Village schools propose a merger

TWO DEVON village primaries want to launch a pioneering educational partnership to enhance their pupils learning. The governors of Filleigh Primary and Chittlehampton Church of England Primary are considering working more closely together by forming a f

TWO DEVON village primaries want to launch a pioneering educational partnership to enhance their pupils' learning.

The governors of Filleigh Primary and Chittlehampton Church of England Primary are considering working more closely together by forming a federation.

They say the proposal would ensure the quality and continuity of leadership for both schools while maintaining high standards in teaching and learning and enhancing pupils' overall educational experience.

While each school's unique individual ethos and values would be maintained, there would be greater opportunities to share the skills of individual staff across both schools under Executive Head teacher Steve Mellor and a single governing body.


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A new head of teaching and learning will be appointed to work across both schools.

Mr Mellor, who is currently head of Filleigh, will become Executive Headt eacher of both schools in January in a management partnership following Chittlehampton head Jayne Kyle's move to a new headship.

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The Federation would come into effect in April if it is approved by parents and governors.

A wide-ranging consultation exercise has now been launched for parents and the wider community to have their say on the plan.

It has already won the backing of the heads and governing bodies of the two schools. They want to introduce the federation from April 2010.

Filleigh chairman of governors Michael Huntingford, and Chittlehampton chairman of governors Rob Paynter, together with Mr Mellor and Mrs Kyle, said: "We would like to propose this federation to sustain the quality of leadership, while maintaining and developing high standards in teaching and learning."

The schools say the benefits include the chance to:

* Raise standards and pupil achievement through joint curriculum planning and staff professional development, collaborative working, shared projects and residential visits

* Broaden the opportunities for pupils' personal development and wellbeing by, for example, enabling them to work as part of a larger group prior to moving to secondary school

* Maintain and further develop the quality of leadership across both schools using staff expertise in areas such as special needs, languages, creative arts and science to raise standards

* Establish a sustainable and viable future for the schools based on sound financial management

* Further develop and extend resources, facilities and services for children and families in the community including a wider range of extra curricular activities, trips and clubs

The consultations include presentations at Chittlehampton School on Monday at 6.30pm and at Filleigh on Thursday, December 10 at 5pm.

Drop-in sessions will be held at both schools on Monday and Tuesday, December 14 and 15 between 9am and 10am and 2.30pm and 3.30pm

Comments on the proposal should be made to the chairmen of governors at each school by 3.30 pm on Friday, January 22, 2010.

The governors will then meet to discuss the consultation with a final decision being made at the beginning of February.

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