Why did we collaborate?

A body of research funded by the DFE and carried out by the Eastern Leadership Centre in 2009 recognised similar challenges that, as small schools, we face:

  • The multiple roles played by the headteacher, often including a large teaching commitment
  • Difficulties in recruiting heads and other staff
  • Limited capacity to respond to some national initiatives
  • Increased vulnerability caused by falling roles
  • Fewer opportunities for delegation and professional development within a small staff.

 

There are many advantages for the pupils at a small school including: better child:adult ratios, an ability to better focus on the 'whole child' and to promote independence. Both schools also recognised challenges that pupils faced in small schools incuding:

  • Fewer opportunities for collaboration with peers
  • Fewer opportunities for competitive sport
  • Lack of 'scales of economy' when looking for future areas to develop/ inspire children

 

Through collaboration, we are able to:

  • Provide broader and richer experiences for pupils
  • Widen opportunities for collaborative staff development at school level
  • Enable more effective staff succession planning
  • Generate value for money savings

 

The document quotes a headteacher saying, "(It's) not just about sustaining what you've got, it's about moving the schools on." That is the overarching reason why we believe that a formal collaboration between the schools is best for the children.