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Proposed Hard Federation of Nell Gwynn Nursery School and Ann Bernadt Nursery School

Proposed Hard Federation of Nell Gwynn Nursery School and Ann Bernadt Nursery School

“Federation of Peckham Nursery Schools”
Hard Federation Proposal Consultation Document

Issued on 13 October 2015

Background

In July 2013 the Governors of both schools met and decided to form a Soft Federation. This has now been in existence for two years.

Both Governing bodies have decided to enter a formal consultation process towards the possibility of the two schools forming a Hard Federation, “Federation of Peckham Nursery Schools”, to start on 30th January 2016.  This consultation is open to all interested parties in the schools.

The time is now right to explore the possibility of strengthening and formalising the relationship through consulting the wider community on forming a Hard Federation.


What is a Hard Federation?

A Hard Federation is a formal agreement between two or more schools to work together.  Through this proposal, the partnership of the two schools would be led and managed under the direction of a single Governing Body. However, each of the schools in federation would continue to retain its individual identity and school budget, as well as continue to receive separate inspection reports. Entering into a Hard Federation would ensure a single shared vision, equity of provision and expectations across both schools; and enable pupils to achieve the best possible outcomes across both of the partner schools.

The proposal for Hard Federation would formalise and strengthen the Soft Federation for reasons of the following:-

  • One joint governing body for the Federation, which will have a strategic overview of the whole of the two schools
  • Further opportunities for shared staffing and resources going forward

The proposed size of the Governing Body of the Federation is thirteen; comprising:-

  • One authority governor
  • Eight co-opted governors
  • Two parent governors (one parent of a pupil in each school in the federation)
  • One Executive Headteacher
  • One Staff Governor

The two Heads of School would become Associate Members of the Governing Body.  The Governing Body reserves the right to appoint other Associate Members to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise.  The Governing Body will accord Associate Members limited voting rights on committees. Although technically having one ‘staff Governor’ senior leaders would ensure that staff from both schools were represented in one form or another .

It is proposed that the Hard Federation arrangement between the two schools would begin on 30th January 2016.  No time limit is to be set as to the length of the period of Hard Federation


What are the benefits for the schools and the children?

The capacity created by a Hard Federation would continue to help improve education for all pupils.

There would be the ability to share resources, this has in fact begun with shared staff meetings and input from subject leaders, which would further enhance opportunities for pupils at each school. Research indicates that when schools federate, progress and achievement for children increase significantly.

Both schools are currently rated as “Good” by Ofsted, Governors believe that Hard Federation would significantly contribute to the sustainability of further improvement of each school without jeopardising the other.


How will it affect staff?

Governors believe an exciting new venture such as this is an attractive option for teachers and support staff looking for a new challenge whilst providing welcome professional development opportunities for the staff of each school.  As a Federation we would be able to recruit high impact and talented staff with the flexibility of working across both schools.


Is there a risk that the Senior Leadership Team will be too thinly spread?

No.  The Hard Federation will have a strong Senior Leadership Team structure.  The Governing Body and the Local Education Authority will work closely together to ensure that the Senior Team is appropriately supported.  This can only be of benefit to all pupils and their families.  The importance of either individual school is not diminished in any way.


Is there a risk that one of the schools will lose out in this arrangement?

No the aim of the Hard Federation is for the schools to work together in a full and equal partnership in order to continue to grow stronger together.  The structure of the Hard Federation will enable resources to be appropriately and fairly shared across both schools.  The single combined Governing Body would ensure each school’s interests were fully and equally represented.  The proposed size of the Federation Governing Body is operationally efficient and would be better placed to serve the strategic development of both schools.


How can I comment on these proposals?

Verbal comments may be made and recorded within the body of the governor’s meeting.  Written representation may be made to the Chair of Governors for each school care of the school office. Governors can be contacted by email at annbernadtgovernors@gmail.com

Parental consultation will be held during Autumn 2015.

Please respond by Friday 20th November

In December the governors of both schools will meet to vote on whether to enter a Hard Federation having carefully considered the views of all interested parties.

Issued on 13 October 2015