South Molton schools get together

SCHOOLS in the South Molton area are taking part in an important series of trials which could help strengthen the position of small rural schools across the country. The town s infant and junior schools - along with primary schools in Bishops Nympton, Bra

SCHOOLS in the South Molton area are taking part in an important series of trials which could help strengthen the position of small rural schools across the country.

The town's infant and junior schools - along with primary schools in Bishops Nympton, Brayford, Chittlehampton, East Anstey, Filleigh, North Molton, Swimbridge Umberleigh, and Chulmleigh Community College - are working together to test two new school leadership models.

These could allow clusters of rural schools to work together to share and maximise often limited resources.

If the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) trials are successful, they could help safeguard the future of small rural schools and the communities they serve in Devon and beyond.


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Toby Salt, deputy chief executive of NCSL, said: "We often think of inner city schools when we think of those in challenging circumstances, yet rural schools also have difficulties that they must face.

"Schools form an important part of rural communities. With the launch of these rural projects we are taking important steps to strengthen the position of some of our smallest rural schools."

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The North Devon schools are among 60 schools nationwide trialling two new, strategic management roles, an Advanced School Business Manager (ASBM) and a School Business Director (SBD).

As well as introducing a new leadership capacity, ASBMs and SBDs will manage all the non-teaching activity in a school and free up head teachers' time for them to focus on leading teaching and learning.

Mr Salt continued: "By making their impact felt in schools, business managers can make a significant impact beyond the school gates.

"We are already beginning to see evidence of how school business managers, through taking responsibility for an array of non-teaching tasks, can make an invaluable contribution. Whether it be taking on administrative tasks to free up headteachers' time or releasing funds through reorganising service level agreements, all schools stand to benefit."

A full report on the impact of the trials is due to be published early next year.

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