Local authority partnerships

Corporate partnerships for school governance


From its early connection with the Training and Development Agency, and with the National College for School Leadership, The Key has been committed to working in partnership with all kinds of organisations within the schools sector.


Education forum

Twice a year The Key hosts an education forum to bring together leading figures in the sector to discuss issues at the forefront of education. The most recent debate covered important topics such as the future of education under the Conservative government, whether there is too much political interference in education, the perceived crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers, and how to move education forward. 

Partnering with local authorities and academy chains

Many local authorities, chains or federations have chosen to support their schools in becoming members of The Key for School Leaders and/or The Key for School Governors. Some do this as part of service level agreements; some negotiate local arrangements to secure membership on cost-effective terms. We are able to engage with schools on their behalf, helping them register and encouraging them to get the very best value from their membership.

We also provide parent authorities with valuable insights from our own data as to what are the “hot topics” of current interest to their schools. Many have said that they recognise that The Key provides a very efficient and dependable level of information and support, freeing up their own advisers to concentrate on more focused support on the ground.

Associate experts

The Key’s network of associate experts has been recruited to provide a depth of experience and specific knowledge that is not to be found in written sources. They include experts in inspection and accountability, National Leaders of Governance, improvement partners and consultants, leaders of excellence and curriculum specialists. As well as guidance, they provide The Key with up-to-date case studies and materials, including original documents such as policies, observations schedules and self-assessment templates.

Leading practitioners, sector authorities and organisations

The Key is committed to building collaborative relationships with leading organisations in the sector. We consult regularly with the DfE and Ofsted; also with the NAHT, ASCL, teaching unions, nasen, ACAS, SGOSS - Governors for Schools, and many others. Our conferences feature leading practitioners and academics from all round the country. We regularly visit teaching schools and draw on their expertise and good practice to write case studies to add to our published answers. 

Teaching schools

The Key's researchers regularly speak to school leaders and governors to capture case studies that help to answer members’ questions and showcase the exciting and innovative work taking place in schools across the country. All case studies are focused and highly practical; each explains what a school or governing body has done to address a particular issue, and examines, where possible, the impact.

We work particularly closely with a number of teaching schools – primary, secondary and special. All our partner schools offer invaluable experience and guidance which is valued highly by our members. The Key simultaneously provides a fantastic way for these schools to share their ideas and solutions to common challenges.

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