Federation of schools will bring benefits for pupils and staff
Opportunities for pupils and staff will follow the federation of two primary schools.
Under the new arrangement, Dhoon and Laxey primary schools will share a headteacher and governing body from the start of the new academic year in September.
Current Dhoon head Maxim Kelly will lead both schools, which are geographically close and already share links.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘Dhoon and Laxey schools have long and successful traditions, impressive results and serve their communities well and this won’t change.
‘The schools will retain their buildings, names, uniforms, policies and ethos and pupils and parents will experience little difference in that respect.
‘However, the federation will bring benefits for pupils and staff,’ the Minister continued.
‘It will, in time, lead to a broader curriculum, increased opportunities for innovation, better benchmarking of results across a wider number of pupils, the sharing of resources and training and even stronger governance.
‘While at present the schools have catchment areas, there may, in future, be flexibility over which school children attend.
‘The federation will happen on the basis of a strong educational argument for a small and a medium-sized school working more closely together,’ the Minister said.
‘Mr Kelly will divide his time between Dhoon and Laxey and the Department will augment the schools’ staffing so there is always somebody at them who isn’t in charge of a class.
‘The federation will therefore offer staff leadership experience, which will prepare them to take on headships themselves, should they aspire to.
‘There will be a modest cost saving – the difference between a teacher’s and a headteacher’s salary – but that is not the motivation for the change.’
Mr Kelly has headed Dhoon School since 2014.
He has considerable experience of bringing schools together, having served on the governing bodies of Andreas Primary and Bride Infants’ schools when they were federated and been deputy headteacher at Murray’s Road Junior School when it amalgamated with Ballaquayle Infants to become Scoill-yn-Jubilee.
The Department has no plans to federate other schools but may consider it, if appropriate, in other areas of the Island, the Minister said.
The Department of Education and Children is explaining the new arrangements in a letter to Dhoon and Laxey parents today – see here.
Dhoon School has 83 pupils on the register and Laxey 205.