Primary Advantage Journey
St John and St James opened as a Fresh Start School in Sept 2000. The Governors and School Leadership team were committed to ensuring long term, stable, good quality provision for children in our community. We succeeded in our aims to broaden horizons, impact on barriers to learning and secure good outcomes for children, equipping them for the next stage in their educational journey.
St John and St James joined a collaborative partnership with Holy Trinity when the school went into special measures and formed a Hard Federation in Sept 2006. At that time, the joint Governing Body made a commitment to a shared responsibility to the wider school community, the provision of good quality education and the improvement of life chances for pupils in the community beyond that of our own school. We have lived out that vision since 2003 through our partnership work with other schools. The five school Hard Federation started formally in Sept 2011 following a period of partnership with each school. After working in a partnership, Morningside Primary School joined the federation in September 2013, with Gainsborough Primary School and De Beauvoir Primary School joining in April 2017. Our eight school federation now has considerable experience of working in partnership with schools in challenging circumstances to secure rapid and sustainable school improvement. Teachers, support staff, school leaders and Governors have added expertise in working alongside colleagues to improve provision and outcomes for pupils. The Federation has three National Support Schools and three National Leaders in Education.
What is a Federation?
A federation is a group of two or more schools that have made a formal commitment to work together under a single governing body. This enables the schools in the federation to:
- work together efficiently and sustainably to raise standards,
- improve services and increase opportunities for pupils and staff; and
- share resources, staff, expertise and facilities.
The legislation that allows schools to federate is set out in regulations made under sections 24 and 25 of the Education Act 2002. The decision to create or join a federation is usually taken by governors, although in some circumstances the local authority can require schools to federate. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for schools to work together in a federation. Some of the other federations in Hackney are:
- The Horizon and Downsview Federation, which is made up of two special schools.
- The New Wave Federation of Grazebrook, Shacklewell and Woodberry Down Primary Schools.
- The Viridis Federation of Hoxton Garden, Orchard and Southwold Schools.
The benefits of federation
Working together in a federation brings important benefits to Primary Advantage. It means the schools are able to:
- Share the knowledge , expertise and ideas of individual members of staff
- Negotiate discounts and deals with suppliers because we are buying for all eight schools instead of just one
- Provide staff with excellent training and development opportunities within our federation such as:
- Assesstival (a Festival of Assessment, an INSET day centred around Assessment and Deep Learning.)
- Working with other teachers across all schools
Leadership of our Federation
All of our schools share the same governing body and Executive Principal, while each school has its own Headteacher.
While the Primary Advantage Schools work together very closely, they continue to be separate schools. This means that:
- Each school has its own name, identity, logo and uniform.
- Pupils stay at the same school site for all their lessons.
- Hackney Learning Trust considers each school separately when they are processing applications for school places.
- Ofsted carry out separate inspections of each school.
- The Department for Education publish separate entries for each school in the performance tables on their website.