Federating Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Penybryn (Dyffryn Ogwen Catchment area)

Following the decision taken by the Headteacher of Ysgol Abercaseg to leave her post at the end of the Spring term 2016, the Governing Body of Ysgol Abercaseg sought advice from the Education Department of Gwynedd Council. Consequently, a series of meetings were held with the governing bodies of Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn to discuss possible option for the schools. The governing bodies agreed to consider the federation of both schools.

Following a joint meeting of the governing bodies, 7 July, 2016, the decision to federate Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, Bethesda, has been approved by both bodies.

A formal federation arrangement of both schools will entail closer collaboration through sharing a Headteacher and a single Governing Body.  In addition, federation also has several benefits, including stability in the schools future leadership and financial benefits for both schools as they share one headteacher and governing body.  It will mean being able to co-ordinate the best use of school resources and budgets.

Entering a federation arrangement for both schools will not  mean any significant changes for parents or children.  

The federation between the two schools will be implemented from 2 January 2017 onwards with one Headteacher responsible for leading Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn. 

 

Background 

Ysgol Abercaseg and Ysgol Penybryn, Bethesda (Dyffryn Ogwen catchment area) are considering establishing a federation. A formal consultation process will be held between 25 April and 6 June 2016 in order to share information and give every stakeholder the opportunity to give their opinion on the proposal to federate. The consultation document will be prepared and distributed to all relevant stakeholders in order to share information about the implications of federating.

A simple consultation document has been created for primary children, which corresponds with the statutory consultation document;

Ysgol Abercaseg provides education for children aged 3-7 and Ysgol Penybryn for children aged 7-11. Federating both schools would mean a primary provision for ages 3-11 would be provided under the leadership of one Head.

Federating is a way of merging the governing structures of more than one school without creating too much change to the day to day functions of the schools concerned.   

 

Some of the benefits of federating:

  • Consistency in teaching and learning methodology especially across the key stages
  • Opportunities to share good practice, materials and resources
  • Opportunities the share facilities
  • Improve opportunities for team sports
  • Strengthen curriculum expertise
  • Better extra curricular activity choices/activities and after School clubs
  • Better social opportunities for pupils
  • Provide wider ranging educational options and experiences for children and young people
  • Share and develop information and skills
  • Reinforce pupil achievement
  • Better opportunities for professional development for staff
  • Opportunities to create new roles which could be shared between schools, e.g. IT technician, drama teacher, peripatetic teachers a.s.o
  • Facilitate wider pupil well-being by bringing pastoral, health, career and other services together to meet these needs jointly

 

What is the biggest change associated with federating?

The biggest change involved with federating is the management structure. Creating a federation between different schools brings together the governing bodies and creates one management structure. Governors can decide to appoint one Head to be responsible for the schools. Having one governing body ensures formal collaboration between the schools and improves opportunities for the children. It also facilitates the management structure of each school and makes the standard of the education consistent.

 

Why federate?

Federating brings together the strengths of each school and ensures consistency of the education within those schools and takes advantage of the opportunity to share good practice, expertise and resources.

Federating is way of strengthening the management of each school without changing the character and individual arrangements of each school. There’s no change to the school uniform or budget of the schools and they will continue to have a completely independent inspection by Estyn. However the reviewing body does tend to coordinate the inspections so as to create the least stress and disturbance to all the schools in the federation.

Each school will continue to receive a separate budget, but the schools may decide to bring their budgets together in order to share the cost of purchasing resources in order to improve the results for each child within the federation. Each school must maintain an audit trail and prepare separate accounts for each school within the federation. This can help alleviate the financial burden for each school because of a federation’s ability to share resources.

There would not be any change to the school sites and there would be no change to each school’s admission arrangements.

More information on the federation process can be found below: