Published on February 26, 2014
What Collaboration Can Achieve Annette Hayton Head of Widening Participation University of Bath
Decentralisation ‘The days of the all-purpose authority that planned and delivered everything are gone. It is in partnership with others, public agencies, private companies, community groups and voluntary organisations that local government’s future lies.’ Department for the Environment Transport and the Regions, 1998, Modernising local Government
Growth in partnership working • • • • • • New Labour Multiple deprivation and social exclusion ‘Joined up’ thinking Partnerships encouraged Partnerships funded Every Child Matters – Children Act 2004
Pros & Cons Pros • Access to a wider range of resources • Economies of scale • Less duplication of effort • Opportunities to share expertise • Chance to work outside line management structure • Focus on needs of learners not institutions • Increased innovation Cons • Decision making structures must be developed • Agreement required to implement actions • Time required to plan and share expertise • Essential to reach consensus • Learners exercise choice • Loss of focus
Aimhigher and UNet • Government sets top level national aims & objectives • Governance structures pre-determined • Funding direct from government • Partners required to engage • Negotiation & consensus important • Government & regulator OFFA set broad aims • Partners decide on local aims & objectives • Partners agree organisational structures • Partners choose to contribute resource • Negotiation & consensus essential
Figure 10: Trend in young participation rate for areas classified by HE participation rates (POLAR3 classification, adjusted)
Current issues • Meeting institutional WP Performance Indicators • Increasing progression to more selective universities – fair access • Engaging all schools, colleges and pupils in activities – widening participation • Demonstrating the value of collaboration and partnership in a competitive market
OFFA Guidance 36. …… contribute to long-term WP as well as achieving a more representative student body …….better outreach coverage, and avoids unhelpful duplication………………. 37. build the pool of evidence about what works best to improve access ….. take the lead in building networks of collaboration both regionally and nationally. 39. collaborative evaluation and targets improving participation to the sector as a whole, 40. OFFA……always take your collaborative efforts into account.
Elements of a good partnership • • • • Shared aims and objectives Common desire for the partnership to succeed Honesty about own priorities and goals Respect for different working practices and approaches • Readiness to be flexible • Commitment to carrying out agreed tasks • Trust between partners
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