Partnership with St Matthew's

St Matthew's and St Barnabas' Partnership


Why are we working with St Matthew's?

We have a vacancy for a headteacher. Due to the coronavirus, the Governing Board was unable to carry out the rigorous recruitment process needed to secure a strong headteacher.


The Governing Body of St Barnabas' approached St Matthew's and asked if they would consider supporting us. Ms Rachel Jewitt and the staff have given this a lot of thought. They see this as a positive step, which will enable our senior staff to flourish. The Governing Body of St Matthew's voted unanimously to support this. We believe that this will provide Ms Rachel Jewitt and both our and her senior team with not only professional development experience but will also forge strong links.



Is a partnership  unusual?

Partnerships are increasingly common, especially with small schools. They are set up for a number of different reasons. These might include

  • This might be difficulty in recruiting a headteacher
  • They enable schools to share resources and expertise to make the most of the school budgets
  • The teachers and teaching assistants in each year group will have an opportunity to share ideas, best practice and materials with their opposite numbers in the partnership school. This is an excellent professional development opportunity and can be replicated across senior leadership teams and subject leaders too.


Our partnership is based on a shared agreement but there is no change to the legal structure of either school.


What are the benefits of a partnership, and in particular with St. Barnabas?


Partnerships are increasingly common in inner London. It is likely that St Barnabas and St Matthews would be required to consider a partnership in the medium term as we are small schools and financial constraints are making it difficult for us to provide the rich education we wish to with the staffing levels we would like. In electing to undertake a partnership now for one year, with a like-minded, nearby school, it provides us with an understanding of how a partnership works and gives us the benefit of experience if, in the future we have to consider a longer-term partnership.


St. Matthews is an LDBS Church school similar to St Barnabas in its ethos and in the profile of its pupils, parents, staff and governance. It is local, only 20 minutes’ walk away. Both schools can learn much from each other and the partnership will strengthen us further.





What will happen in the short term?


Starting in September


  • Ms Jewitt will become Executive Headteacher of St Barnabas and St Matthews.
  • Assistant Head Teachers and a Head of School will be upgraded in role for the year and will be the ‘go-to’ person/people when Ms Jewitt is not in school.
  • Ms Lauren castle will become Head of School and Mrs Laura Cole and Ms Vivienne Bitterman will become Assistant Head Teachers. Our Senior leadership team have worked successfully together over the past two years.
  • Parents will continue to approach class teachers in the first instance and then the relevant Assistant Head Teachers and Head of School when required.


Does this mean we won’t be able to see Ms Jewitt? 


While Mrs Jewitt will be spending four half days a week at St Barnabas, she will continue to be at St Matthews every day so that she continues to lead St Matthews. You will see her on the gate.

The staff teams in the two schools will continue to benefit from her knowledge and experience.


Who will lead St Barnabas on site on the days when Mrs Jewitt is not present?


When Mrs Jewitt is not at St Barnabas the school will be led by the Ms Castle, as Head of School supported by Mrs Cole and Ms Bitterman.

One of the Senior Leadership Team will always be available out of class at any given time.

They will have carefully structured timetable and job descriptions to ensure this.


How will the partnership affect admissions?


The admissions policies of each school will remain unchanged. There will be no special transfer arrangements for pupils between the schools.


What will be different for our children?


The children will continue to be taught the same curriculum, separately at the two schools.


Will the partnership affect the school in other ways?


The ethos and values of each school will remain distinct and unchanged.


Where opportunities to share training, teachers or resources appear, they will be considered and developed on their own merits.





How will governance of the schools be affected?


The schools will continue to have independent governing boards and each board will continue to be responsible for the development of their respective school.


How will budgets and costs be managed? Is there special funding available?


The finances of the schools will remain independent. Resources used by one school but supplied by the other will be billed as appropriate.


There is no special funding available to support a partnership.


Costs of training in which both school staffs can participate will be split between the schools (offering a saving to both).


How will the partnership be assessed?


Our primary concern is the outcomes for the children in our school. Therefore, we will closely monitor the progress that children are making in every year; we expect and will be looking for progress to improve even further across the spectrum of pupil abilities.


We will then be looking for wider benefits from the partnership, including access to resources, recruitment and retention, improved professional development opportunities for our teachers and improved opportunities for learning and enrichment for our pupils.


Is this a step towards a greater integration?


The partnership will last for one year. It will be reviewed every half term and towards the end of the period a decision will be taken as to whether to extend, dissolve or move towards closer collaboration.


In the event the partnership is dissolved, Mrs Jewitt will return to her full-time role at St Matthews and St Barnabas will advertise for a substantive Headteacher.


Where can I see the partnership agreement?


The agreement will be available on the school website.

If you have any further questions please contact us by sending an email to