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Infant schools hope to continue 'improvement journey' in new federation

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 23 May 2019

Colman Infant School and Colman Junior School in Norwich have announced they are going into federation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Colman Infant School and Colman Junior School in Norwich have announced they are going into federation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Two Norwich schools are set to see out the academic year in a new federation.

Helen Wardale, chair of governors at Colman Infant School. Picture: Bill SmithHelen Wardale, chair of governors at Colman Infant School. Picture: Bill Smith

Colman Infant and Junior Schools will be federating as of July 1, meaning they will share a governing body.

The decision was made following positive feedback from a consultation with parents and carers, which was reviewed by the governors of both schools at a meeting on May 15.

As part of the federation Julie Sandford, headteacher at Colman Junior and current interim head at Colman Infant, will see her role across the two schools formalised.

Mrs Sandford took up the role of interim headteacher at the infant school in March, when former head Matthew Gamble stood down. A letter to parents said he had "decided to take up new professional opportunities".

The date of the schools' federation was announced in a letter sent to parents and carers last week, signed by Helen Wardale, chair of governors at Colman Infant, and Ed Rose, chair of governors at Colman Junior.

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They called the federation a "huge step forward in the future of our schools".

The letter said: "Over the next few weeks we will be working jointly on the formation of new governance arrangements for both schools and will keep you informed as this is shaped."

A letter signed by Ms Wardale, sent to parents and carers in May, said the infant school's governing body were "pleased with the progress Mrs Sandford and the staff have already made towards our key improvement actions" and that Norfolk County Council was continuing to support the school "intensively".

She added: "Leaders and governors are ensuring that the school works towards ensuring a quality education is provided for all pupils."

The infant school was judged to be outstanding in its last Ofsted inspection five years ago.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman did not comment on the specifics of the support being offered but said the local authority was continuing to support the school on its improvement journey.

Colman Junior School had been rated good by Ofsted since 2005. A short inspection report published in January 2017 said Mrs Sandford had provided "very effective leadership" since taking the reins in 2013.

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