Polehampton C of E Schools Federation

In September 2011, Polehampton C. of E. Infant School and Polehampton C. of E. Junior School formed a Hard Federation. 
A Hard Federation means that there one Governing Body across both schools. 
Each school remains a separate institution, with its own budget, admissions and Ofsted inspections. 

What does this mean for Polehampton Pupils?
The vision for the Federation is for Polehampton pupils to have an outstanding learning journey across both schools. 
  • We ensure that we provide an excellent curriculum across Infants and Juniors that is planned with clear progression and continuity. 
  • There are opportunities for the children to work together in projects in each other's schools, to learn and play from older and younger children. 
  • There is excellent transition for the pupils from Year 2 to Year 3, as staff work in each other's schools to build familiarity with names and faces as they move on. 
  • We have improved the quality of our teaching by having joint training to ensure we follow the same teaching styles. 
  • We have the capacity to have additional staff on our Senior Leadership and Senior Management Teams, leading the improvement plans. 
  • We have a shared values cycle so our pupils receive the same inspirational messages about respect, resilience and responsibility. 
  • Pupils are familiar with both schools and this is developed through  a number of established events where the whole Federation joins together, i.e. Autumn term sing-song,  Polehampton Day in June, and Church Services at St Mary's Church at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. Also, pupils from each school watch each others  Christmas and summer performances.
With both schools judged as OUTSTANDING by Ofsted, we feel confident that our pupils are receiving an excellent education, which is served by our Federation. 
However, we are not complacent and regularly review our practice and look for opportunities to improve our provision even further. 


Information to Parents regarding the Academy process.

Academy update from Newsletter: 7th October 2016

You will no doubt have heard of the Government's goal to convert all schools to academies.  Academies are independent, state-funded schools, which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through a local authority.  The Governors of the Polehampton Federation have set up a working party to look at what this might mean for our schools.  Our overriding objective is to ensure that any decision we take is in the best interests of the current and future learners at our schools.  At the moment we are at the beginning stages of the process, but we will keep you informed as our thinking progresses.  In the meantime, if you have any questions then please get in contact with the Governors, through the school office.

Governor Information about Academies: 2nd September 2017

In a previous newsletter we mentioned that our Governors are assessing the benefits of becoming part of an Academy.  In this newsletter, we are providing some more information on Academies.  We will add these questions and answers to our website.  If you have any further questions that you would like to ask, then please contact Info.polehampton@gmail.com


What is an academy?

An independent school funded by the state that is outside the “control” of the local authority.  An academy school would have more freedom in tailoring their curriculum, have greater control of their budgets and the freedom to spend money the local authority currently spends on their behalf.

A group of schools that come together to form an Academy is known as a Multi-Academy Trust or MAT.


Why are we looking at potentially becoming part of a MAT?

There is no legal requirement from the government for us to become an academy. However, the government still actively promote academies as being the best way to provide resilient, effective innovation.  Perhaps more importantly, we have seen significant reductions in the support offered to our schools from the Wokingham local authority and are continuing to experience pressure on our funding.  Considering this, moving forward as a group of schools seems to be sensible.  


When would we become an Academy?

We are still assessing what the best way forward for our schools will be and therefore what we will recommend.  We have not formally started the Academy process.  As schools enter the process it would take 6-9 months to become an Academy.  An important part of this process is our consultation with parents.


What difference would the schools converting to Academy status make to my child?

Our key criteria for assessing different options is which will best preserve the essence of the schools.  Therefore, in the short-term we would anticipate very slight change to the day to day experience of the children, for example, we would still have the same uniform, the same admission arrangements and we would still be inspected by OFSTED.  The short-term changes will focus on how we buy-in services more efficiently.

In the medium to long term there may be additional benefits for the children as a larger group can engage more specialist teachers for subjects such as music, languages, sport and science.


 The Governors of the Polehampton C. of E. Schools Federation