The Lighthouse School Partnership has grown from a group of like-minded and neighbouring schools. We had worked together for years but in 2015 we decided that the moment had come to forge more formal structures. We wanted to collaborate more closely and realised that could only happen if we were willing to trust each other and share decisions about our futures.
But we also knew that we wanted to form a partnership in more than just name. This has been really important and our structures have been built around the team ethic of the headteachers’ group. Although ultimate decision making sits with our Trustees and we have an Executive Principal who takes the lead on accountability and raising standards across the Trust, the spirit of the Lighthouse Schools Partnership is in the equal collaboration between schools. We have a secondary school of almost 2,000 students and a village primary of just over 100 children but every young person’s education is of equal worth and so too is the culture and voice of each of our schools.
Our Trust values excellence and collaboration but the real identity of each school remains its own and LSP does not seek to standardise the culture of its schools. It is significant that each of our founding schools was judged to be good or outstanding in Ofsted terms. This has meant that we have been able to launch our model of earned autonomy from a position of strength. Our Scheme of Delegation retains powers for the Trust and the Executive Principal to intervene where there are concerns about standards, but in most cases decisions are taken in schools by Headteachers and Governors. We have also developed a warm and strong relationship with the Diocese of Bath and Wells so that our Church of England schools can be confident that their ‘Christian distinctiveness’ is valued and protected.
From our first thoughts we wanted to be an ‘all through’ Trust. From nursery to Sixth Form we make an offer to our community and we want to learn from each other, across schools and up and down our phases.
We believe that by working together we can provide more fully the aims to which we were committed as individual schools. Central to this is a desire to invest in the training and excellence of our staff. Gordano School’s track record as a Training School and now a National Teaching School is a great foundation on which to build for excellence across all phases for teachers and support staff. We know that this will deliver exciting and effective learning to our children and young people.
And about our name… Portishead has not one, but two lighthouses and we think that the lighthouse has great symbolism in representing our desire to reach out beyond our locality as a beacon. Enquiries about working or collaborating with LSP can be made to any of our Headteachers.