Mayfield Church Of England Primary School

Nurturing relationships, inspiring excellence, achieving potential.

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Saxonbury & Aspire Partnership Statement

In September last year the Saxonbury Federation (comprising Frant and Mark Cross schools) and the Aspire Federation (comprising Mayfield and Five Ashes) announced that they would be entering into a formal partnership.

This statement reiterates the rationale for the partnership and explains some of the benefits already being enjoyed.

The partnership helps us to maintain our village schools with their individual identities, as the heart of our local communities. We cherish our schools and we want them to continue as they are. Children will attend the same school in the same location with the same teachers and support staff as they do now.

Each school will continue to operate as an independent establishment, with their own distinctiveness and ethos. The pupils and staff have a pride in their own school but enjoy working with their peers across the four schools. The staff across the four schools share their expertise and knowledge and work together to provide the best possible education for all the pupils. There is greater capacity to meet individual pupil needs more effectively through access to more resources and expert advice.

Both Saxonbury and Aspire Federations are working together to maximise the learning opportunities for all their pupils. We offer an excellent education for all the pupils within a context of Christian values. As both federations work together we capitalise on the advantages of being part of a larger organisation.

As a group of schools working together we plan to offer a greater range of opportunities and extracurricular activities. The links we have made enable us to offer our pupils a very rich and varied curriculum, which we hope to broaden still further in the future. We encourage the pupils to participate in the arts through local drama, dance and craft events, which provide a way for the pupils to share their talents with a wider audience. We welcome a wide range of visitors into our individual school communities to enhance the pupils’ learning.

All of these aspects and much more ensure our schools are vibrant places, full of opportunity and excitement. The close partnership between the two federations ensures the pupils continue to have these opportunities.

Proposed Federation of Aspire and Saxonbury Federations'Governing Boards.

15th February 2019

Dear Parent/Carer

PROPOSED FEDERATION OF ASPIRE AND SAXONBURY FEDERATIONS’ GOVERNING BOARDS

The governing boards of Aspire and Saxonbury Federations have initiated a proposal that would mean, if agreed, one governing board to oversee both of these federations.

We wanted to take this opportunity to explain our reasons behind this proposal, and offer you the chance to respond. Where four schools federate under one governing board each individual school keeps its separate identity and individual budget. The schools do not amalgamate, but there are greater opportunities for sharing and pooling resources, including staff.

We foresee great opportunities under this proposal for more effective use of resources and for ensuring that the pupils of Five Ashes, Frant, Mark Cross and Mayfield CEP schools have access to a wider and more flexible curriculum. Overall we believe that there are likely to be many benefits to the pupils of all four establishments through a further Federation arrangement.

The benefits of this opportunity to federate will be:

  • Wider opportunities for enhancing the education of the pupils, eg joint school projects, residential trips, sport and creative arts projects
  • Pupils able to meet and work as part of a larger group, eg Year 6 groups from the schools can work together prior to transition to secondary school
  • Further opportunities to share resources, eg video conferencing and transport to different venues and events
  • Leadership will be secured for the future
  • Staff expertise in specialist areas will be enhanced and will raise standards, eg Lead Literacy and Numeracy teachers to work with staff across the schools
  • Staff development opportunities will enable our schools to keep valued staff
  • Community links will be enhanced by the communities working closely together
  • The individual budgets of each school can be used more effectively and creatively to support children’s progress
  • Shared opportunities to provide extracurricular services across the federation, eg sport activities, clubs, etc.

The new arrangement will work as follows:

Mrs Bennett will continue as the Executive Headteacher across the four schools, with each school having its own Head of School.

The membership and make-up of a single governing board will include representation for parents and staff of the schools, foundation governors and a Local Authority appointed governor, whilst a further governor will be co-opted. The Governing Board will in turn be supported by a number of committees comprising both governors and associated members.  Together this group of people will take overall responsibility for all of these schools.

The proposed size of the federated governing board will be 12, made up from

1 Executive Headteacher

2 Parent governors

1 Staff governor

1 Local Authority appointed governor

6 Foundation governors[1]

1 Co-opted governor

The governing board is proposing that the Federation start date would be 1st September 2019.

The admitting authority would continue to be East Sussex Local Authority.

The consultation process

The Governors of the Aspire and Saxonbury Federation Governing Boards are required to set up a consultation process to seek the views of parents, staff, community, the local authority and other key partners such as the Diocesan Board of Education. The consultation process will last six weeks, starting from 25th February 2019. We would welcome your views and invite you to any of the following meetings at any school. The Heads of Schools will be in attendance at the meetings on:

4th March at 9.00am at Mark Cross CEP

5th March at 9.00am at Mayfield CEP

5th March at 7.00pm at Mark Cross CEP

6th March at 7.00pm at Frant CEP

7th March at 9.00am at Frant CEP

7th March at 7.00pm at Mayfield CEP

11th March at 9.00am at Five Ashes CEP

14th March at 7.00pm at Five Ashes CEP

There will be ‘drop-in’ sessions led by the Heads in their individual schools for questions on a one-to-one basis on:

20th March 9.00 – 10.00am at Mayfield CEP

25th March 9.00 – 10.00am at Five Ashes CEP

26th March 3.00 – 4.00pm at Frant CEP

26th March 3.00 – 4.00pm at Mark Cross CEP

Written responses should be addressed to ‘The Chair of Governors’ of your Federation[2] and must be received by 4pm on April 5th 2019.  A copy of this letter will be available on each school’s website.

It is the Governors who will make the final decision, drawing upon a broad evidence base, including the views of parents. Each governing board from each federation makes its own decision. As with most governing board decisions this is a simple majority vote taken at a quorate meeting of the governing board.

We look forward to hearing from you and will, of course, keep you fully informed regarding our final decision.

 

[1] Final number awaiting a decision of the Diocesan Board of Education

[2] drobson@mayfieldcep.e-sussex.sch.uk  or  a.holton@markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk