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Newtownabbey Empowering Schools Together (NEST)

Newtownabbey Empowering Schools Together (NEST) is a multi-sector and cross-phase partnership committed to driving positive change using whole-school-community approaches to collaboration.

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WHY we collaborate

NEST is a reconciliation initiative that works to build understanding, collaboration, and trust between school communities in Newtownabbey. We believe that by working together, we can overcome the barriers and challenges created or compounded by the context of separation in which schools and communities operate. We are committed to creating a shared vision and voice for collaboration, and we believe that this will empower us to create an educational ecosystem that benefits all local school communities.


HOW we collaborate

We understand that by engaging in positive collaboration in a post-conflict context, we are engaged in modelling new relationships. These are underpinned by our shared values: We nurture relationships, build trust, believe in the equality of all voices, seek to be genuine and curious, share challenges and offer support; and recognise the unique context in which each school and community live.

NEST strives to meet the needs of school partners through the delivery of co-designed and needs-informed partnership activities and pupil programmes; while remaining driven by a focus on process, relationships, trust, genuine need and a belief in being stronger together. Product and process are symbiotic and equally important. Crucially, NEST is an invitational partnership.

We believe modelling collaboration fosters change at all levels: individual, multi-school, community and institutional levels. NEST partner schools make a commitment to invest in each other to grow positive outcomes for their schools, for their communities and for each other.

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HOW will we know we are making a difference?

NEST commits to continuously examine, reflect upon, and measure the collaborative work that we do together through bespoke outcomes and measurement tools – in order to hold ourselves as a partnership accountable, and to be able to openly articulate the impact that the partnership is making. We recognise that driving change together presents many challenges and that it is not a linear process. It involves constant review and ongoing recognition of the ever-evolving context in which we are working, and the developing challenges that this context brings. However, we believe that when we exercise our shared wisdom, vision and voice- our successes are tangible, practical & relevant.

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