Fingringhoe and Holy Trinity have been working closely together since October 2020 with Mrs Ceri Daniels acting as Interim Head at Fingringhoe on a part time basis while remaining substantive Head at Holy Trinity.
The partnership originally commenced when Fingringhoe was without a headteacher. It has provided stable and experienced leadership for Fingringhoe through this challenging period and enabled its teachers and other staff to focus on developing practice to provide quality education for all.
For Holy Trinity, the partnership has allowed leaders to work collegiately with each other, setting developing and broadening their own skill set and to bring new, fresh ideas back to the school to enhance its practice. Staff across the two schools have been able to work together, sharing experience and expertise, and this has been valuable to both schools.
Both Boards foresee that Federation will allow us to maintain and develop the opportunities and benefits which we have gained during the existing partnership. Each school will retain its own unique character, traditions, uniforms and performance targets, and will have separate Ofsted inspections.
Why we think federation is right:
We are aware of many examples of schools thriving under formal partnerships in Essex and beyond. We believe that there are a range of benefits for pupils, schools, families and staff and research evidence from other federations supports this belief. Some of the benefits we can see coming from the proposed federation are:
• Improved educational standards for pupils through sharing of expertise and structured staff development across the schools.
• Increased opportunities to attract and retain high quality staff and improved career development.
• Extra capacity to offer a broad, balanced curriculum to children from both schools, sharing facilities and the skills of staff.
• Financial economies of scale and value for money.
• Shared leadership – a single headship across both schools is more secure and sustainable than for one school alone, a particularly important issue for small rural primary schools who often struggle to appoint quality leaders.
• Shared expertise and efficient working of a joint governing body.
• Improved links between our communities. Opportunities for children to work more regularly with pupils from the other school.
• Enhancement of each school’s ethos through access to a wider variety of both academic and personal experience.
• Federation can help small rural schools, such as ours, to remain sustainable and viable on separate sites. It can also help develop an outward-looking, collaborative attitude to the world outside of our communities.
How the new arrangement would work:
The leadership and governance of the Federation would be:
● An Executive Headteacher across the two schools, with overall strategic and operational responsibility for both schools
● A Head of School in each school, with day to day leadership responsibility for their school and being a member of the Federation leadership team
● A senior teacher in each school, working with the Executive Headteacher and Head of School, appropriate to the needs and size of the school
● A single Governing Board for the Federation, which will include representation by parents of each school, staff, a Local Authority governor, and foundation/co-opted governors, and which will take overall responsibility for both schools within the Federation
Following the Joint Steering Committee’s investigations, the Governing Boards of both schools have voted to progress to the next stage in the federation process, by beginning a formal consultation. Parents will receive a letter is to invite them to participate in the consultation on a proposal from the Governing Boards of Fingringhoe and Holy Trinity Schools that they should form a Federation, making permanent the current interim arrangement between the two schools.
This consultation commences Wednesday 28th April 2021 and closes on Wednesday 14th July 2021.