What are Sister School Partnerships?
Sister School Partnerships are long-term agreements between two schools, which aim to enhance education, personal development and cultural awareness amongst students, teachers and school communities.
TEP facilitates bilaterally beneficial partnerships between UK and Chinese schools via the Sister School Partnerships programme. Through immersive student exchanges, pedagogy exchanges, participation in joint projects and curriculum enrichment, the programme is designed to help students develop skills that will allow them to succeed in education, work and society.
As part of a Sister School Partnership, MATs will have the chance to host Chinese students at their schools and send their students and teachers on a transformational trip to China. For an example of how this works, read our MAT case study.
Partnering as a Trust
We work with Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) to enable more schools to enjoy the benefits of a Sister School Partnership with Chinese schools. Our Sister School Partnership programme offers MATs an exciting opportunity to boost their schools’ curriculum and improve educational outcomes for students. Partnering several schools within a trust encourages relationships not just with schools in China but also between schools in that Trust.
Teachers and leaders embarking on a Leadership Delegation can travel together, and when five schools or more choose to partner, Trust CEOs can enjoy a free place on a trip to China.
- Make your trust more competitive and attractive to schools
- Encourage diversity and cultural awareness within trust
- Promote and support community between schools
- Provide opportunity for support and collaboration amongst teachers and headteachers
- Free place on a trip to China for CEO when five schools sign up
- Offer unique language learning opportunities to students
- Improve employability rates and develop well-rounded individuals ready for the world of work
- Boost your trust’s international reputation and make valuable connections
- Gain access to funding to support your Sister School Partnerships
- Funded scholarships available for students – five per region.
- Enjoy ongoing international collaboration via student exchanges and joint projects
- Gain insight from other teaching practices and school systems
- Encourage cultural tolerance, highlight diversity & similarities with peers around the world
- Build awareness of international pedaogies and curriculum
- Boost confidence and enthusiasm for language learning
- Offer unique CPD opportunities to staff
- Fulfil several Ofsted framework expectations
- Make your school more competitive and attractive to parents
- Teach students important life skills to aid success in future education and career
- Provide wide-reaching benefits for whole school community (not just students that visit China).
- Be a part of an exciting community involving your school and a school in China
- Make new life-long friendships with Chinese students
- Explore a new environment and embrace new experiences with a life-changing trip to China
- Gain valuable life skills such as resilience, confidence, independence, responsibility and respect
- Encourage pride and knowledge of own culture by becoming UK ambassadors
- Build cultural awareness, highlight diversity and develop cross-cultural collaboration skills
- Improve employability in contemporary marketplace
- Develop intercultural understanding, sensitivity and empathy for different points of view
- Gain confidence in language learning and communication skills
- Increase awareness and familiarity with different styles of teaching.
Funding for Trusts
We offer various funding opportunities to support your sister school journey. There is currently £110,000 available for October 2020’s Leadership Delegations to China, which are used to sign MOUs that signify the formal partnership initiation. Trust CEOs are invited on the delegation for free if five of their schools are participating.
We also offer additional inclusivity funding through the TEP Scholarship initiative. This is a pot of £150,000, which will allow five eligible students from each region to join a fully funded trip to China (terms and conditions apply).
Partnership Initiation Funding
– £185k funding for October
(looking for 100 leaders)
The cost of a Leadership Delegation is roughly £1850. This fee is not applicable if a school launches their trip to parents before their delegation trip. However, if this is not the case we ask for schools to cover this initial cost, which is fully reimbursed once a school begins their student exchanges.
Scholarship Inclusivity Funding
– £150k overall funding for the UK
– 5 students per region available
Scholarship applications are open to any school and student who are in the Sister School Partnership programme with intentions to visit their sister school in China. Certain terms and conditions apply to the criteria and selection of suitable candidates.
The Sister School Partnership Process
Senior teachers from your Trusts attend a delegation to China in April or October, to establish the partnership with their sister school.
UK schools will enjoy an incredible culture-sharing experience when they host their Chinese sister school. Full funding available.
Trip to China
UK students will be invited to visit their sister school on a life-changing immersive trip to China.
After the student exchange experience, we encourage all partnered schools to stay connected by taking part in regular joint projects and communications.
How TEP support the process
- Each school will be allocated a dedicated School Account Manager (SAM) who will support them through every step of the process.
- We’ll set up your Sister School Partnerships through Chinese government.
- We take care of all logistics including travel, accommodation, visas and tourist activities.
- Schools will be accompanied by a Group Co-ordinator and Translator for support whilst in China.
- We’ll provide leaders with a Sister School Welcome Pack and numerous other resources, which will have all the necessary preparation information they need including a launch presentation; fundraising pack; communications guide; medical guideline; risk assessment pack; language tutorial; parent handbook; currency guide and cultural differences presentation.
True Education Partnerships is the only official provider for the UK Government Ambassador Sister School Programme, representing both local and national interests. We currently have 80+ active international teaching partnerships with councils, schools and organisations in the UK and China, delivering trusted international exchange programmes.