Beckley and Peasmarsh schools’ governors set to merge

Governors of Peasmarsh Primary School (pictured) will merge with Beckley Primary School's. Photo courtesy of the school
Governors of Peasmarsh Primary School (pictured) will merge with Beckley Primary School's. Photo courtesy of the school

Beckley and Peasmarsh Primary Schools will be merging their governing bodies and create a federation to oversee the schools’ leadership.

The governors will be combined from April 1, after they voted in favour on Friday (February 26).

The schools themselves will not be merging, it is just the leadership who appoint the head teachers and control the budget.

In a letter to parents, the Beckley governors’ chairman Jane Burnett and Peasmarsh’s equivalent Paul Stout said the merge will benefit pupils and staff.

“We believe that this decision will enable the two schools to build on the current partnership working and provide opportunities to develop more innovative and exciting ways of working together for the benefit of pupils and staff,” the letter said.

“The federation will also provide an opportunity to develop strong sustainable leadership which will give the two schools greater security.

“Each school will continue to retain its own unique character, traditions, budget and performance targets and will have separate Ofsted inspections.”

Karen Bye will become the federation’s leader alongside current Peasmarsh head teacher Catherine Allison until July.

The head teachers from September will be appointed in due course and it is unclear whether it will be Mrs Allison and Beckley head teacher Cathy Cremin.

It is hoped the full complement of governors will be in place before the Easter holidays.

The current admissions processes will remain the same and the admitting authority will continue to be East Sussex County Council.

The decision comes after a six-week consultation that ended on Tuesday, February 23.

Ms Burnett and Mr Stout’s letter said the federation will offer many mutual benefits and opportunities including more secure leadership and jobs for ‘valued staff.

As well as improved standards and pupil achievement through a shared curriculum planning and the individual budgets of each school can be used more effectively and creatively to support children’s progress.

Pupils’ personal development will be supported by enabling them to meet and work as part of a larger group in preparation for secondary school, and it will logistical sense as transport can be shared, the letter claims.

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