The governing bodies at two Brighton schools are to federate or merge after months of consultation and discussion.
Hertford Infant School and Hertford Junior School will remain separate schools despite the decision taken by a joint meeting of the two governing bodies yesterday (Monday 15 May).
In a joint press release the governors of the two schools said: “The governors of Hertford Infant and Nursery School and Hertford Junior School are delighted to announce that they have formally agreed to federate as governing bodies.
“The federation of governing bodies was agreed at a joint governing body meeting in Hollingdean on Monday 15 May, after the formal consultation process was concluded.
“Discussions have been ongoing since last September, which have included extensive consultation, including with staff, parents and other stakeholders, as well as careful research of the potential advantages and disadvantages for the schools.”
Claire Taylor, who chairs the governing body of Hertford Infant School, said: “Our priority has always been to put the interest of the children first.
“We can see many benefits for the children in the governing bodies joining and serving both schools together, as part of the children’s journey in education throughout these crucial years of school.”
Carl Chambers, chair of governors at Hertford Junior School, said: “We are excited at the potential benefits not just for the children but also for the staff and other operational elements of the two schools. We really do think that we can make 1+1=3.”
They said: “Federation means that the two governing bodies will cease to be separate governing bodies, becoming one single governing body over the two schools.
“Each school will retain its own independence, including budget. All existing employment contracts remain unchanged.
“The key difference is that one governing body will oversee policies and practises in both schools.
“Governors will be able to use their skills of analysis and encouragement across both schools, with the ability to introduce consistency where they decide this is beneficial.
“In time, it will be possible to offer ‘partnership contracts’ to staff, thus providing a more attractive professional development path.
“For instance, teachers will be able to teach in either school. It will be also possible for certain roles to be shared between the schools.”
Hertford Infant School, in Barnett Road, Hollingdean, was rated outstanding by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in May 2012.
Hertford Junior School, in Lynchet Close, Hollingdean, was rated good at its last inspection in January 2015.
Each school currently has two-form entry – an intake of about 60 pupils a year.