"The Partnership of Bildeston Primary and Whatfield CEVC Primary Schools"

Federation Communications

Partnership of Bildeston and Whatfield Primary Schools



Welcome to this update from the Governing Body that oversees the activities of Bildeston and Whatfield Schools.


The Whole Governing Body (WGB) meets every half term and are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the federation is legally compliant and offers the best outcome for all students.


We came together as one Governing Body around 18 months ago when we formally federated the two schools bringing them under one Head Teacher and creating one legal entity and fundamentally there are 4 key areas that we work with the schools to deliver:


  • Pupil progress and attainment;
  • A safe and secure environment for students;
  • Staff development and wellbeing; and
  • Financial stability


Looking at those in a little more detail -


Pupil Progress and Attainment

The outcomes for students at both schools continue to improve. Reading and mathematics in particular are very much on an upward curve with Key Stage 2 results (Year 6) in both schools achieving at least in line with the national average and above the national average for reading. This underlines the positive effect of the investment made in both the ‘Maths No Problem’ scheme and ‘Accelerated Reader’.  This year staff focus on writing will hopefully have an impact in that area.



Number of Year 6 Pupils

% Pupils meeting expected standard

Progress in Reading

Progress in Writing

Progress in Maths

Average Score in Reading

Average Score in Maths


















Both of our schools are in the top 80 schools out of over 300 in Suffolk.


A Safe Environment for Students

As a Governing Body we are responsible for ensuring that there is a safe environment for our students to thrive. In order to do this we have a very clear safeguarding policy (available online) and have specific reports from the Head Teacher and our nominated Safeguarding Governor at each of our meetings. No confidential information is shared but there is sufficient detail for the WGB to know that we are meeting our obligations. All of the members of the WGB are safeguarding trained and are able to support to delivery of our obligations. Suffice to say that across the two schools we are satisfied that the structures, policies and ways of working ensure that the safe environment that we are looking to achieve is in place to allow our students to achieve their best.


Staff Development and Wellbeing

Even great teachers benefit from further development in their skills, therefore through a programme of lesson observations by senior staff and independent third parties the teachers and WGB receive regular

reports on the quality of teaching within both schools. We are really pleased to report that we are seeing more and more feedback that the teaching across both schools is rated between “Good” and “Outstanding”. We know that the quality of teaching is so important to student outcomes, and have programmes running with other local schools looking to benchmark and provide honest feedback about areas that work really well and others that still need improvement. There have also been some teachers who have been able to undertake middle / senior management qualifications in order to build their skills and knowledge. A further consequence of the schools working together is through the different trips and educational experiences that we are now able to offer students across both schools, which not only gives staff the opportunity to collaborate but also for students to mix with others and make new friends.


One of the biggest benefits that we have seen since federating is having our excellent teaching and support staff working together across both schools. When you look at the breadth of the new curriculum that has to be covered, it is no wonder that on occasions our teaching staff can feel overwhelmed. The change that the new curriculum and new Ofsted focus areas demand that our teaching and support staff are flexible and work hard to adapt to an ever changing environment and the fact that some of this burden can be shared across both schools is one step to improving staff wellbeing. As a WGB we truly believe that all staff that we employ want the best outcome for the students at the school. As parents, you may not appreciate the huge impact you can make on the wellbeing of our staff, who always appreciate praise and encouragement.


Financial Stability

We are pleased to report that with regards to finances the federation is in a healthy position where we are able to provide all of the resources that are requested by the schools to provide a full and balanced education. We look across a 3 year horizon which does involve making some assumptions about pupil numbers but with everything that we know today our finances are sound which has allowed us to invest in more teaching and classroom resources as well as the new minibus. Our financial position is regularly monitored by the WGB and whilst we don’t have money to waste, we are satisfied that we have sufficient going forward to resource both schools.  In particular we are able to fund our most important resource – staff- and this means we have been able to appoint the teachers and teaching assistants we need from the school budget.


In short, 18 months into the federation, as a governing body we continue to regularly monitor the activities within the schools and looking at our 4 main focus areas we are very happy with the provision that we make for the students at both schools.


Can I just briefly add our thanks to all of the staff at both schools. Whenever I see the teachers in action working with students on phonics, or maths, or history, or any subject I am left in awe as to how they can take such young minds and showcase their ability. We are proud and grateful for your efforts.


Phil Clark

Chair of Governors