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Schools not linking 'is a missed chance'

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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A BRUTON head teacher has bemoaned the loss of "a once in a lifetime opportunity" to forge links with another local school.

Sexey's School was keen to "federate" with Bruton Primary – a move which would see both share resources and a governing body.

However, rather than linking with the secondary school, governors at Bruton Primary have opted to pursue federation with Upton Noble Primary.

Raymond McGovern, head teacher at Sexey's School, said disappointment over the move was "a significant factor" behind his decision to leave the school at Easter.

He said: "It is my view that a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a high quality through-school in the town, serving the needs of the community, may well have been lost.

"The decision of the governors at Bruton Primary not to federate with Sexey's was a significant factor in my decision, as I truly believed this represented the best, most sustainable and creative option for the schools and the town."

Mr McGovern wrote a five-page letter to governors at Bruton Primary in response to a document sent to parents in November.

The document to Bruton Primary parents claimed there was "little to gain" in federating with Sexey's School, while the benefits of linking with another primary school were "much more tangible."

However, the Sexey's head believed parts of the document inferred "a misrepresentation of the facts".

Mr McGovern said comments on Sexey's school's admissions policy were presented as "a forlorn hope to parents".

He said: "I had to respond as they were making views on our admissions criteria where I felt some of the facts were not accurately or clearly presented.

"Regardless of whatever decision is made by the governors of Bruton Primary, we will continue to work with the school for the best interests of the young people in the town.

"The relationship between the two schools is good and we hope to maintain that for the foreseeable future."

Rebecca Forster, chair of governors at Bruton Primary School, said the school had been exploring "a variety of options" over the last 18 months with regard to its future governance.

Bruton Primary and Upton Noble governors will consider and review all responses to a consultation, before making a decision on the federation.

If the proposals go ahead, the federation would take effect in April.

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