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The Governing Bodies of Middleham CE (VA) Primary School and Spennithorne CE (VC) Primary School are consulting parents, staff and the local community on a proposal to change how the two schools are led and managed.

The proposal is to federate the two schools from September 2018 and we would welcome your views on whether we should go forward with this idea.


This paper sets out what Federation would mean and how you can make your views known. The consultation has the support of North Yorkshire County Council which maintains the two schools, and both the County Council staff and the Diocese are helping the Governing Bodies with the analysis of the consultation results. 


What is Federation?

A federation is a formal agreement where two schools work together for the benefit of all pupils and school communities. Two schools are governed by one governing body with one headteacher.


There is no blueprint for federation – each federation will be tailored to meet the needs of the different schools and communities involved. 


In this proposed Federation, the two schools will remain legally separate schools each with their own:

  • identity and ethos
  • budget
  • buildings


Why Federation?


The two schools have been working as a collaboration since 1 September 2017. Staff and children already share many aspects of school including planning, sporting activities, trips etc. However, the Federation would create a formal partnership to support all learners, staff and the wider community. 


The shared governing body can provide an effective and accountable mechanism for the two schools to combine resources, purchasing, systems and staff, which release strategic capacity for the Headteacher. 

 Sharing the leadership and management would mean a joint approach to teaching and learning, drawing on the best ideas from each in developing wider curriculum opportunities for all pupils. 




Both schools wish to keep their identity but keep the name as succinct as possible.  It was confirmed that VC and VA need to be written in full in the name.  The name of the governing body will therefore be:

‘Federation of Middleham Voluntary Aided and Spennithorne Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary Schools’


As school budgets are funded largely by pupil numbers, a Federation between the two schools would allow the schools to sustain a broad and balanced curriculum and to be used more efficiently by making savings through a joint approach. 


A new joint Governing Body would be created made up of 12 governors. The new governing body would be formed under the 2012 Federation Regulations and be representative of both schools.  Provisionally, it would include the following categories:  

Type of Governor


Elected Parent Governors




Elected Staff Governor


Local Authority




Co-opted Governors


This will be reviewed regularly and amended when required.


Co-opted governors are appointed based on their skills and experiences.  Co-opted Governors can be staff, parents, and other members of the communities as appropriate. 


Existing staff would be consulted about any proposed change to their terms and conditions of employment as in the future it could be expected that some staff may work in both schools.

Newly appointed staff would be appointed to the Federation. Staff would benefit from shared training opportunities.

A clerk to the governing body will be employed .


Next Steps


The Governing Bodies of Spennithorne (VC) Primary School and Middleham CE (VA) Primary School will meet together on Monday 26th March 2018 to consider the responses to this Consultation Proposal. Each governing body will meet separately to decide whether to proceed. An announcement will be made on their decision after this date. If it is decided to proceed the Federation would start in September 2018. 




How you can find out more


Open meetings will be held on Wednesday February 21st 2018 at 5.30pm at Middleham School and at 6.30pm at Spennithorne..  


How to make your views known


You are welcomed and encouraged to attend the meeting. If you are unable to attend, we would appreciate  any written responses you might have.


Please complete the attached response sheet and return in an envelope addressed ‘Federation Proposal’ to either: 


Spennithorne VC CE Primary School, Spennithorne, Leyburn, DL8 5PR


 Middleham VA CE Primary School, Park Lane, Middleham, Leyburn DL8 4QX


The closing date for responses is Friday March 23rd 2018 


















Garry Webster                                    Lesley Sweeting

Vice-Chair of Governors                   Chair of Governors

Spennithorne CE Primary School     Middleham CE Primary School 

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