How is the collaboration going?
We became a formal collaboration in September 2017 and, after a year of working more closely together, we have benefited in a number of areas which leads us to exploring the option of federation:
The schools have worked closely together to raise the standards of both schools using the expertise of senior teachers. This takes the form of informal and formal discussions and observations. Albury has a very strong Year 5/6 teacher who has been able to support a high quality teacher in Puller Memorial who is new to the year group. Puller Memorial has a strong EYFS leader who has been able to support another strong teacher at Albury who is new to the Early Years. Albury and Puller Memorial also have experienced teachers who have taught in Years 1-4 and able to support across the schools and 2 NQTs.
We have joint school development plans with common aims where objectives are shared out amongst the teachers of both schools to research and implement in their own classes before sharing across the collaboration. This shared thinking across the schools has led to much quicker development and improvement than previously.
It has been easier to implement consistency of expectations and standards across the schools as there are current working practices that have been shared.
Albury and Puller Memorial share non-contracted staff across the sites for art, drama and PE
The headteacher has been able to come out of the classroom (previously teaching for 5 mornings at Albury) and have a better view of where and how to improve standards across the schools.
Albury had a strong OFSTED of ‘Good’ in April 2018.
We have been able to share costs across the schools, be more flexible and get slightly better rates. An example of this is with our HIP contract where we were able to get a cheaper rate by buying days across the schools. We have also been able to change the number of days that each school gets in order to focus the support where it is most needed.
We negotiated a better rate using Target Tracker and were also able to save money by only sending one person on the training who then shared this across the schools.
The ability for teachers to share ideas and resources across the collaboration has meant that teachers have been able to cut down on the amount of time spent working individually.
GovernorsMoving to a federation, would mean that the governors across the schools will be able to work more closely together in identifying more areas where collaboration is possible.