My name is Sarah Dixon-Jones and I am delighted to be the Head Teacher of Mill Hill Nursery School.
Mill Hill Nursery School is a Local Authority Nursery School that offers care and education for children aged from 2 to 4 years. Our 2 year old children can either pay for childcare, where we have a range of sessions available to meet parents needs, or depending upon their circumstance they may be eligible for a 15 hours per week funded place. The term after a child's 3rd birthday, children are entitled to either 15 hours a week education or 30 hours a week education, depending on a families circumstance.
The school is open term time only from 8.00am until 4.30pm and is ran by qualified teachers, nursery nurses and support staff.
All staff are highly experienced, and work closely alongside all the children. Central to our work at Mill Hill is the importance we give to the voice of the child. We actively listen to children – seeking to find out what they are interested in, what questions they have and what they would like to know more about. Our role as educators is to support them in this journey so that the children attending Mill Hill "discover how exciting learning can be." This means our curriculum content is flexible as children's interests change and can be be very varied. However this allows us to support the children in their learning and development of skills in the prime and specific areas of the early years curriculum which provide the foundations for lifelong learning, education and achievement.
CONSULTATION : PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A HARD FEDERATION BETWEEN HOUGHTON COMMUNITY NURSERY SCHOOL AND MILL HILL NURSERY SCHOOL. Formal Consultation Period : 29th January to 19th March 2018 (The process is prescribed in the School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012
Dear Interested Party
The Governing Bodies of Houghton Community School and Mill Hill Nursery School have voted in favour of proceeding to public consultation on a resolution to establish a ‘hard federation’ between the two schools with effect from 1st April 2018.
A hard copy can be made available for you to be collected from either school office. Further information on federation can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions attached.
You can make your views known by completing a response form. Response forms for the proposal to establish a ‘hard federation’ are attached to this document. The consultation will close at midday on Monday 19th March 2018.
Houghton Community and Mill Hill Nurseries have been in a soft federation since September 2017. This ‘soft federation’ has established a close partnership between the two schools. A move to a hard federation will show a commitment to this close partnership and as a result will continue to provide an environment and learning culture that is in the best interests for the children at both schools. Existing staff will keep the same terms and conditions of employment. There will continue to be one Headteacher for both schools. Each school will continue with receiving and managing its own budget.
There will be one single Governing Body across both schools as follows:
Parents (at least 1 parent from each school in the federation) 4 Parent governors are elected by parents (or appointed by Governing Body if insufficient people stand for election)
Co-opted 5 Community Governors are appointed by the Governing Body
Staff - 1 Staff Governors are elected by staff
Local Authority 1- Governing Body to consider nominations from the Local Authority
**note – Co-opted Governors can include staff but overall staff cannot exceed onethird of Governing Body total membership.
It will not mean a merger of the two schools and each will retain its own name, keep its own admission criteria; have separate pupil attainment data and separate OFSTED inspections.
The aim for the federation of Houghton Community and Mill Hill Nurseries is to offer an even better quality of education to the children within the communities. School leaders and governors can build on the common ethos between the two schools and shared values. They can adapt and design a curriculum that meets the needs of the pupils which provides them with knowledge and first hand experiences which school leaders believe helps them learn best. School leaders and governors will continue to track children’s progress and attainment at each school, and have the highest expectation of standards in both achievement and behaviour.
A federation will enable the schools to continue to recruit and retain the best employees offering them experiences to share ideas and develop best practice with increased opportunity for career development and management responsibilities that a federated school will offer.
There will be opportunities for increased efficiencies through economies of scale by joint purchasing and shared deployed resources, including staff.
Finally, a single Governing Body will be able to take a strategic view of the needs of both schools, and direct resources where they will be of the greatest benefit and ensure that the governors’ professional expertise can be shared between both schools.
The period of consultation lasts six weeks. In addition to consulting parents, staff and children, the governors are also required to consult with others including the Local Authority. These proposals are made with the full support of both Governing Bodies, the Headteacher and Sunderland Local Authority. During this time the responses to the consultation will be collected and collated for consideration by the two Governing Bodies, after which the Governing Bodies will vote on whether to proceed with the federation.
On behalf of the two Governing Bodies: