young people, maintaining and improving their already high standards of attainment and achievement. It collaborates closely with other organisations, such as Leeds City Council services, The Co-operative Movement, providers of higher education and others, so that we can serve our children, young people, families and communities most effectively.
Shared Vision and Values
Key to the success of the Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership is our shared vision and values
The schools in Partnership are each unique, equal and autonomous. We work together to achieve our shared vision of securing the very best outcomes for the children and young people in our schools through: setting the highest expectations for achievement; innovating in practice and organisation; and inspiring and supporting each other in continual improvement from our strong base.
This vision is underpinned by our shared values:
¨ that every child and young person is of intrinsic value and importance;
¨ that every child and young person should be enabled to achieve to their full potential in all aspects of their lives;
¨ that effective education is broad, encompassing the acquisition of knowledge, development of understanding and skills, as well as personal, physical, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
¨ that children and young people should be inspired to become skilled, self motivated learners, developing capacities such as curiosity, creativity, resilience, perseverance and the enjoyment of challenge;
¨ that our children and young people should be happy, safe, secure and engaged throughout their education;
¨ that education should encourage and enable children and young people to look outwards to their community, region, nation and the World, recognising the unique contribution they can make to the benefit of all;
¨ that we are stronger and more effective working together within our schools, communities and across the Partnership.
Furthermore the Partnership is based on the Co-operative Values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In our dealings as a Partnership we demonstrate the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
As a Cooperative Trust, stakeholders, including children, young people, parents and staff are encouraged to have their say in how our collaboration develops. These groups have opportunities to voice their views in regular Forum meetings and are represented on the Trust Board which steers the direction of the collaboration. The rest of the Trust Board is made of Head teachers and Governor Representatives from each school and representatives of Partner organisations.
Our Initial Priorities
The schools have already identified several initial priorities for the work of the Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership. They are as follows:
¨ To build upon existing partnership work and good practice within the Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership schools by developing sustainable structures to secure effective collaboration and co-operation for the future.
¨ To work together as partners, pooling our knowledge, skills and resources, to continue to improve and enrich the quality of educational provision across the partnership, by bringing new learning experiences and development opportunities to our pupils, staff and communities.
¨ To ensure our local focus remains sharp and responsive to the developing national educational landscape, seizing the opportunities that will most benefit our schools and communities.
¨ To collaborate to maximise the funding available and, through the Trust’s charitable status, attract further funding and investment opportunities for the benefit of our children and young people, schools and communities.
To help us achieve these priorities, as well as collaborating together, we work closely with our partner organisations. Currently we have three partner organisations:
¨ Leeds City Council - maintaining a series of important relationships for educational delivery and offering access to the authority’s significant experience of school management, school improvement, education development and children’s services
¨ The Cooperative Movement – gaining from their extensive experience in supporting educational establishments to develop and embed a co-operative ‘values driven ethos’. It will also develop our local, regional, national and international partnerships as part of the Schools Co-operative Society (SCS), the fastest growing network of schools across England
¨ Herd Farm Activity Centre, Eccup Reservoir - bordering the Harewood Estate and set in 16 acres of idyllic countryside, this 18th century converted farmhouse and centre offers a range of outdoor learning and adventure activities
¨ Temple Newsam Learning Partnership – an established co-operative trust with experience of schools and partners working together to improve teaching and learning and outcomes for children and families.