Schools Partnership Agreement

“Recognising its Christian foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character according to the principles of the Church of England in partnership with the Church at Parish and Diocesan level.”

from the ‘Ethos Statement’ in the constitution of every Church of England school.


Your school is a valued member of the community of the Diocese of Chelmsford and this Partnership Agreement is an important element in enabling us to support your school. A very large majority our Church Schools subscribe to it, recognising it plays a significant part in enabling our service to all schools to continue to the highest levels. 

We belong together, rooted in our inclusive Christian identity. Our Schools Team serves you through Adviser visits and other services including; school improvement, courses and conferences, RE support, SIAMS preparation, head-teacher recruitment, support on matters as diverse as buildings, academy conversion and many other issues. Your school’s participation in our Partnership Agreement is an important element in making this possible as well as offering excellent value for money. This prospectus sets out the Partnership Service Level Agreement between the Diocese of Chelmsford and our Church Schools.

What is the Partnership Agreement? 

The Partnership Agreement sets out your school’s contribution to the overall cost of providing your school with support from the Diocese together with a number of enhanced service entitlements. 

What Schools receive 

Partnership Agreement schools can expect to see a Schools Adviser more often to support School Improvement and day to day issues; receive free and reduced cost places on training courses for teachers and governors, and various discounts, such as preferential rates at the annual School Leaders Conference. We are confident this agreement offers excellent value for money as well as expressing our commitment to each other within the family of church schools. Schools quickly recoup the annual subscription cost through the services they access through the year.

Why the Diocese operates the Partnership Agreement 

Your Diocesan Schools Team receives no public monies. Instead, its viability rests on four sources of income; a) schools themselves through this Partnership Agreement, b) income from investments, c) external charities, d) contributions through Diocesan budgets (ultimately from the voluntary giving of churchgoers). 

What if we don’t subscribe? 

Dioceses have to provide all schools with some core services regardless of whether they contribute. However, your school will receive less from us and the services you purchase will cost substantially more. In Chelmsford this ‘core service’ includes statutory expectations and administration as well as basic support by Schools Advisers. The detail of this limited core service is set out in this prospectus. 

Revd Tim Elbourne
Diocesan Director of Education

Summary of provision

We are fully committed to providing the best possible service to our schools. The entitlement all schools receive, partnership and non-partnership, includes;

  • Email and telephone support and regular e-bulletins with information and resources 
  • OFSTED support 
  • Assistance in appointing a headteacher 
  • Assistance in Secondary Head of RE & Chaplaincy appointments 
  • Headteacher induction session 
  • Co-ordination of SIAMs 
  • Advice on capital funding, devolved funding, land and property 
  • Administrative assistance in the appointment of Foundation Governors 

However, we are aware that most schools require far more than these basic services and by joining our Partnership Agreement you will receive much greater support tailored to your specific needs, which far exceeds the cost of the Partnership Agreement. These extra benefits are listed below.

In addition to many other benefits the Partnership Agreement gives you two half-day Adviser visits and four training sessions. Training sessions are equivalent to 3.5 hours in person or 2 hours online. These sessions may be used flexibly in consultation with your link Adviser.

  Partnership Agreement Schools Core Provision for all Schools
School support
Adviser visits Two Adviser visits per year. Visits may include:
  • School improvement, including help with self-evaluation and data analysis
  • Advice on leadership and management issues
  • Meeting with SMT, leading a staff meeting or half-day training in school
  • Triangulation of teaching and learning
  • Meeting with a new incumbent and headteacher
  • Working with pupils
  • Meeting with RE or Worship Co-ordinators
  • ‘Health Check’ e.g. looking at worship
  • RE lesson observations
  • Pupil perception survey
  • INSET on RE and/or worship
  • Christian Values, Church School distinctiveness etc
One Adviser visit per year for a meeting with the headteacher
  Additional visits by Advisers will be charged at £150+VAT Additional visits by Advisers will be charged at £225+VAT
Training: Headteacher, staff and school leaders
Annual School Leaders Conference £75+VAT for the first attendee and £50+VAT per additional attendee up to a maximum of 3 people £140+VAT for the first attendee and £110+VAT per additional attendee up to a maximum of 3 people

Attendance Learning and Development Training Courses

Four free sessions. 

Half-day courses are equivalent to one session.

Full-day courses are equivalent to two sessions.

Specific costs for each training course can be found in our Learning and Development Programme.

Specific costs for each training course can be found in our Learning and Development Programme.

Admissions policies Bespoke advice and support Participation in the annual admissions policy consultation
Church School Inspection (SIAMS)
SIAMS pre- or post- inspection support Included £225+VAT
Buildings & Premises
School building projects DFC projects 1% Contractor's cost DFC projects 2% Contractor's cost
VA school capital projects School Capital Allocation (previously LCVAP) projects 1% of project cost School Capital Allocation (previously LCVAP) projects 2% of project cost
Mailings, bulletins and website access
Vacancy adverts as advised on website/E-bulletins Included £50+VAT per vacancy
Governor Training: centrally organised training delivered by our Associate Consultants £150+VAT or use free sessions £225+VAT per session, plus expenses
Governor Training: bespoke school based training delivered by our Associate Consultants £150+VAT or use free sessions

£225+VAT per session, plus expenses

Additional governor support through our Associate Consultants £150+VAT or use free sessions £225+VAT per session, plus expenses
Early years
Visit to discuss the curriculum, starting up a new pre-school, daily running of a setting which could include getting ready for OFSTED £150+VAT or use free sessions £225+VAT per session

Partnership Agreement subscription costs

We are holding last year’s prices, mindful of the constraints on all of our budgets.

Your contribution to the Partnership will be calculated according to the Number on Roll reported in your School Return at the charge per pupil shown below. We will then compare this to the Maximum and Minimum charges shown so that no school will pay less than the minimum or more than the maximum:

  • Per pupil charge £2.70+VAT
  • Minimum charge £350+VAT
  • Maximum charge £800+VAT

How to subscribe

We will send you an invoice at the beginning of September 2020 for the amount your school would be eligible to pay for the 2020-21 academic year, with payment details.

Schools choosing not to partner with us

If you choose not to partner with us then please talk to us about this. Please bear in mind that if you decide not to partner with us then we will charge you for any service additional to the basic support we offer. This amount is currently £225+VAT per session.