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Executive Headteacher - Ribblesdale Federation of Schools 

Welcome

Dear Applicant,

Welcome to our dedicated Executive Headteacher recruitment webpage, which aims to provide you with all the information about our schools and current vacancy. Thank you for taking the time to visit, we hope that the information we have provided encourages you to make an application to our warm and welcoming schools.

The Ribblesdale Federation of Giggleswick Primary, Hellifield Community Primary and Long Preston VA Endowed Primary officially federated in January 2018, formalising a longstanding relationship between the three schools, while seeking to build on and share each other’s strengths and create a sustainable resource base for the future. Staff, pupils and parents/carers have all embraced the move and in the past two years we have already seen significant sharing of experience, ideas and resources across the schools. As the Federation moves into its next phase, it needs to further develop its cohesive identity and review models of service delivery, to ensure that the children, who are at the heart of everything, receive the best educational opportunities available and that all allocated resources are used to maximum effect.

Our schools all have close connectivity to the A65 and are nestled close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The three villages are very different, retaining their own identity, but coming together to form cohesive communities, which support the schools. All three schools are successful in their own right with Ofsted rating them as Good, while Long Preston VA Endowed Primary is also rated Good in its SIAMS. Church School inspection. Our children are well-behaved and benefit from the opportunity to build their confidence and independence in the caring and nurturing environment offered by small village schools.

We are encountering a period of dynamic change and the Governors are seeking a new Executive Headteacher with strong leadership and team development skills, ambition, drive and purpose, who will embrace the opportunity to lead from the front, while empowering staff to raise pupil progress and deliver positive outcomes for all pupils, regardless of background or ability. We are supported by a highly committed, experienced, and loyal team of staff, receptive parents, a strong governing body and local communities that are proud of our schools, where pupils are happy, well-behaved and enjoy learning.

As Executive Headteacher, you will be at the forefront of maintaining and developing relationships and collaborations with the wider community, developing our provision and, above all, ensuring that we meet the needs of all our children. We are seeking to appoint a leader who will build on the Federation's many strengths, with a clear plan for school improvement, regular engagement and consultation with parents and carers, instilling continuity and further developing our links with the community and partner organisations.

We believe that The Ribblesdale Federation has capacity for further improvement and that this is an exciting time for an ambitious leader to make a real difference; increasing our pupil numbers, improving teaching outcomes and continuing our efforts to maintain a positive and robust standing in the local communities that we serve. We look forward to a healthy relationship of mutual support and constructive challenge with the new Executive Headteacher.

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, please email Steve Cooper, HR/Resourcing Adviser, who has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role (steve.cooper2@northyorks.gov.uk). For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Steve on 01609 536578 / 07976 653898.

I hope you find the information provided useful and informative and that it will encourage you to apply. On behalf of the governing body, thank you again for your interest The Ribblesdale Federation of Schools.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Gibbons
Chair of Governors

The Ribblesdale Federation is a thriving and successful federation, comprising three primary schools with 175 pupils on roll (Giggleswick 60 / Hellifield 50 / Long Preston 65). After many years of working together informally, the schools formally federated in January 2018, to promote sustainability and seek to maintain the 3 small village schools, which are each integral to their communities.  We are proud of our ethos and values where “we work to nurture our children’s aspirations, foster a love for learning and stimulate their enthusiasm for life in a community of schools, where every child is safe; celebrating individuals and encourage respect for each other and the wider world.”  These values are lived out by school leaders and staff on a daily basis, and are fundamental to the federations success.  As the Federation moves into its next phase, it needs to further develop its cohesive identity and review models of service delivery, to ensure that the children who are at the heart of everything receive the best educational opportunities available and that all allocated resources are used to maximum effect.

The three schools all have close connectivity to the A65 and are nestled close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The three villages are very different, retaining their own identity, but support the schools, which are at the heart of the communities they serve.  Giggleswick Primary School is adjacent to Giggleswick Independent School, with which it has an excellent relationship, including use of the sports facilities.  Over the past two decades, Hellifield Community Primary School has seen significant new housing and a further development of family homes close to the school is planned.  All three villages have access to railway stations and Hellifield and Long Preston are well served by a bus route between Lancaster and Skipton.  Hellifield is proud of its railway heritage being on the renowned Leeds Settle Carlisle line.

The catchment is mixed with pupils coming from each of the villages, as well as Settle and the surrounding villages, including a small number out with North Yorkshire.  An aim of the Federation is to make the three schools the first choice for children living in catchment.  The schools receive children directly from home or through early education providers, including local playgroups, private day nurseries and a small group of childminders.  Two of the private providers are based on the primary school sites at Long Preston and Hellifield and there is scope for the further development of effective and mutually beneficial relationships with these providers.

At the end of Year 6, most pupils will transition to either Settle College or the Skipton Grammar schools; Skipton Girls' High School or Ermysted's Grammar School .

The Schools provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which promotes fundamental British values and the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.  We strive to be flexible and dynamic responding to the needs of individuals using a variety of teaching approaches by making full use of our resources, both physical and human.  Our curriculum also takes into account our unique communities, traditions and heritage.

We recognise that learning opportunities are not limited to the confines of the timetabled day or classroom and our unique settings enable us to enhance the curriculum with forest school learning.  The Federation is very inclusive and offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities including football, tag rugby, cricket and netball, creative clubs such as art, dance, music, as well as computing and many other activities are provided.  A range of wrap around care is also provided in each school.

Our curriculum will always be open to improvement and development but always stays deeply rooted within the ‘Aims and Values’ of each school.  At Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School, there is a long-established relationship between the School and St Mary’s Parish Church.  The local vicar and other church members are involved in regular input to collective worship.

The Federation is part of the CASTLE Alliance; a partnership of 38 schools sharing skills, experience, talent and capability to improve learning and achievement in schools across the Craven district of North Yorkshire.  All members benefit from collaborative support to improve learning outcomes for pupils and continued professional development (CPD) of teachers and potential teachers.

The Federation works closely with all schools within North Craven.  Through our links with these schools, our staff have opportunities to plan collaboratively, share and develop their professional expertise and work jointly on projects.  Our pupils also benefit from these collaborative ways of working, by participating in workshops in different schools and learning from a range of staff. Our pupils also benefit from sporting activities arranged across groups of schools in the area.

Our staff are our greatest resource, providing the very best in education and are incredibly committed, loyal and dedicated and always have the best interest of the pupils at heart.

Giggleswick and Long Preston currently comprise of 3 classes and Hellifield have 2 classes, however, this is likely to change from September 2020 as pupil numbers decrease.  All schools benefit from spacious classrooms and excellent facilities.

Current staff structure:

  • 2 x Headteachers: 1.6 FTE
  • Giggleswick Primary School: 3.45 FTE teaching staff; 0.9 FTE HLTA, 0.64 FTE ATA & 1.22 FTE GTA
  • Hellifield Community Primary School: 2.69 FTE teaching staff; 1.30 FTE ATA & 1.41 FTE GTA
  • Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School: 2.59 FTE teaching staff & 3.46FTE GTA

In addition, each school has part time administrative support as well as cooks, midday supervisors and cleaning / caretaking staff.  The Federation are planning to commence developing a business manager to lead on key areas of administration.  In the first instance, this appointment will more than likely take the form of additional hours for one of the existing administrative staff.

To ensure we utilise the staff expertise to the fullest, we have subject leaders for core subjects and a Federation Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).  This approach ensures consistency and enables subject leaders to innovate and enhance practice in their areas of responsibility.  Their skills, knowledge and expertise are shared between staff across the three schools.  There are designated teachers at each site who act as teacher in charge when the Headteachers are not on site.  The development of these members of staff and roles is a key development aim for the Federation in the short term. All staff are actively encouraged to participate in CPD.

The core staff team is enhanced by a range of peripatetic instrumental teachers and PE specialist input visiting speakers e.g. "Settle Stories" and Hellifield Church lead "Open the Book" sessions.  In Giggleswick the church community run an after school club.

Relationships between the teaching and non-teaching staff of the three schools are excellent and they readily share the identity of the Federation.  Regular staff meetings are an important part of the development of strategies and ensuring effective communications.

The way in which our schools are organised and run, as well as the relationship between the pupils themselves and their teachers is based on the ethos and values that pervades every aspect of school life.

Each school has its own unique ethos and values, but each is based on the principles of caring for and nurturing each child so that children grow and flourish, ensuring they develop their individual talents and interests and become respectful, confident, thoughtful, tolerant and responsible citizens, able to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider world.

The Federation's overall vision is:

“We work to nurture our children’s aspirations, foster a love for learning and stimulate their enthusiasm for life in a community of schools where every child is safe; we celebrate individuals and encourage respect for each other and the wider world.”

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

Relationships at all levels are good and play a key role in the welcoming and friendly atmosphere that exists within the schools.  Pupils enjoy school and are eager to learn, adopting positive attitudes to learning. Pupils work hard, apply themselves well and learn independently and cooperatively and relish being challenged in their learning.

Pupils behaviour mirrors our ethos and values; they are courteous, helpful and respectful of others.  They are proud of their schools and are eager to take on responsibilities, working well together and celebrating each other’s successes.

Through Schools Councils pupils are encouraged to participate in the leadership of the schools including meeting members of the Governing Board on a regular basis to give feedback.

Pupil outcomes – Giggleswick Primary:

  • Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) attain below average national for similar aged pupils and this has been for the past 3 years.
  • Phonics achievement is below national average and has been for the past 3 years.
  • KS1 reading, writing and maths are all below the national average at age related expectations (ARE).
  • KS1 greater depth (GD) standard is below national average in reading and writing but above national average in maths.
  • KS2 is just below the national average in reading, however is in line with the national average for writing and above national average in maths, grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • KS2 GD is below national average in reading, writing and maths, however, is above national average in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Pupil Outcomes – Long Preston VA Endowed Primary:

  • Achievement in EYFS is just above the national average.
  • The proportions of pupils achieving the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check has dipped below the national figure.
  • KS1 - Y2 achievement in reading and writing is above national average at ARE but below in maths. GD is above national average in reading and maths and in line with national average in writing.
  • KS2 - Y6 achievement is below national average in all subjects at ARE and GD.

Pupil Outcomes – Hellifield Community Primary:

  • Achievement in EYFS is below national average.
  • Phonics achievement has dipped below national average this year.
  • KS1 - Y2 reading, writing and maths are above national average at ARE. Writing and maths are above national average at GD, however, reading is below national average.
  • KS2 - Y6 reading, writing, maths, grammar, spelling and punctuation is below national average at ARE and GD.

OFSTED 

  • Giggleswick Primary School was judged “good” at its last Ofsted Inspection – Short inspection – November 2016.
  • Hellifield Community Primary School was judged “good” at its last Ofsted Inspection – Short inspection – November 2017.
  • Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School was judged “good” at its last Ofsted Inspection – Short inspection - February 2017.

SIAMS

  • Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School was judged “good” at its last SIAMS inspection - March 2015.

After many years of working together informally, the 3 schools formally Federated in January 2018 to promote sustainability and seek to maintain the 3 small village schools, which are each integral to their communities.  As the Federation moves into its next phase, it needs to further develop its cohesive identity and review models of service delivery, to ensure that the children who are at the heart of everything receive the best educational opportunities available and that all allocated resources are used to maximum effect.

School strengths across the Federation:

  • There is a strong culture of safeguarding.
  • A strong culture of shared practice.
  • There are extremely strong and effective relationships between adults and pupils, as well as peer to peer relationships.
  • The curriculum is broad and balanced, full of interesting content and enhanced by trips, visits and outside speakers.
  • Behaviour and attitudes to learning are overwhelmingly good.
  • Learning beyond the classroom including forest schools, residential trips and a range of sporting events.
  • Attendance is good.
  • Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School has a strong identity with the Christian ethos of the school.

Areas identified for improvement across the Federation:

  • Raise attainment of all pupils in Maths in KS2.

Giggleswick Primary School:

  • Address weaknesses identified in EYFS.
  • Raise standards in Phonics.
  • KS1 - raise reading, writing and maths standards to at least the national average.
  • KS2 - Improve opportunities for reading and improve outcomes in writing.

Hellifield Community Primary School:

  • Address weaknesses identified in EYFS & Phonics.
  • KS1 - Improve opportunities for reading and raise standards to at least national average.
  • KS2 - Build on progress made at KS1 to raise standards.
  • Ensure that pupils across the school have more opportunities to write at greater length for a range of purposes and audiences, so that they extend and deepen their skills and ideas.
  • Ensure that the most-able pupils are provided with even greater challenge so that they make stronger progress across all subjects, especially in subjects other than mathematics and English.

Long Preston Primary School:

  • Address weaknesses identified in phonics.
  • KS2 - raise standards in all subjects to attain at least national average.

School Improvement Development Plan 2020/2021
Key areas for further development this year have included phonics, writing, maths, Early Years Foundation Stage, curriculum design and governance.  A key priority has been to develop a sequential curriculum that enables pupils to know and remember more whilst meeting the needs of our communities. In order to move this forward, further development of the leadership structure and development of middle leaders is essential.

For a full overview, please click here.

As with all schools, budgets are constrained, however, the current financial position for the three schools is stable and all are predicted to maintain small surpluses for the three-year budget cycle.

Clearly, there is a degree of uncertainty moving forward, owing to the impact of Covid-19 on the running of the schools, however, governors will 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.

The three village primary schools serve their immediate catchment area, as well as drawing pupils from Settle and the surrounding villages, including a small number out with North Yorkshire.  Within the Federation, almost all the pupils are White British.  Based on current census information, the proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is as follows: Giggleswick 11.1%, Hellifield 21.6% and Long Preston 5.1%. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs is as follows: Giggleswick 9.5%, Hellifield 11.8% and Long Preston 5.1%.

Our schools are all at the heart of their communities, therefore our engagement and effective relationships with parents/carers are central to the day to day life of the schools.  This communication is maintained via newsletters, information evenings, special assemblies, open afternoons and celebrations and social media channels.  Parents/carers are also invited to meet members of the Governing Board informally before each Board meeting.

Headteachers, teachers and non-teaching staff are readily accessible to all parents/carers at the beginning and end of the school day, and all are encouraged to exchange information or raise concerns.  Parents/carers are encouraged to identify class teachers as the first point of contact to discuss any aspect of their child’s schooling and are kept well informed about all aspects of school life.  The Headteachers and, if required, the Chair of Governors are available to meet parents/carers by appointment.

Each of the schools has a PTA or Friends group to offer support and provide community, social and fundraising events.  The schools are at the heart of their communities and participate widely in local events; for example, the children from Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School participate annually in the village May Day festivities and the children from each school participate in the Remembrance Day observance.  Each school celebrates Christmas with concerts/nativity plays/celebrations in the villages church.

Our children across the Federation are active in charity support, awareness and fundraising, and have held fundraising activities including Children in Need to raise money.  Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School has a close relationship with the Bethany Project in Tanzania and raises funds to support its work.

Strong partnerships exist between pupils, staff, parents/carers, Governors, advisory colleagues and others within the local community. Ongoing development of these partnerships is recognised as essential for the successful achievement of The Federation's aims.

The Ribblesdale Federation has a close and harmonious relationship with the Local Authority.  We are supported by a named adviser who visits the schools regularly to monitor standards and offer support and advice and help ensure that the Federation meets its development plan targets.  Other advisers e.g. EYFS & Maths also visit the schools to offer support and advice.  Bespoke support is available as part of a Service Level Agreement e.g. training & advice for Governors on interpreting the schools’ data.  The Governing Board receives professional clerking services from the LA and.

As a Voluntary Aided Endowed Primary, Long Preston has a named Diocesan Adviser who visits regularly to provide guidance, advice and support.  The Diocesan Adviser has met the Governing Board recently to update on the Board’s responsibilities under the revised SIAMS inspection regime.  The Board also buys into the Enhanced Service Plan offered by the Diocese.  The Diocese appoint one Foundation Governor and are also invited to nominate a co-opted Governor.

Our school benefits from a highly supportive, visible and pro-active governing body, who collectively have a wide range of skills and experience.  They systematically monitor each school’s progress towards meeting agreed development targets and make a strong contribution to robust planning for improvement.  School leaders recognise that governors provide them with a different perspective, which contributes to improving standards and strengthening leadership.  The governors offer an appropriate level of challenge and support, focusing on improvement, and holding leaders to account for pupil outcomes and use of resources.  Subject link governors have also been identified, however, their input is an area for development.  The Chair of Governors meets regularly with the Headteachers and the LA adviser.

The Federation is part of the CASTLE Alliance; a partnership of 38 schools sharing skills, experience, talent and capability to improve learning and achievement in schools across the Craven district of North Yorkshire.  All members benefit from collaborative support to improve learning outcomes for pupils and continued professional development (CPD) of teachers and potential teachers.  The Chair of Governors is an active member of the Castle Chairs Group.

As well as a successful partnership between the school, the parents/carers and the pupils; our partnership also extends to working closely with all schools within North Craven.  Through our links with these schools, our staff have opportunities to plan collaboratively, share and develop their professional expertise and work jointly on projects.  Our pupils also benefit from these collaborative ways of working, by participating in workshops in different schools and learning from a range of staff.  Our pupils also benefit from sporting activities arranged across groups of schools in the area.

Skipton
Skipton is a charming market town in the Craven district of North Yorkshire and is ideally positioned with excellent transport links to many other major UK cities, and close to the junction of the A65 from Leeds to the Lake District and the A59 from York to Liverpool.

Nestled on the edge of the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, people travel the length and breadth of the country to visit and it was listed in the 2018 Sunday Times report on “Best Places to Live in Northern England”. With its famous 900-year-old castle, romantic ruined priory and historic cobbled High Street, Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty.

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, the Pennines 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 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 surf sport 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 Ribblesdale Federation of Schools, North Yorkshire

Comprising Schools: Giggleswick Primary School, Hellifield Community Primary School & Long Preston VA Endowed Primary School

Post: Executive Headteacher

Number on Roll: 175

Commencing: January 2021

Contract Type: Full Time

Salary: L16 - L22

Contract Term: Permanent

We are looking for an Executive Headteacher who will lead our Federation with vision, passion and positivity. If you are a leader who is ambitious, inspirational and committed to excellence then this appointment will present you with a unique opportunity.

This is an excellent opportunity for an outstanding senior leader to lead, shape and further develop a federation of three primary schools. You will be working alongside a committed team of staff and a governing body that is ambitious for the schools, with high aspirations for all pupils and staff.

The Ribblesdale Federation comprises three village primary schools, nestled close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with good connectivity to the A65. Our schools 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 full potential whatever their starting points. Our ethos and core values support this model and are lived out in the daily work of the school.

All three schools are successful in their own right, retaining their own identity, with Ofsted rating them as Good, while Long Preston VA Endowed Primary is also rated Good by SIAMs. All three schools have friendly and welcoming environments, where we value our communities, providing opportunities for all pupils to have a wide range of experiences and become independent learners.

Our ambition, and yours, will be that The Ribblesdale Federation plays a pivotal role within primary education in the communities it serves, for promoting the latest developments in teaching, learning and inclusion practices. Our children, who are taken from a broad catchment area, deserve an education that will change their lives and give them the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and in turn you and your staff will enjoy a fulfilling career, releasing your potential and maximising your impact.

Our opportunity
We are looking for an Executive Headteacher who has strong strategic leadership skills, who can galvanise our staff, parents/carers, children and the communities we serve to achieve their very best, through shaping and delivering an inspiring vision. This will mean a strong focus on curriculum delivery and outstanding teaching and learning, the development of every pupil ensuring their best possible progress, working closely with parents and carers and the communities, while continuously seeking ways to make further improvements.

You will inherit three schools which have stable staffing, a strong community ethos and colleagues who are proud to work for a federation which puts the whole child and parental/carer engagement at its very heart.

Aspiration, resilience and the ability to build positive and trusting relationships will be in your character as a leader, as you build on a culture of learning and ambition that will see our children develop, grow and contribute an active part in today’s society. A passion for promoting excellence in teaching and learning and a strong focus on pupils’ achievement and development are qualities you will be able to demonstrate.

We can offer you:

  • Happy and friendly schools, fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment in which to inspire and motivate our children.
  • Significant levels of support from the Local Authority, Diocese, Governing Board and a staff team who are experienced, committed and passionate about our schools.
  • Delightful children who respect each other, have a thirst for learning new things and a staff culture which allows all staff to thrive and develop.
  • An opportunity to see the huge potential that exists here and with clear support, tenacity, energy and the time to make The Ribblesdale Federation of Schools a beacon of excellence in primary education.

For an informal, confidential conversation about the role, please call Steve Cooper who is supporting this recruitment process on behalf of The Ribblesdale Federation of Schools and can be contacted at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578 / 07976 653898.

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 school, allowing you the opportunity to see what we have to offer. If you would like the opportunity to visit, please email steve.cooper2@northyorks.gov.uk

Key dates:
School visits: By arrangement
Application closing date: Midnight, Sunday 28 June
Shortlisting: Wednesday 1 July
Interviews: Wednesday 8 & Thursday 9 July**

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

Video tour of Federation schools (large file)

Supporting Documents
Person Specification
Job Description

When applying please take into account 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.