Framework for the Sutton Education Partnership

1. Introduction: 

This reference document is to provide the framework for effective partnership between local education providers and commissioners in order to identify and respond to key educational priorities in Sutton. Below are the possible relevant groups, collectively called ‘Partners’, together with potential Partner representatives (September 2019). 

  • London Borough of Sutton – Director of People Services
  • London Borough of Sutton – AD Education and SEND
  • Cognus – Services Director
  • Early Years’ Settings – Head of Hackbridge Primary
  • Primary Schools – Deputy CEO of the Cirrus Primary Academy Trust
  • Secondary Schools – Head of Wilson’s School
  • Post 16/19 Colleges – Curriculum Manager, Supported Learning, South Thames Colleges Group
  • Special Schools – Head of Carew Academy
  • Pupil Referral Units – Head of Limes College
  • Primary Governors – Primary Governor, Muschamp Primary
  • Secondary Governors – Secondary Governor, Glenthorne Academy
  • Finance Representative – Finance manager from LBS

This framework will be instigated where there is significant strategic and operational change that requires collaboration and understanding for a successful outcome; it is not intended to be used until and unless this is the case. Therefore, when both the Local Authority and the Partners feel that this framework is necessary to effect systemic change, it will be used as described in this document, and will be time-limited according to the requirements and scope of the change required. 

2. Principles of the Partnership 

These are encapsulated by the Local Area’s co-produced Vision:  

“We are collectively ambitious for our children and young people. Together we want to provide them with the best chances to achieve their best outcomes in life, whatever their starting point, and prepare them effectively for adulthood.” 

3. Values of the Partnership 

Ambition; professionalism; transparency; accountability; supportive; constructive; collaborative; compromise, dispassionate; compassionate. 

4. How the framework works in practice: 

The framework provides for the following: 

1. A strategic partnership called the Education Leadership Group (ELG)

2. An operational group called the Education Operational Group (EOG) 

4.1 The Education Leadership Group (ELG) 

Membership of the ELG: 

To include Partner representatives as indicative voting members (as described in Figure 1). To include any other members of the EOG as non-voting members, as and when required. 

Purpose of the ELG: 

With reference to relevant reviews, financial concerns and/or change, to: 

  • Consider proposals from the EOG, together with the rationales, in order to identify any concerns that need addressing and/or improvements that could be made. 
  • Consider and advise regarding the next steps relating to implementation.
  • Raise any systemic concerns with regard to the area under consideration for the EOG to consider (not individual cases). 
  • Identify any information to be shared (and how regularly) with partner group. 
  • Confirm the implementation of final proposals by voting on whether to accept (simple majority unless otherwise agreed unanimously by the group). 
  • Receive updates, through for example highlight reports and a risk register, on implementation, together with any refinements proposed, for consideration and challenge.
  • Evaluate the impact of implementation and develop strategic approaches to further improvement 

Partner representatives on the ELG :

1. The Indicative Voting Members of the ELG shall be persons who are suitably qualified and experienced and with appropriate levels of authority to act as Indicative Voting Members on behalf of the Partner that they represent. 

2. Partner representatives’ approach to Indicative voting will be based on the principle of agreeing what is best for the local (Sutton) area education system and not for any individual Partner group. 

3. Each Partner shall also appoint a proxy member to attend and vote at meetings of the ELG in the absence of the appointed Indicative Voting Member. For the avoidance of doubt, only the representatives of the Partners or their proxies will have voting rights at the ELG. 

4. No Partner shall remove a person as its representative on the ELG without first a. securing the appointment of another representative and b. advising the other Partners of the appointment of such representatives.

5. A Partner cannot be vetoed if it is the preferred representation of that group.

6. The Partners agree that: 

  1. It shall not have any delegated statutory powers or functions of the Partners;
  2. nothing in this agreement shall be construed as a delegation of statutory powers by any of the Partners to the ELG and nor shall any Partners be deemed to have delegated any other powers to the ELG; 
  3. The ELG’s Indicative Voting Members will provide a steer to decisions on the implementation of the strategic proposals made by the EOG. 

4.2 The Education Operational Group (EOG) 

Membership of the EOG:

To include:

  • Partner representatives of the London Borough of Sutton
  • Partner representative/s of Cognus
  • Other representatives seconded to the group based upon the specific project 

Purpose of the EOG: 

  • With reference to relevant reviews, financial concerns and/or change, to: 
  • Identify where changes are required, ensuring a concise and transparent rationale.
  • Propose new procedures or systems, ensuring concise and transparent rationales for options is presented; in the absence of an immediate solution, propose how to progress the matter.
  • Identify how information required by the EOG or the ELG will be gathered, and request / commission this with clear timescales for delivery. 
  • Respond to feedback on proposals from the ELG, or from working groups commissioned for the purpose; to refine and improve procedures and systems and present these improved options to the ELG. 
  • Note concerns from the ELG with regard to any systemic concerns and propose how to resolve these. 
  • Implement agreed procedures or systems following the ELG’s confirmation, drawing up a precise and concise list of actions to be taken by whom and by when. 
  • Provide updates to the ELG and Education Partners as agreed by the ELG


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