The Affinity Federation

About The Affinity Federation

What is a federation?

A federation is where a number of maintained schools come together under one governing body. The schools’ individual governing bodies are disbanded and a new single over-arching governing body is formed. This becomes the accountable body for all the schools and sets the strategic direction for the group.

Figures suggest that just over 1000 schools are part of a federation in England.

Why federate?

Federation can be a very effective group structure, providing maintained schools with the opportunity to form a group - without incurring legal costs - in order to improve the education of pupils. This enables governors and school leaders to focus on forming relationships between schools first, and then joint leadership, governance and business management. This can be done while still remaining a maintained school, so the process is much more focused on relationship building and producing tangible outcomes for pupils, instead of being dominated by legal changes in charity/company status and land ownership.

The three main reasons for forming federations (identified by Ofsted in its report Leadership of more than one school) were:

  • stronger schools supporting weaker schools, often at the suggestion of the local authority
  • small schools banding together to increase capacity and protect education provision
  • federation across phases to strengthen education provision across the education community

Federations have the following advantages:

  • Better, broader offer for pupils – both curricular & extra-curricular
  • More opportunity to employ specialist staff
  • More CPD for staff
  • Better recruitment, succession planning & retention of staff
  • Moderating and benchmarking: same systems of assessment, data and finances
  • Learning from each other
  • More capacity for innovation
  • Efficiencies – joint services
  • Stronger governance (especially with well federated structures)

These benefits result in improved outcomes for pupils.

   Whitmore Park Primary School
Halford Lane, Coventry, CV6 2HG
tel:    (02476) 335 697
Willenhall Community Primary School
St James Lane, Coventry, CV3 3DB
tel:    (02476) 302 004
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