Dear Parents / Carers,
It is now three years since the Governors of both Bildeston and Whatfield Schools decided to form a Collaboration.
As a Collaboration we have shared a Head Teacher and worked hard to forge closer working links that create improved learning opportunities for pupils as well as allowing teachers to share best practice and access a greater breadth of professional development.
During the three years of the Collaboration the Governing bodies of both schools have regularly evaluated the progress of the collaboration and are very pleased with how the arrangement has been working. So far it has delivered improvement in both schools budgets, staff and pupils have commented on the extra opportunities that have opened up to them and we have seen improved progress in pupils learning. Bildeston Schools’ recent OFSTED Inspection commented on the value of the arrangement and the benefits it has brought to the school.
The Collaboration has meant that both schools have kept their usual arrangements for meetings etc. and this has come at a cost which is largely related to the time that has to be spent in meetings by the Head Teacher, Staff and Governors as a consequence of running two separate Governing Bodies.
At meetings earlier this term the Governing Body of both schools voted to formally explore making the Collaboration more permanent by becoming a Federation. This will ultimately see both schools come under one Governing Body.
Although the Governing Bodies have voted to explore forming a Federation it does not mean that the decision is final. The final decision will be taken by both Governing Bodies after all necessary consultations have taken place.
The Governors see this as the next natural step for both Schools. From a day to day perspective there is likely to be little visible change. From behind the scenes it will enable us to improve the efficiency of people’s time whether this is in lesson and curriculum planning, budget monitoring, personnel planning or in overall Governance of the schools.
The exploration towards becoming a Federation will start in mid-September when there will be a statutory 6 week consultation period for staff and parents/carers. You will be able to ask questions and consider the plans for the future. With the term ending at the end of next week we wanted to make you aware of our thinking before the summer break.
Please look out in the autumn term for more information and details of times where there will be opportunities to ask any questions that you might have.
May we wish you all a fantastic end to the term and a relaxing summer break.
Ros Cohen (Chair Of Governors – Bildeston) & Phil Clark (Chair Of Governors - Whatfield)