Last reviewed on 18 April 2018
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 32611

Schools can choose to collaborate in many different ways. To help you to determine what might work well for your school, we compare different models of collaboration, and look at research on the impact of collaboration.

Types of collaboration

You can download a comparison of the following types of school collaboration:

  • Informal collaboration (also known as informal partnerships)
  • Soft federation
  • Soft governance federation (also known as collaborations)
  • Hard governance federation
  • Multi-academy trusts
  • Amalgamation

Impact of collaboration

On pupil outcomes

A research report published by the Department for Education (DfE) found that the impact of collaboration on pupil outcomes was mixed.

One research project did find that where schools had entered in formal collaborative arrangements (e.g. a hard federation), the effect on student outcomes was greater than those schools that had engaged in more informal collaborative arrangements.

The impact was also greater in 'performance federations' where high-performing schools support lower-performing schools (pages 20 to 22).

One research project found that federating provided more opportunities for continued professional development (CPD) between schools. Staff recognised that