Managing the turmoil of school merger

Reflection – Primary School

What was the issue addressed?
We are in a slightly turbulent time as the school is newly amalgamated and we are currently awaiting completion of work building work.

What happened?
The teaching staff have all been changed around and this has been challenging for everyone but has definitely provided huge learning and training opportunities for staff and pupils alike. The issues are still ongoing but many battles have been won!

What lessons were learnt?
I would like to think that the governors have been on hand to facilitate and help in many ways. We have been working with the council, planners and funding bodies to enable speedy progress of the merger process.

When any school organisation proposal is in the pipeline, there is a set process to follow. The School Organisation Code provides detailed guidance to which relevant bodies must have due regard.

School organisation proposals can be complex in their own right and can also be quite an emotive area. An amalgamation of linked infants and junior schools is not uncommon. It can be a positive way to develop and progress school organisation, bringing about many benefits but there will inevitably be challenges. Informal dialogues with both governing bodies from the outset is crucial, as is the formal consultation period to hear and assess everyone’s views. The role of the Local Authority is key in ensuring effective collaboration with all relevant parties.

This case study indicates that building work is being undertaken for the newly amalgamated school. The scale is unknown but whilst exciting, effective and efficient project management will be essential to ensure a streamlined transition, in conjunction with the Local Authority.

Staff restructuring, going through the appointment for staff in the new school, transfer of contracts and arranging new contracts is a task in itself. Unfortunately, there will be winners and losers, and this can be very difficult time for the staff, as well as governors. Advice will be provided from the Local Authority to assist the governing body with any staffing matters.

A temporary governing will have been set up to oversee the process. Here is information about the process.

See also the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document.

Has your school had any major building work done recently? How did the school manage the disruption this can cause?
If your school went through a merger process, what do you think would be the biggest challenges for the governing body?

Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?

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