Eton Connect coordinates over 1,000 cross-sector partnerships between schools, charities and other organisations working together for the benefit of children and teachers. Through research, digital resources, summer schools, visits and events, Eton Connect brings people together who are determined to provide extraordinary learning opportunities for young people.
Our most important partnerships are with Holyport College, the London Academy of Excellence, the Thames Valley Learning Partnership, SEBMAT, IntoUniversity and the Eastside Young Leaders Academy.
Holyport College is an exceptional state boarding school near Maidenhead, which has been part of a very close partnership with Eton since 2014. Founded under the Free Schools scheme, it welcomed its first students on 3 September 2014 and was opened officially by HM The Queen on 28 November 2014. It is situated seven miles away from Eton in the village of Holyport, a geographical proximity which enables a broad and intensive range of partnership activities to take place.
Holyport College is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. It has had exceptional GCSE and A Level results and the majority of its students go off to Russell Group universities (Sept 2020). Holyport College has also had a significant amount of Oxbridge success which is impressive given there have only been three graduating cohorts.
Our partnership with Holyport is intended as a way of sharing pastoral and academic expertise in both directions, building an educational ethos which makes a long-term contribution to our local communities. Through our partnership, Eton College and Holyport College aim to establish ourselves as a model for collaboration between the independent and maintained sectors. The partnership has two defined members of staff (one at the Eton end and one at the Holyport end) who meet weekly to help to identify opportunities for collaboration between the two Colleges.
Among a vast suite of collaborative activities between the schools, it is worth noting the joint Eton and Holyport CCF (Combined Cadet Force), a comprehensive programme of visits and exchanges for teachers and students at both schools, sharing of facilities including Dorney Lake and the Eton Fives courts, as well as ongoing and thriving social links between students and staff. The joint academic societies programme is also worth mentioning, with Holyportians and Etonians working alongside each other on a regular basis.
The London Academy of Excellence became the first Sixth Form college set up under the Free Schools scheme in 2012.
London Academy of Excellence
The London Academy of Excellence, Stratford, (LAE) opened in September 2012 and was the first Sixth Form college to be set up under the government’s Free Schools scheme. LAE is in an outstanding, heavily oversubscribed school located in the heart of Stratford. LAE has had a transformative effect on Sixth Form provision in Newham; Eton co-sponsors the LAE alongside five other independent schools.
The LAE’s first cohort were presented for public examination in Summer 2014. Results were strong, as a consequence of which four students took up places at Oxbridge and some 70 at Russell Group universities. In Autumn 2015, the LAE was named ‘State Sixth Form College of the Year’ by The Sunday Times. In Autumn 2020, 27 pupils from the London Academy of Excellence were successful in gaining places at Oxford and Cambridge – an extraordinary result for a school in only its eighth year of operation.
In 2021, LAE again secured outstanding A level results; 42% of A-Level grades were at A* and 97% of A-Level grades were A*/B. LAE’s average grade was an A+ and their ALPS 1 value-added score places them in the top 1% of schools nationally for progress.
Building on some of this experience, Eton’s Deputy Head (Partnerships) Tom Arbuthnott and LAE’s Assistant Head, Anushka Chakravarty, co-wrote The Missing 2000 in May 2020, which outlines some of the ways in which independent schools and state schools are working together to support university access for students without a long history of engagement with higher education.
We will continue to deepen our relationship with partnership schools and there will be further increases in opportunities for boys to become involved in more joint ventures.Tom Arbuthnott, Deputy Head (Partnerships)
Eton’s engagement with LAE is on a number of levels. At an academic level, we support the delivery of A Level English with one Master on part-time secondment to LAE. We also offer every LAE student applying to Oxbridge a face-to-face practice interview. Eton also lends its name to one of the houses at LAE. There have been successful exchange visits to Eton and LAE by our respective pupils. Individual teachers from both schools have also organised visits to observe teaching and share expertise in various subjects. At a governance level, the Head Master is a Governor; the Deputy Head (Partnerships) serves on the Education Committee and Eton’s Director of Finance serves on the Finance Committee. In 2020 we launched the Eton x LAE Leadership Institute (ELLI), bringing together 30 LAE and 30 Eton students for a year-long programme of leadership workshops, seminars, visits and lectures.
The other independent schools involved with the LAE are: Brighton College, Caterham School, Forest School, Highgate School and University College School.
We firmly believe in the benefits our sponsorship of the LAE bring to Eton, particularly in relation to sharing best practice in learning and teaching methods and the professional development of the staff involved. We are also pleased to re-engage with Newham as a borough, where Eton has historically had a social impact through the Eton Mission.
Thames Valley Learning Partnership
Eton is very proud to be a founder member of the Thames Valley Learning Partnership, which was launched in September 2019 as an equal partnership of eight state and independent secondary-aged schools in Berkshire. We believe that educational experience is improved by meaningful and repeated interactions between schools of different types.
- To provide collaborative and informative experiences for secondary-aged students across a range of subjects, thereby providing a variety of learning opportunities and diversity in social and cultural engagement
- To ensure staff across our schools are able to share their passion for their specialist subjects and good practice with one another, and exchange views about current educational issues
The TVLP has forged a new role bringing schools together during the pandemic. It has organised a range of student workshops and interactive sessions. Subject-specific networks have sprung up between teachers in different disciplines and with different foci. We look forward to organising our first major student leadership conference in autumn 2021, which will bring together 20 prefects from each of our eight schools.
Slough & East Berkshire CofE Multi Academy Trust
Slough and East Berkshire CofE Multi Academy Trust (SEBMAT) was established in 2013 to form a group of schools which can support each other to ensure the best possible outcomes for the young people in Slough and the nearby areas. This group of schools includes primary and secondary schools with a Church of England link. They will share good practice and develop joint training programmes while reducing costs through combined procurement.
The five SEBMAT schools are:
- Slough and Eton Business & Enterprise College
- Colnbrook Primary
- Eton Porny First School
- Lynch Hill Primary School
- Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy
We want every junior school in Slough and Windsor to be engaged with Eton.Simon Henderson, Head Master
From September 2021, the Deputy Head (Partnerships) will serve as a Member of the Slough & East Berkshire Multi-Academy Trust, and the Director of Local Partnerships as a Director. In addition, Masters at Eton serve as members of the local governing body for Slough & Eton, Eton Porny and the Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy, as well as many other local schools.
Through local learning centres in underprivileged postcodes, IntoUniversity provides additional support for young people to attain their aspirations. Since 2002 when their first centre opened in North Kensington, IntoUniversity has opened – and now operates – 31 learning centres nationally.
In 2021 Eton College formed a partnership with IntoUniversity centres in Clacton-on-Sea, Coventry and North Liverpool, which support over 3,000 children. Through this partnership we aim to develop opportunities for staff and students from both institutions to engage through visits, events and joint resources. With a special focus on academic enrichment and character development, Eton is committed to also supporting projects run by IntoUniversity such as the Entrepreneurship Programme and Future Readiness. IntoUniversity aims for the Eton partnership to be a visible and important element of all three centres’ identities.
Alongside our direct partnership with the three centres, Eton College provides free use of relevant EtonX courses to all IntoUniversity students aged over 14 years. The EtonX courses help students discover their personal strengths, identify their future goals and practise skills such as resilience, creativity, assertiveness and critical thinking. The EtonX courses proved especially helpful over the past year of successive lockdowns with students able to access support virtually.
Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy (EYLA)
EYLA is a London-based educational charity established in 2002, which works to develop and promote the leadership potential of young people. EYLA sees education and a supportive peer group as the foundation for individually and collectively exerting positive influence in society. Through both education and community, EYLA empowers its cohort to become the next generation of successful leaders.
As part of its mission EYLA supports and encourages its young people to apply for places at independent schools and universities. Eton College is proud that two EYLA alumni are now Etonians and hope their future successes will inspire other young people from both EYLA and Eton College.
Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy is an amazing institution which nurtured and trained me.Daniel Kupoluyi, EYLA and Eton College Alum
In 2020 Eton College formed an official partnership with EYLA. The partnership aims to not only encourage more EYLA applications to Eton, but to work directly and jointly on projects which support the charitable goals of both partners.
In Eton and EYLA’s initial virtual sessions, students were able to openly ask each other questions and find common interests. From these conversations, campaigning was highlighted as a topic both Etonians and Young Leaders were keen to learn more about. This led to our first joint project focussed around developing campaigns to encourage COVID vaccine take-up across all ethnic communities. Eton was also glad to host four of EYLA’s Young Leaders for a week on the Eton Connect Summer School 2021. Looking ahead, we aim to run a hybrid programme of both virtual and physical sessions with students and staff regularly visiting EYLA and Eton.
Our young leaders have grown in confidence, capacity for critical thinking and it seems their use of language & vocabulary!Ray Lewis, EYLA