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Schools Federation Proposal

by Haddenham Webteam – 19th February 2024
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A Proposal to Federate Haddenham Community Infant School and Haddenham Community Junior School from Autumn Term 2024

Our Vision:
Our vision for the Federation is to deliver an environment across the two schools where all pupils can thrive, by developing the existing close physical and working relationships between the schools.

Proposal
The Governing Boards of Haddenham Community Infant School and Haddenham Community Junior School have decided to seek feedback from staff, parents, carers and members of the local community on a proposal to federate the two schools under a single Governing Board with effect from 1 September 2024.

The Governing Boards of both schools set up a joint Working Party to explore how to build upon and formalise the current close working relationship between the two schools. The Working Party has recommended that we consult on a proposal to federate the two Haddenham Community Schools, which they believe would be in the best interest of pupils at the schools. The Working Party believes that formal collaboration will allow the schools to:

➢ Build on the close professional working relationship between the two Headteachers in the best interests of pupils at both schools.
➢ Work together more efficiently and sustainably to further improve provision and outcomes to increase opportunities for pupils, staff and governors.
➢ Share resources, staff, expertise and facilities to deliver a stronger leadership team across the
Federation, without disrupting the existing staffing and structure at both schools.

Benefits

The Governing Boards of Haddenham Community Infant and Junior schools have been exploring ways of working more closely together to ensure the best educational outcomes for the children of the two schools.

We believe that Federation will:

➢ build on the strengths of the individual schools;
➢ provide continuity of experience from Key Stage 1 (Infant School) to Key Stage 2 (Junior School) in the Federation schools;
➢ enable more sharing of ideas and support with curriculum planning from having a larger complement of staff;
➢ provide greater flexibility in the use of accommodation;
➢ enable greater flexibility and efficiency in the use of staff and other resources;
➢ provide enhanced development opportunities for staff and governors;
➢ improve staff retention;
➢ support the strategy of Buckinghamshire Council to encourage infant and junior schools to give active consideration to formal collaborative arrangements.

Implications
A Federation is when two or more schools work together under a single Governing Board, while each school remains a separate legal entity. A Federation is not a merger: it simply represents a permanent commitment to working in partnership.

The single Governing Board would provide strategic leadership for the Federation by drawing on experiences from both schools, utilising all expertise and skills in the best interests of pupils, staff and the wider community.

Federation means that each school would:

➢ Keep its own identity.
➢ Keep its own name and uniform.
➢ Have its own separate budget.
➢ Have separate Ofsted inspections.
➢ Continue to have its own admission arrangements, handled by the Admissions Team at Buckinghamshire Council.
➢ Engage its own high quality staff.
➢ Have a shared Governing Board that sets the strategic vision across both schools and ensures educational and financial accountability.

What would Federation mean for our children?

Federation of the two schools would deliver:

➢ A consistent approach to teaching and learning as the children move between schools in the Federation.
➢ A more seamless transition between the Infant and Junior schools in the Federation.
➢ Consistent monitoring of pupil progress from Reception through to Year 6 (ages 4 to 11).
➢ Increased capacity to meet the needs of children through the sharing of knowledge and resources.
➢ The opportunity for enhanced joint community activities.
➢ Wider and richer curriculum through cross-Federation events, especially in areas outside of the core curriculum such as arts, sports and music.
➢ Access to a wider range of staff skills and talents.
➢ An environment where the schools work together to deliver the best outcomes for each child.

What would Federation mean for our staff?

For our staff, Federation would mean:

➢ No change to current staff roles as a direct result of this proposal and no jobs are at risk
➢ Each school has its own headteacher reporting to the Chair of Governors of the Federation Governing Board
➢ No change to terms and conditions for staff and no change to staffing policies and procedures
➢ Staff will remain at their respective sites, though the specialist knowledge and the creativity of all staff will be shared. In future, some staff members could move or work across sites as part of their career development.
➢ Stronger collaboration and the increased size of the Federation schools' staffing would allow for increased opportunities for continuing professional development and career progression.
➢ The size of the schools will enable the proposed Federation to attract and retain high quality staff.

What would Federation mean for our parents?

For our parents, Federation would mean:

➢ A common approach to teaching and learning across both schools.
➢ A shared vision and ethos with common approaches to issues such as behaviour management, attendance and SEND.
➢ Improved coordination of activities between the two schools.
➢ Consistency of policies and procedures.
➢ The opportunity for shared activities, including during holidays and on special occasions
➢ Further development of wrap-around care for children i.e. Breakfast and Afterschool clubs.

What would Federation mean for our governors?

Under the proposal, the two separate school Governing Boards will be disbanded and replaced by a single, newly appointed Governing Board with responsibility for both schools in the Federation.

The Federation would have one Governing Board composed of representatives from each school community.

The Governing Board would comprise:

➢ 2 headteachers
➢ 2 elected parent governors
➢ 1 elected staff governor
➢ 1 Local Authority governor
➢ 7 co-opted governors, chosen by the Governing Board

In addition, Associate Governors may be appointed. A senior member of staff from the Infant and Junior Schools will be invited to attend meetings as an Associate Governor if they are not elected as the staff governor or serving as a co-opted governor.

What would Federation mean for our local community?

For our local community, Federation would mean:

➢ The two schools would draw wider and improved community links, which would be strengthened by joint community partnerships and events. We would have an enhanced ability to lobby for improvements.
➢ Opportunities for the local community to become more involved in the work of the Federation would be enhanced, both during and after school.
➢ Other service providers, in the positive support of children and families, would be used more effectively in the work that they do; for example, the Federation would be able to investigate better co-ordination with other providers of children's activities in the community – e.g. Holiday clubs, sporting clubs.
➢ Better meeting the evolving needs of the community over time.

What happens next?

Whilst the Working Party is recommending Federation, no final decision has yet been made. We welcome all your views and so invite all parents, carers and other interested parties to discuss this proposal with members of the Governing Boards at the following planned drop-in meetings:

➢ Haddenham Community Infant School: 9.30am to 10.30am on Tuesday 5 March 2024
➢ Haddenham Community Junior School: 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Monday 4 March 2024

These sessions are open to everyone and you are welcome to attend either of these sessions, whichever is more convenient to you, and to arrive at any time within the specified times. School staff will have opportunities to question and comment at similar meetings in their respective schools.

If you would like to comment on the proposal but are unable to attend either of the meetings, please hand your completed response form, in a sealed envelope addressed to the Chair of Governors, to Reception at one of the schools before 31 March 2024.

Alternatively, you can e-mail the Governing Boards' Working Party via the either of the following addresses:

Haddenham Community Infant School: governors@haddenhaminfant.bucks.sch.uk
Haddenham Community Junior School: govs@haddenhamjun.co.uk

At the end of the six-week consultation period, the joint Working Party will collate all the feedback from the consultation. The Governing Board of each school will then meet separately to discuss all feedback received, and each Governing Board will then vote as to whether to proceed with the Federation. Only if both Governing Boards vote to proceed will the Federation occur.

Key dates

Consultation Period: Monday 19 February to Sunday 31 March 2024

Final decision: we will inform you of the final decision in May 2024

Proposed date for the start of Federation: 1 September 2024

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