The two schools in Frodsham which share a headteacher
PUBLISHED: 01:16 12 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:21 20 February 2013
When two schools in Kingsley and Norley were threatened with closure, the communities rallied around. Emma Mayoh reports
Two heads are better than one, so the saying goes. But for two schools in Cheshire that is not the case. Ann Griffiths is headteacher of both Norley CE Primary School and Kingsley St Johns C of E Primary School in Kingsley.
Its very exciting and there really never is a dull moment, she said. I never have a typical day, its busy and I like it that way.
As a headteacher there is always a danger that, being in management, you could end up feeling too far away from things and the reasons you first got into teaching. But here it is an absolute pleasure to be so involved.
Anns new role came about when in 2005 the local authority proposed to close one school and move the pupils to the other site which would be extended. But parents, staff, governors and passionate residents in both communities fought to keep the schools at the centre of the villages.
There were protest marches through Delamere Fores and petitions were signed.
Eventually, the Kingsley St John and Norley Church of England Federation was formed, allowing the schools to stay separate but be managed by a shared governing body. St Johns and Norley were the first to take this route and are now one of only two federations in Cheshire West and Cheshire.
Both schools are very much at the heart of the villages they are in and have been for generations, said Ann, 50. People really rallied around and we never let up with the pressure. We are at the heart of the community and if it lost its school, then it would lose that heart and it would be irreplaceable.
When we created the federation we were breaking new ground. It wasnt just a question of keeping a building in the two villages. It was about valuing the type of education small schools provide. We wanted to work together as a community and stand up for the little guys and say hang on a minute, were not going to accept this.
Both schools have kept their own identities and traditions, including
their own carnivals, events and uniforms. The staff and governors also work together, sharing ideas and expertise and conferring on projects and events. They have also advised other schools thinking of becoming a federation.
Ann said: We saw and challenge and turned it into something positive and its something we are very proud of. We are all passionate about keeping small schools and keeping them in their communities because its important.
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