Cedar Tree Federation - a partnership from January 2020
Over three past years the leaders of Pinhoe C of E (VA) Primary School and Woodbury C of E (VA) Primary School have worked in partnership to develop each school. Financial demands and the desire to extend opportunities for our staff and children have led to our schools making the decision to work more formally together in a federation.
More recently, the governing bodies of both schools have discussed the many ways in which both schools could benefit by making the partnership a more permanent arrangement. Over the Summer of 2019 there was a consultation and the outcome of this process was that the two schools federated in January 2020 and become Cedar Tree Federation.
What is a federation?
A federation is a family of schools, with each school retaining its unique character within its own community; its own name and uniform. Each school will have a separate Ofsted and Church inspections and the performance data is published separately.
The current admissions process will remain the same with children being admitted to each school under their individual Admissions Policy. The schools within the federation will share one governing board consisting of representatives from both school communities and ensuring that the Christian distinctiveness of both schools will continue to be upheld.
There is no single blue print for federation; each federation is tailored to the needs of the different schools and communities that are involved. There are currently approximately 35 federations across Devon, involving over 80 schools, with the first federations in Devon forming in 2006 and many others considering this as a successful sustainable model for their school’s future.
We are proposing to federate to ensure continuing strong leadership and high standards in teaching and learning whilst maintaining each school’s individual ethos and values.
What are the benefits be for our schools?
- Sharing strong and proven leadership;
- Sharing teaching expertise;
- Availability of teaching resources;
- Increasing opportunities for the children to mix with a wider group both academically and socially;
- Greater access to a wider range of resources and opportunities to make some savings to reinvest in children’s learning;
- Joint planning and curriculum development opportunities for staff;
- Joint training of staff to impact on children’s’ learning;
How does this work?
From January 2020, Sian Lane, previously the Headteacher at Pinhoe, became the Executive Headteacher, leading both schools. There is a full-time non-teaching Head of School within each school. At Pinhoe this is Mel Johns and at Woodbury this is Gillian Pyle.
The Heads of School focus their energies on the day to day leadership of the school teaching, learning and standards. They will both be supported by Assistant Headteachers who will have some teaching responsibility.
There is an Executive Business Manager, Rachel Hingston, who has been the Business Manager at Pinhoe for the last seven years and will lead non teaching operations, across the Federation, supported by an Administration Manager at Woodbury and two experienced and committed office teams.
The Federation has one governing board composed of representatives from each school community. The make-up of the governing board has to adhere to Regulations.
The membership of this single governing board includes representation for parents and staff, foundation (church) governors, co-opted governors and a local authority governor. The governing board will have overall responsibility for both schools within the federation.
The size of the federated governing body is 16 as follows:
2 Parent governors
1 Staff governor
1 Local Authority appointed governor
9 Foundation governors (to include an ExOfficio)
2 Co-opted governors