Big schools shake-up

10:48 23 February 2012

Withycombe School

Withycombe School

Archant

One of Exmouth’s best schools and one of its most improved, could go into partnership with a single headteacher at the helm and one board of governors.

One of Exmouth’s best schools and one of its most improved, could go into partnership with a single headteacher at the helm and one board of governors.

The federation, between Withycombe Raleigh C of E Primary School and Littleham C of E Primary School, would improve pupil’s education say governors.

Schools watchdog Ofsted rates the 450-strong Withycombe school as outstanding.

While under the stewardship of Duncan Nelmes and his predecessor Penny Hickman, the 82-pupil Littleham School is now ranked ‘good’ and has gone from strength-to-strength.

The federation would be led by Withycombe Raleigh head, Stephen Powley, as executive headteacher of both schools.

Duncan Nelmes would be director of learning at Littleham and the governing board would have representatives from each school.

However, the move could depend on the outcome of a consultation where parents and the community can have their say.

The process kicks off with two parents meetings next week, and concludes on April 17.

But, despite the management changes, governors say that each school’s unique ethos, values and admissions procedures would be maintained.

They say the plans make sense because both have ‘strong Christian values’ and the knowledge and skills gained from working closely with another school would help maintain and improve standards.

The partnership would mean that the combined facilities could increase the numbers of pre-school and after-school activities.

Both schools would be able to tap into the experience, skills and knowledge of a wider pool of teachers.

Headteacher of Withycombe Raleigh C of E Primary School, Stephen Powley, said “We are looking forward to hearing the views of parents and the community regarding a federation.

“Both are church schools and we often work in partnership within the Exmouth Learning Community.

“We are excited about the benefits this would bring. As schools, our focus remains the high standards of teaching and learning, and putting children first.”

Headteacher of Littleham C of E Primary School, Duncan Nelmes, said: “We are looking forward to hearing the responses to our proposed federation. As a school, we are obviously excited about the potential benefits the federation could offer.”

The meeting at Littleham is on Monday, February 27, at 6.30pm, and at Withycombe Raleigh on Wednesday, February 29, at 4pm.

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