Woolpit/Rougham: Headteacher shortage forces primary schools merger

TWO west Suffolk primary schools are set to merge due to a national shortage of headteachers.

The governing bodies at Woolpit County Primary School and Rougham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School have agreed to form a federation.

The two schools will share staff and resources when they join forces in January 2012.

The decision to join the centres was prompted by the upcoming retirement of Anne O’Connell, headteacher of Woolpit Primary School, in December this year.

Rachel Gooch, chairwoman of governors at Woolpit, said the move was due to a nationwide shortage of candidates for headships at small, village schools.


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“Our starting point was the quality of education we’re providing to our children,” she said.

“Having looked at many schools now operating as federations, we believe it is the right decision for Woolpit and Rougham.

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“The schools will retain their unique identities and ethos but the opportunities to share resources, teaching expertise and equipment will benefit children and staff at both schools.”

Karen Rees, headteacher at Rougham Primary School, will become headteacher for both schools while a deputy headteacher will also be appointed at Woolpit Primary School to provide day-to-day management.

Ian Clarke, chairman of governors at Rougham Primary, said the move to federation would enhance the excellent education at both centres.

“We are really looking forward to working closely with the staff, parents and children at both schools over the coming months to plan the transition to this new way of working,” he said.

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