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Becoming a federated governing body

Commentary

The number of federated governing bodies is increasing in Wales so it is helpful to look at the specific requirements and how a ‘federation’ comes about in practice.

Welsh Government guidance provides useful advice and information on the process to follow to set up a federated governing body, as well as practical aspects to consider. Here’s the link:

https://gov.wales/federation-process-maintained-schools-guidance-governing-bodies-and-local-authorities

In essence, the federation of schools enables them to work together in a structured way by sharing a governing body. Up to six schools can federate in total. Federation increases partnership working and shared collaboration and can help to improve overall school and pupil performance. Like everything, for a federation to be truly successful, there has to be willingness and commitment from all parties for it to succeed.

From the initial proposal to the actual federation establishment, it is inevitable that this will take time, more so, if a greater number of schools are involved.

The case study particularly focuses on policy review and how the policies committee took on board this area of work. 

Yes, bringing together policies from several schools could be quite a task. It is possible though, that several of the Human Resource policies would have been the same in each of the schools, especially if the Local Authority produced certain policies for school governing bodies to adopt.  

Governors Cymru Services has a definitive list of statutory policies that governing bodies should have in place.

http://governors.cymru/publications/2018/08/29/policy-documents/

Moving on, a checklist for policy review enables a planned and staggered approach with defined timescales, so as not to be too overwhelming. The hard work of reviewing and agreeing all policies for the federation has now been undertaken.  It should be far easier moving forward.

Estyn has produced a thematic report on effective federations which may be of use if your governing body is considering federation.

https://www.estyn.gov.wales/thematic-reports/federated-schools-common-features-effective-federation

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