Posted on: 11/11/2022

What is the true meaning of partnership?

A partnership can be defined as a collaborative relationship between organisations. The purpose of this relationship is to work towards shared goals through a division of labour that all parties agree on. Partnerships are complex vehicles for delivering practical solutions to societal and community issues.

Since taking on the Headship at St. Helen’s College in 2016, I have been astounded by the positive partnerships which we have with our parent body.  Of course we also work in partnership with your children but ultimately without you making the decision to invest in your children’s future and choose St. Helen’s College, we would not have the pleasure of working with them.

As parents, you are partners in the whole business of educating your children and we all rally together to make the best decisions for the children and prepare them to be able to fulfil their potential.  What a challenging but exciting opportunity - to be part of the process of shaping a young person! I have now been in the teaching profession for 33 years and my passion for making a difference to children and working in partnership with the pupils, parents and other stakeholders has never waivered.  The staff at St. Helen’s College are really quite unique as I am sure you agree. Every one of them, regardless of their role within the school, is committed to supporting your child (or children) to enable them to fulfil their potential in so many different ways. 

We recently asked our parents to complete the annual survey from the Independent Schools Council. We were delighted to read the results of this survey, which compared our school’s results with those of all the other independent schools who took part. 

Those of you who know the work of Simon Sinek may be familiar with the phrase  ‘Start with Why’ and below I am proud to list some of the key reasons that parents gave as your answers to the question of why you chose Helen’s College:

  • It prepares pupils to fulfil their potential  (double the number of St. Helen’s College parents in comparison with parents in other independent schools).

  • The quality of the teachers (more than double the number of parents said this compared to parents in other independent schools).

  • Good discipline.

  • High academic quality.

  • Personal conversations with the Head or other key staff at the school (double the number of our parents in comparison with parents in other independent schools).

  • Good at developing soft skills and character.

We are delighted with the feedback received from this survey and thank those parents who took the time to complete the survey.  Some of you may also be interested in reviewing the school for the Good Schools Guide which you can do by following this link

This week I took part in a symposium on ‘Partnerships’  with a group of other educators who are passionate about working together to improve the outcomes and opportunities for children across a range of schools and sectors. It was inspiring to hear about the work which is going on in other schools, to hear from charities who are supporting important causes and of course to continue networking with other professionals who have shared goals in education.

I am aware that many of you may be unaware of some of the partnerships which we are already involved with either other schools or other organisations so I am listing just a few examples below and we look forward to further developing and extending our partnerships to have mutual benefit to the organisations, the pupils of St. Helen’s College and other schools.

  • Hillingdon Borough Sports Leagues (both maintained and independent school pupils)

  • IAPS sports fixtures (with other independent schools)

  • Local care home visits 

  • Sharing of expertise in modern foreign languages (local state schools and us)

  • Working with the STARS team (School Travel and Road Safety Team - Hillingdon)

  • Several local and national charities -  including the St. Helen’s College Trust

  • Salvation Army

  • Local churches (Methodist and All Saints)

  • Chess clubs in several maintained schools

  • Global ambassadors working with GEMS school in Dubai (a new partnership which we are developing)

Partnerships with others are so important and we are proud of our whole school engagement and the relationships and trust which is built with successful partnerships.

Thank you all for being in partnership with us on the inspiring journey of educating your children and preparing them for their future. 

I will finish with a quote from one of Simon Sinek’s other books ‘Better Together’:

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. -Simon Sinek

Ms Drummond