Uplyme and Chardstock form schools’ federation

Village primary schools wil share an executive headteacher and one governing body

A PIONEERING educational partnership has been formed between two Axe Valley primary schools.

Governors at Mrs Ethelston’s, in Uplyme, and St Andrew’s, at Chardstock, have formed a federation to work more closely together.

They say it will ensure the quality and continuity of leadership for both schools whilst maintaining high standards in teaching and learning and enhancing pupils’ overall educational experience.

Each school’s unique individual ethos and values will be maintained, they stress.

But there will be greater opportunities to share the skills of individual staff under executive headteacher, Andrea Rice, and the heads of teaching and learning - Mary Anne Crafter at Mrs Ethelston’s and Cara Gilmour White at St Andrew’s.

The governing bodies of both schools took the decision to form The Acorn Federation following consultations with parents, staff and the wider community.

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They say they are convinced that it offers the very best educational opportunity for the children at both schools, now and in the future.

Mrs Ethelston’s has twice been judged as an outstanding school by Ofsted inspectors.

Mrs Rice said: “The new federation will ensure Mrs Ethelston’s is even stronger in the future and well placed to gain a third outstanding judgement from Ofsted whilst we are aiming for St Andrew’s to receive the same accolade on its next inspection.

“The federation will ensure strong leadership and high standards in teaching and learning whilst maintaining each school’s individual ethos and values.”

Mrs Rice said some of the benefits of federation would be:

* Wider opportunities to enhance pupils’ education through joint school projects, residentials, sports and creative arts projects

* Pupils can meet and work as a part of a larger group

* Leadership will be secured for the future

* Staff expertise in specialist areas will be enhanced and will raise standards

* Staff will have greater career opportunities which will enable the schools to keep valued staff

* The individual budgets of each school can be used more effectively and creatively to support children’s progress with shared resources and facilities benefiting all pupils.

The federation will have one governing body with representation for the parents and staff of both schools, community governors and local authority governors.