The Government’s preferences

The Government sets a number of preferences for the application rounds. 

For the fourth round that opened on 12 August 2016 these are:

Preference Rationale
Schools that will make effective use of the flexibilities offered by the model. The intention of the Partnership Schools initiative is to add value to the network by providing an additional schooling option that makes a significant difference for priority learners. The intention is not to replicate what is already on offer in the system, or to incorporate an existing school that may already be providing value.
Schools that offer innovative options for 0-8 year olds This enables potential sponsors to propose a schooling solution that aligns the curriculum and pedagogy across early childhood and primary age groups.
Schools that are large enough to be comfortably (economically) viable Partnership Schools must be financially viable. There are benefits of scale for students, including broader curriculum options and greater teaching specialisation. Scale also enables schools to deliver more of the core curriculum themselves at senior levels rather than relying on external parties.
Are located in an area or areas where there are students who are not being well served by the education system This enables potential sponsors to use demographics and student achievement information on priority learners to demonstrate the need for a Partnership Schools in a particular location.
Bring together education, business and/or community sector partnership(s) We encourage applications from potential sponsors that have a track record in developing and maintaining tangible partnerships with the business and community to maximise the success of the school, in both establishment and ongoing operation of the school.
Have a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) This allows potential applicants to propose a Partnership School that will provide ‘best in class’ pedagogical strategies in the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, creating pathways into a wide range of related careers.
Are not existing private schools seeking to convert to a Partnership School. The government welcomes applications from potential sponsors who propose new and additional provision of education for their intended community.