Schools investigate a federation

A FEDERATION could be formed between two Nailsea schools after the governing bodies decided not to merge them into one.

The future of Grove Junior School and Hannah More Infants School in Whiteoak Way has been under consideration since the junior school headteacher, Robert Bailey, announced he would will retire in March.

The governors for both schools have held detailed discussions about the options available to better manage the schools following his retirement, one of which was to form a federation and another was to amalgamate the schools into one new primary school.

Following a number of meetings, the governing bodies of both schools have opted to investigate a federation, which would see the schools maintain their separate identities, budgets and Ofsted inspections but be governed by one body allowing them to work together more closely.

Grove Junior School’s chairman of governors, Louise Dumbell said: “We felt that a federation was the way of doing evolution rather than revolution.

“We will be showing that the schools are working together more closely without going through the potential trauma of closing one or both schools and starting a new school.

“We will have one single governing body, we will have a single ethos, vision and standards for the two schools, which should give a more seamless transition between the infants and the juniors.

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“There will be better continuity and more sharing of best practice from staff from both schools.

“It would be a very big school if we merged.”

In September, when Grove Junior School is expected to have 331 pupils and Hannah More Infants’ School 215, a consultation document will be sent out to all parents.

They will have six weeks to give any comments before they are considered by the governing bodies and a final decision is made. Any changes are planned to be implemented at the end of March, following Mr Bailey’s retirement.