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Safety, Learning and Respect - our three values. Thornhill Primary School is proud to be part of the West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust


Federating the Governing Boards of Arlecdon School and Thornhill School.



The Multi-Academy Trust and Governing Boards of Arlecdon Primary School and Thornhill Primary School have agreed to consider the views of parents, staff and the local community on federating. The proposal is to federate the schools from 30th June 2020 and the Governors of both schools would welcome your views.


This paper sets out what Federation would mean and how you can make your views known.


What is Federation?


A Federation is a formal agreement between two or more schools or academies to work in partnership to raise standards, find new ways of improving teaching and learning, and build on the strengths and cultures of each school.


In this proposed Governing Board Federation, the schools would remain separate schools within the Trust, each retaining their own budget and buildings.


The proposals would mean that the schools would continue to have the Executive Head Teacher, Mrs Figes, and the same management but a combined governing body working in the best interests of both schools and their pupils.


Federation is not an amalgamation of schools and does not involve the closure of either school.


Federation allows partner schools to work together and combine the strengths of both schools through sharing a Governing Body, Head teacher and other resources.


We already share the Head Teacher and so this is the next logical step; to share our collective experience of governance.


Why Federate?

Both schools have been working in a formal collaboration for some time and we already share a Head Teacher and there have been benefits to pupils, staff and budgets at both schools achieved through the collaboration exercise.


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


Federation the Governing Board can also support existing staff members in developing their skills and expertise across the two schools, which releases strategic capacity for the Head Teacher. Teaching staff can also support each other, sharing curriculum expertise.


How would the Federation be organised?


The two schools would still be separate schools legally within the Multi-Academy Trust and would keep their present names so pupils would be registered either at Arlecdon Primary School or Thornhill Primary School. Each school would retain its ethos and identity albeit it is felt that these are closely aligned.


Admissions to each school would still be made separately. Cumbria County Council would continue to be responsible for admissions to both schools and both schools would be treated separately for the purposes of OFSTED.


A new single Federated Governing Board would be created in line with the Frequently Asked Questions document made available with this letter. It is important that both schools and their communities are represented, and this opportunity is for governors to ensure that fair representation and the required mix of skills are possible.


It is hoped that many existing governors will express an interest in being part of the Federated Governing Board.


School staff would continue to be employed by the Trust and would be under the direction of the Executive Head Teacher.


On 29th May the responses to the survey monkey will be analysed. The Trust Board and Governing Boards of both schools will meet together after the consultation period to consider the responses and the best way to Federate.


An announcement will be made about the decision by Monday 8th June 2020.


How You Can Find Out More

Attached to this letter is a Frequently Asked Questions paper. We hope you will find the answers to your questions in there. If you don’t then please e-mail  and someone will reply. We will also add your question and the response to the ongoing FAQ which will appear on each school website.


How to Make Your Views Known

Please follow the link below and complete the short survey monkey.


The closing date for responses is 29th May 2020.


Claire Moorfoot                                   Owen David

Chair of Governors                             Chair of Governors

Thornhill School                                  Arlecdon School