Head of Schools - Leeming & Londonderry and Pickhill Federation of Schools 

Welcome

Dear Applicant,

Welcome to our dedicated Head of School recruitment microsite, which aims to provide you with all the information about our schools and our exciting opportunity.  Thank you for taking the time to visit; we hope that the information we have provided encourages you to make an application.

Why fixed term rather than established?

We recognise that this is likely to be one of your first questions as a prospective candidate.  However, we want to reassure you, this is not your ‘usual’ fixed term post and would urge you to read on about what makes this job stand out and why we anticipate this being a long-term prospect!

The governors and I consider this to be a very exciting time for our federation!  In January, we are entering into a new phase in the history of both schools.  We are looking for someone to join us who is able to bring new ideas and dynamic leadership.  Our federation will be led by Mr. Mike White, the Executive Headteacher of the Synergy Schools Federation, another two-school federation of Brompton-on-Swale and Crakehall CE Primary Schools situated close by.  The governing bodies of both federations have taken a unanimous decision to form a formal collaboration with a view to consulting on forming a single federation from September 2021.  In the first stage of this partnership, Mike will provide an executive leadership for our federation for two terms (January 2021 until August 2021) and the Head of school post will report to him.  Although both governing bodies are fully committed to a pursuing a permanent federation of all four schools, as you would expect, we are taking the opportunity to trial the partnership before consulting on a formal proposal to federate.

This is why this Head of School position has been initially advertised as a fixed term, two term post.  However, our unanimous support, the fact the both federations have successful track records and our clear proposal for this to be a long term partnership means that we are highly confident that the position will become established.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for someone looking to pursue a leadership career, with the support and direction of an Executive Headteacher, recognised as a National Leader of Education and having been commended by Ofsted and SIAMS and awarded several ‘outstanding’ outcomes for leadership and management.  You will also benefit from the peer support and the collaborative working alongside two other Heads of Schools who have recently been commended by Ofsted as being outstanding leaders.  The balance of support and autonomy means that, as an aspiring Leader, you have a quite unprecedented opportunity to lead and manage with peer and leadership support that is second to none!

Our schools 

Leeming & Londonderry Community Primary School & Pickhill Church of England Primary School formally federated in October 2018, with both schools seeking to build on and share each other’s strengths and create a sustainable resource base for the future.  Both schools are at the heart of their communities and are successful in their own right; both are judged “good” by Ofsted (February 2020 and September 2018 respectively) and Pickhill, as a Church of England school, has also received a “good” rating at its last SIAMS inspection (December 19).

The role

Although the Executive Headteacher will have overall strategic leadership of the federation, the Head of School will have operational oversight of both schools on a day to day basis.  You will teach for 1 day each week and then use the remaining 4 days to provide leadership and management to both schools.  With the opportunity to build on the Federation's many strengths, alongside the Executive Headteacher, you will help to shape a clear plan for both schools’ improvement, ensuring continuity and further developing our links with our communities and partner organisations

Our stand out candidate will possess strong leadership skills, with the ability to manage staff across two sites, whilst balancing conflicting priorities.  Ambition, drive and purpose will be in your nature, as you embrace the opportunity to lead from the front, while empowering staff to raise achievement through ensuring the delivery of a high-quality education at both schools, regardless of background or ability.

We believe that The Leeming & Londonderry and Pickhill Federation has capacity for further improvement and that this is an exciting time for an ambitious leader to make a real difference; developing our middle leaders in order to enhance our curriculum and teaching and learning, to enhance the personal development of pupils and ensure all children, staff and governors promote our vision.

Should the restrictions on Covid-19 be lifted in the coming weeks, we would encourage you to visit us so we can share with you why we are so proud of our schools, and you will have the opportunity to see what we have to offer.  Such a visit is not part of the selection process, and whether or not applicants have visited will not influence the final outcome.

If you would like the opportunity to visit, an informal and confidential conversation about the role or any further questions about the role, please email jobs@leeminglondonderry.n-yorks.sch.uk.

I hope you find the information provided useful and informative and trust that it will encourage you to apply.  On behalf of the governing body, thank you again for your interest in The Leeming & Londonderry and Pickhill Federation of Schools and our current vacancy.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Smith

Chair of Governor

Federation Overview

The Leeming & Londonderry and Pickhill Federation is a thriving federation, comprising of 2 schools, with a combined pupil roll of 75. Following a successful 12-month collaboration, both Primary Schools agreed to formally federate in October 2018, to promote sustainability and maintain the 2 small village schools, which are each integral and at the heart of their communities.  We work collaboratively with local primary schools under the ‘Bedale Cluster’ and are also members of the Swaledale Teaching School Alliance.  In addition, the Federation is now working very closely with the Synergy Schools Federation and takes enjoys working with trainee teachers through a strong partnership with High Force Education.

Our schools both have close connectivity to the A1 and are located within 6 miles of each other.  Leeming & Londonderry Community Primary School is situated in Leeming Village just one mile from the A1 and lies between the market towns of Bedale and Northallerton.  The village has a church, a public house, a children’s play area and busy village hall.  Pickhill is a village in North Yorkshire, 6 miles west of Thirsk and is a part of the civil parish of Pickhill with Roxby and Sinderby.  Pickhill Church of England Primary School has been in existence since the 18th century and is situated in the heart of the rural village, adjoining the village green.  Other village amenities include 12th century church, children’s playground, a public house and Chinese takeaway. A recent housing development of 3,4 & 5 bedroom dwellings has been a welcomed addition to the area.

Both schools are successful in their own right and have been judged “good” by Ofsted and Pickhill SIAMS is also rated “good”.  The schools’ quality of teaching is consistently good, due to careful monitoring by the senior leadership team, supported by the Local Authority and Leeds Diocese.  We offer a warm, family friendly atmosphere with mutual trust to benefit every child, where children are supported by strong partnerships between staff, parent/carers and Governing Body.  We provide high quality education in a safe and caring environment, where children can enjoy their learning and social experiences, so that they can achieve their full potential.

At both schools, the children are taught in two mixed aged classes; Class 1 teaches Reception ad Key Stage 1 pupils whilst Class 2 welcomes Key Stage 2 children. There is a strong family atmosphere where staff, pupils, parents and governors all work closely together, along with the schools having very strong links with local day nurseries and to the local community and the churches.  The schools regularly participate in sporting events within the Bedale Cluster of schools and hold a School Games Mark (silver).  The schools run various after-school clubs throughout the year, led by external providers and school staff.

Both schools educate children from predominantly White British backgrounds and the proportion of pupils that are considered disadvantaged is below the national average.  The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities is in line with the national average in both schools.  Leeming and Londonderry have a high percentage of pupils that come from service families and/or are receiving free school meals, whilst Pickhill Church of England Primary School has 1 service family and 1 in receipt of free school meals.

Both schools have good relationships with parents/carers and have effective channels of communication through email, text, Seesaw, Dojo and Facebook.  There is also an active “friends of the schools” who are responsible for large annual fundraising events. Class teachers are visible in the playground each day for parents to talk to, or appointments can be arranged through the school reception.  Currently, the Executive Headteacher splits her time equally between both schools and the times are published so parents are aware of her working pattern.

Leeming & Londonderry

The numbers on roll at the school have more than doubled in the last three years (pupil roll 39).  The catchment area is mixed with pupils coming from the villages of Leeming, Londonderry, as well as the surrounding villages of Aiskew, Leeming Bar and Exelby.

The school benefits from a hardstanding playground and offers a separate area for outdoor learning, which has a synthetic grass surface.  School lunches are provided by County Caterers and are prepared at a neighbouring school and transported to us.

The school has an established Outdoor School programme, led by trained Forest School Leaders and regular use of a local woodland.  Outdoor School facilities gives the children the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, learning through play, understanding how to handle risk, gaining knowledge to solve problems and the importance of co-operating with others.

Relationships with the wider community are strong and local community partnerships include the local pub, village hall and parish council.  The school is located adjacent to St Johns Church in Leeming and is regularly used as a venue for the school Easter service.  The Vicar of the church is also a regular visitor to the school to lead collective worship.  School children attend the church’s annual Christingle service with their families.  As the School does not have a grassed area, the local pub gives permission for the annual School Gala and Sports day to take place to the rear of its property.  Local businesses from the industrial estate and nearby town of Bedale are also extremely generous in their support of the school gala donating items for the raffle.

Pickhill Church of England

We have 36 pupils on roll and the catchment area is large, with children attending from Pickhill and surrounding villages.  For those that live in the surrounding villages of Middleton Quernhow, Sinderby, Ainderby Quernhow, Holme on Swale and Howe, they are eligible to travel on the dedicated school bus.

At Pickhill, our curriculum and extra curriculum activities after school is underpinned by the school’s chosen vision and values of encouraging children to experience “Life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) with wisdom, hope, dignity and respect.  Collective Worship is a focal point in the children’s day, and we aim to provide opportunities for the spiritual development of both staff and children.

The school benefits from a separate dining hall area, where the school meals are freshly prepared and served.  This building is also the location for the before and after school provision (Early Birds and Night Owls).  The school has access to both hardstanding and grassed play areas and a trim trail.  Class one also has separate access to their own outside area for learning.

The school is 1 of very few schools in the area to have been awarded the Green Flag award for its work towards the environment.  Led by the school’s Eco Committee, the children maintain their own garden, compost heap and as a result, grow of their own vegetables and also look after the school chickens.  The children participate in Outdoor School using the local wood, which is located within walking distance, and is often utilised for other aspects of child-centred learning.

Relationships with the wider community are strong and they benefit from excellent relationships with the local pub and individual residents who all are keen to contribute to school life.  The school works in partnership with the All Saints Church, celebrating festivals of Harvest, Easter and Christmas. The school has an active Friends Support Group (FOPS), who run the annual fundraising Strawberry Fair.

Our staff are our greatest resource and are incredibly committed, loyal and dedicated and always have the best interest of the pupils at heart.  Our leaders are determined to find something that every child can shine at.  Staff get to know the children in both schools very well using this information to personalise opportunities for learning.

Our class teachers lead their support team through shared goals, working in close partnership with parents and carers, Diocese, governors and the local community, to provide an excellent primary educational experience for all. The Teaching Assistants play a vital role across the school in supporting our children.

Senior Leadership Staff from January

  • Executive Headteacher – 1 day per week across the federation
  • Head of School – 4 days of leadership time split equally between the two schools, one day teaching

Leeming and Londonderry Staffing (current position)

  • Class 2 Teacher - (UPS 3) 0.88 FTE – Works Monday- Thursday (Fridays taught by Sports Specialist and HLTA)
  • Class 1 Teacher - (UPS 1) 0.88 FTE – Works Monday -Thursday (Fridays taught by Sports Specialist and ATA)
  • Class 1- ATA 20 hours per week, HTLA 5 hours per week
  • Class 2- GTA 15 hours per week, ATA 9 hours per week, HLTA 3 hours per week
  • School Administrator Band F 20 hours per week + 2 hours per week Pickhill Finance
  • MSA 1 - 5 hours per week
  • MSA 2 - 2.5 hours per week

Pickhill C of E Staffing

  • Class 1 Teacher - (MPS 6) 1.0 FTE
  • Class 2 Teacher - (UPS 1) 1.0 FTE
  • Class 1 - GTA 12 hours per week
  • Class 2 - ATA 14.5 hours per week, HLTA 2.5 hours per week
  • GTA (across school) - 5 hours per week GTA Early Birds - 5 hours per week
  • GTA After School Club - 4 hours per week (relief contract)
  • School Administrator Band C - 20 hours per week
  • MSA - 6.25 hours per week

The way in which the schools are organised and run, as well as the relationship between the children themselves and their teachers is based on the vision, ethos and values that pervades every aspect of school life.  The emphasis is wholeheartedly on educating the whole child in readiness for life beyond school life.

We always look to enhance the personal development of pupils and ensure that children, staff and Governors promote our vision: “Life in all its fullness” to enable children to be the best that we can be.

We have a warm, family friendly atmosphere with mutual trust to benefit every child. Children are supported by strong partnerships between staff, parents, Governing Body and “Friends of Pickhill School” group.  We aim to achieve our vision by providing high quality education in a safe, caring environment, where children can enjoy their learning and social experiences so that they can achieve their full potential.

The curriculum and additional activities after school is underpinned by the school’s chosen values of Respect, Wisdom, Hope, Dignity, Aspiration, Responsibility and Belief.  Collective Worship is a focal point in the children’s day, and we aim to provide opportunities for the spiritual development of both staff and children.  The pupils are encouraged to interpret these as an individual or part of the community and as a global citizen, especially at Pickhill CofE, reflecting our Christian foundation and showing respect for all faiths and beliefs.

This ethos and culture has not come about by accident; it is largely due to the example provided by our current children, leaders, governors, Diocese and parents and it’s something we are determined to see continue and flourish.

School Development Planning

Both schools share a school development plan, however, Pickhill Church of England Primary school has a final strand to incorporate the development of its distinctiveness as a church school.

Key Priorities:

  • To develop middle leaders / subject leadership in order to enhance teaching and learning.
  • To further improve the quality of education and ensure pupils make strong progress in all subjects with a strong emphasis on further improving pupils’ reading skills.
  • To enhance the personal development of pupils and ensure that children, staff and Governors promote our vision: “To be the best that we can be” and be respectful and aspirational.
  • To Further develop the distinctiveness and effectiveness of Pickhill as a Church of England School.
  • Leaders are determined to find something that every child can shine at. Staff get to know the children in both schools very well using this information to personalise opportunities for learning.
  • The behaviour is good. Poor behaviour is rare, pupils feel safe in school and trust the adults to solve any issues/conflicts.
  • Quality of the wider curriculum, including regular outdoor school and opportunities to take part in inter-school sporting events.
  • Progress in teaching of reading across the federation has been identified by Ofsted as strong.
  • The quality of teaching is consistently good or better due to careful monitoring by the senior leadership team.
  • Governors know the school well and are able to support and challenge – the governors are present in school and are well informed about what is going on.
  • Strong culture of shared practice.

 

Both schools share a school development plan, however, Pickhill Church of England Primary school has a final strand to incorporate the development of its distinctiveness as a church school.

Key Priorities:

  • To develop middle leaders / subject leadership in order to enhance teaching and learning.
  • To further improve the quality of education and ensure pupils make strong progress in all subjects with a strong emphasis on further improving pupils’ reading skills.
  • To enhance the personal development of pupils and ensure that children, staff and Governors promote our vision: “To be the best that we can be” and be respectful and aspirational.
  • To Further develop the distinctiveness and effectiveness of Pickhill as a Church of England School.

As effective from 1st April 2020, the schools have a combined budget, with a positive balance for the end of this financial year and the following 2-year forecast. 

Governors continue to work closely with the Executive Headteacher to ensure costs are controlled, while still enabling agility of spending when necessary, to maximise use of the resources that become available. 

Governors have a good understanding of the finances of the school and would take the necessary steps to address any future budget issues.

Relationships

The Federation of Leeming & Londonderry Community Primary School & Pickhill CofE Primary School comprises 2 small village schools. The two schools serve their immediate catchment areas and are at the heart of the communities. They are an integral part of their villages and the children are the future of both areas. Within both schools the children are predominantly White British and the proportion of pupils that are considered disadvantaged is below the national average. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs/ disabilities is in line with the national average. Leeming and Londonderry have a high % of pupils that come from service families and/or are receiving free school meals, whilst Pickhill CofE Primary School has 1 service family and 1 in receipt of free school meals.

Both schools have good relationships with parents/carers and have effective channels of communication through email, text, Seesaw, Dojo and Facebook. There is also an active “friends of the schools” who are responsible for large annual fundraising events. Class teachers are visible in the playground each day for parents to talk to, or appointments can be arranged through the school reception. The Headteacher splits their time equally between both schools and the times are published so parents are aware of their working pattern

Leeming & Londonderry

Relationships with the wider community are strong and local community partnerships include the local pub, village hall and parish council. The school is located adjacent to St Johns Church in Leeming and is regularly used as a venue for the school Easter service. The Vicar of the church is also a regular visitor to the school to lead collective worship. School children attend the church’s annual Christingle service with their families. As the School does not have a grassed area, the local pub gives permission for the annual School Gala and Sports day to take place to the rear of its property. Local businesses from the industrial estate and nearby town of Bedale are also extremely generous in their support of the school gala donating items for the raffle.

Pickhill CofE

Relationships with the wider community are strong and they benefit from excellent relationships with the local pub and individual residents who all are keen to contribute to school life. The school works in partnership with the All Saints Church, celebrating festivals of Harvest, Easter and Christmas. The school has an active Friends Support Group (FOPS), who run the annual fundraising Strawberry Fair.

We work collaboratively with local primary schools under the ‘Bedale Cluster’ and are also members of the Swaledale Teaching Alliance. All members benefit from collaborative support to improve learning outcomes for pupils and continued professional development (CPD) of teachers and potential teachers. In addition, the Federation is part of the Synergy Schools collaboration, also working collaboratively with NYPSTA, at High Force Education and Leeds Beckett University.

Northallerton

Lying in the centre of a large rural area, Northallerton was established as a market town in 1200 by Royal Charter, and there is still a market in the town today.  Northallerton is a thriving town with good facilities, especially for sports and cultural activities and is the major retail centre for the local area, with close proximity to the Yorkshire Dale and coastal resorts, it is an ideal base to explore the nearby moors, historical cities and picturesque villages.  Northallerton benefits from easy connectivity to the A1M, M62, A19, A64 providing convenient connectivity to vibrant cities such as Durham, Teesside, Darlington, Newcastle, York, Leeds, and a little over two hours commute on the main train line to London.

Thirsk

Thirsk is a traditional North Yorkshire Market town superbly positioned midway between the stunning North York Moors and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.  It is near to the medieval city of York, Harrogate, Ripon and our county town Northallerton.  Situated on the A19, and close to the main north-south A1 road, it offers easy connectivity to major bordering cities.

Thirsk has a charm of its own and centres around a bustling cobbled market square, dominated by the town clock, with its Monday & Saturday markets and independent shopping.  Visitors can enjoy a number of short walks through the town and along the river or may prefer to travel a little further afield to explore the pretty villages.  More strenuous walking can be found on the Hambleton Hills and the moorland tracks such as The Drove Road.  The Swale Way long distance path passes through Thirsk connecting Boroughbridge and Kirby Stephen.

Richmond

Situated approximately 16 miles (26 km) north-west of the county town Northallerton, Richmond straddles the eastern border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, at the edge of a valley or dale known as Swaledale, which takes its name from the river that flows through the town, said to be one of the fastest flowing in England.  The Rough Guide describes the town as 'an absolute gem'. Betty James wrote that "without any doubt Richmond is the most romantic place in the whole of the North East [of England]". Richmond was the winner of the Academy of Urbanism's "Great Town" award in 2009.

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ in 2014 and has since created the Tour de Yorkshire, an annual event with global recognition. Our success in supporting these events led to Harrogate hosting the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2019.

North Yorkshire has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking; there are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.

While the county is rightly known for its wide open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Pickering and Helmsley, traditional seaside towns, the Spa town of Harrogate and the ancient city of York - the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links, there really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!

Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle, with little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.

The Leeming and Londonderry & Pickhill Federation of Schools, North Yorkshire

Post:  Head of Schools
Number on Roll: 75 (across two schools)
Commencing:  1st January 2021
Contract Type:  Full Time
Salary:  L5 – L9
Contract Term:  1st January 2021 until 31st August 2021 – to be reviewed in April 2021 with the intention of the post becoming an established.

We are looking for a motivated, inspirational and experienced leader to support our Executive Headteacher lead our Federation to turn our vision, ethos and values into two schools that inspire pupils, support parents and carers and deliver benefits to our local communities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a current and outstanding middle or senior leader to lead, shape and further develop our federation into the future.  You will be working in partnership with an experienced Executive Headteacher, two other Heads of Schools from the Synergy Schools Federation and alongside a committed team of staff and governors who are ambitious for the schools, with high aspirations for all stakeholders.

The Leeming and Londonderry & Pickhill Federation comprises two successful village primary schools.  Situated approximately 6 miles apart, they are nestled close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with good connectivity to the A1.  Both schools are at the heart of their communities, are well-respected and known for their high standards, exemplary pupil behaviour and a fully inclusive model of education; enabling all children to fulfil their potential whatever their starting points.  Our vision, ethos and core values are lived out in the daily work of the school.

The governing bodies of The Leeming and Londonderry & Pickhill Federation along with the Synergy Schools Federation have taken a unanimous decision to form a formal collaboration with a view to consulting on forming a single federation from September 2021.  In the first stage of this partnership, the Executive Headteacher of the Synergy Schools Federation will provide executive leadership for our federation for two terms (January 2021 until August 2021) and the Head of School post will report to him.  Although both governing bodies are fully committed to a pursuing a permanent federation of all four schools, as you would expect, we are taking the opportunity to trial the partnership before consulting on a formal proposal to federate. This is why this post has been initially advertised as a fixed term, two term post.  However, we fully expect that the position will become established.

We can offer you:

  • Happy and friendly schools, fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment in which to inspire and motivate our children.
  • The opportunity to develop your leadership skills by working alongside a team of other Heads of Schools, a very experienced Executive Headteacher and a large and very effective senior leadership team which includes two other Heads of Schools across 4 schools.
  • A highly supportive and dynamic governing body and a staff team who are experienced, committed and passionate about our schools.
  • Delightful children who respect each other and have a thirst for learning new things.

Applying for the Job

In order to apply for this job, please fully complete the application form (please see the link to the form below).  You will also need to write a letter of application - no more than 2 sides of A4 in length - which should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. This will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.

Completed applications should be submitted electronically to jobs@leeminglondonderry.n-yorks.sch.uk by MiddayMonday 14th September.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via the above email address if you have any questions or queries.

Key dates:

  • School visits: By arrangement – if possible
  • Application closing date: Midday, Monday 14th September
  • Shortlisting: 1.00pm, Monday 14th September
  • Interviews: Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd September**

**interview days may change depending on Covid-19 restrictions

Supporting Documents

When applying please consider the following:

Supporting Information

The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. This will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.

References

When completing your application, please provide two employment references.