From September 2015 Shipston Primary and Acorns Primary will be working in closer collaborative with one of our neighbouring schools, Brailes C of E Primary School.
We have had a very positive experience since federating with Acorns Primary in Long Compton in 2011. The move to work with Acorns continues to bring benefits to pupils in both Shipston and Long Compton, at a time when rural schools are being put under increasing financial pressure.
By working together we have been able to strengthen our leadership team and build capacity, having an Associate Head at each school but overseen by Christian Hilton as Executive Headteacher; save money by achieving economies of scale and, most importantly, raise standards for our children, who have benefited from shared expertise and specialist education provision and resources across both schools.
An opportunity arose in April 2015 to work with Brailes C of E Primary School, commencing in September 2015. Brailes has been rated by Ofsted as Good.
Brailes cannot officially join our Federation as maintained schools and academies are not permitted to federate. In addition, they would have to convert to academy status to join our multi-academy trust, which requires more detailed consideration. Therefore we have formed a collaborative partnership with Brailes C of E Primary School for an initial period of two years, with Brailes retaining a separate governing body and receiving support from the Diocese and Local Authority. Brailes, Shipston and Acorns will be led by Christian Hilton as Executive Headteacher, who will work across all three schools. Mr. Hilton will be based at Shipston three days a week, and one day a week each at Long Compton and Brailes.
While Mr. Hilton will spend half a day less at Shipston and Acorns, each school will have a dedicated Associate Headteacher. For Shipston Primary this will be Mr. Roberts, for Acorns Mrs. Young and for Brailes Mrs. Childs will be seconded for the initial two year period. Brailes will reimburse Shipston and Acorns for Mr. Hilton’s and Mrs. Childs’ time.
Although this is an exciting prospect, our Federated Board of Governors has been rigorous in its scrutiny of such a partnership. Any change has to be in the interests of Shipston and Acorns pupils and having explored this fully, the board feels that the partnership would bring benefits to all three schools.
Each school will continue to retain its own separate identity, uniform and admissions policy. However, behind the scenes we will all work towards the common goal of raising standards together, and as we share expertise, leadership and resources we hope you will notice a difference for the better.