Federation Q and A

Proposal on the hard federation

of St James the Great Catholic Primary School, Peckham and St John’s Catholic Primary School, Rotherhithe.

We are proposing a hard federation for the two schools. What does it all mean?

What is a Hard Federation?

Hard Federation is the name given to a way of bringing schools closer together. It means from a leadership, and governing body point of view, the schools will be one.

It does not mean the two schools will merge or amalgamate.

What will it mean?

  • The two schools will not merge to become one school. They both will retain their own identity.
  • There will be no change to the name of the two schools.
  • There will be no change in current staffing levels, class organisation or curriculum organisation as a direct result of federation.
  • There will be no reduction in budgets and each school will continue to receive its own individual school budget.
  • There will be no change to admissions criteria – the Governing Body will continue to be the Admissions Authority for both schools and criteria will reflect the individual character of each school.
  • Each school will have its own Ofsted inspection.
  • The reporting of standards will remain separate for each school.


What are the benefits?

The main benefits are:

  • Less bureaucracy.
  • Under a Federated structure there would be one governing body instead of two and this will help us manage governance better.
  • Development opportunities for staff – for example, shared training and broadening of staff understanding and experience through collaboration with the other school.
  • Sharing of good practice from each school in developing teaching and learning.
  • Opportunities for children to learn from one another through shared learning activities.
  • Opportunity for both schools to keep improving and moving forwards.
  • Sharing resources will provide improved value for money.
  • Sustaining and developing quality leadership in both schools.


What will it mean for the children?

  • On a day-to-day basis there will be no change in routine or provision in either school.
  • There will be opportunities to share staff ideas across the two schools, which will give access to a much larger pool of knowledge as there will be the chance to share specialist knowledge across the two schools.
  • Children will therefore have access to more opportunities for good quality learning.
  • There are also opportunities to use school resources and budgets more efficiently.
  • The two schools are different, however, and we believe that a hard federation will enable each school to learn from the other, to the benefit of both sets of pupils.


What will it mean for the staff?

  • Most day-to-day management will continue as it is now arranged. However, there will be opportunities for staff to get involved across both schools over time and this will provide career progression for staff, enabling them to extend themselves and to co­operate with colleagues on another school site.


Will the staffing change?

  • Ms. Babb will continue to be the Executive Headteacher over both schools, with Ms. Jajechnyk as Head of School responsible for day-to-day leadership and management. They will be assisted by the School Leadership Team.
  • We are not going to ask any staff to move from one school to the other, but we may ask some staff to take their specialist knowledge into the other school, so that we can share best practice.
  • If we decide in the future that we will have one Headteacher in each school, we can do that.
  • There will be no redundancies as a result of both schools federating.

What will it mean for parents/carers?

  • Hard federation will mean that the two schools will continue to operate as usual and that parents/carers of both schools will continue to receive the same high level of quality provision.
  • It is expected the schools will become stronger and continue to share good practice.
  • Better opportunities for learning mean that children can be helped to overcome barriers to learning because resources can be shared across the two schools.
  • The retention of quality staff would ensure a continued high standard of education for the pupils at both schools.


What will it mean for the Governing Body?

  • The two current governing bodies will end, and be replaced with one governing body made up of representatives from both schools.
  • Separate governor committee(s) made of governors from the main governing body will be established for each school and report to the main governing body.
  • The number of current governors will not change for St John’s School considering that we have struggled to recruit foundation governors.


What do the Governors think?

  • Both sets of governors unanimously support the proposal to consult on federation.
  • We feel there is a shared caring ethos, child centred philosophy and commitment to providing excellent education opportunities.
  •  Federation would offer security to both schools, and provide them with an excellent foundation on which to continue to move forward.
  • Federation will improve governance at both schools as experienced governors share their expertise.


What happens now?

  • This document is the start of a three week consultation period on the proposal to federate. All written comments will be considered by the Governors when the three weeks end on 4th July 2015 and they will then decide whether to proceed or not.
  • If we do proceed, a new, unified governing body will come into operation and we will inform the Local Authority and the Diocese that we wish to federate.


How can I get more information or make my voice heard?

  • Staff are welcome to pose questions and make their views known by writing or emailing to the Head of School or the School Office, as well as via the staff notice board.
  • Parents can ask questions or ask for further information either in writing or by email.
  • Anyone can email governors at federation.stjohns@gmail.com

Your views are very important. Please do let us know what you think; whether you agree or disagree with the proposal.