Primary twins can stay together

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
A RADICAL alternative to closing schools has been given the final go ahead by Scottish Borders which plans to "twin" small primaries under a single head to improve management and teaching.

The council's education committee heard last week that parents had mixed views but decided to confirm the link between Broughton and Newlands primaries, which are 10 miles apart The committee voted to "actively seek similar situations". Councillors agreed, however, to test the waters by making each arrangement temporary in the first instance.

Only South Ayrshire has embarked on a similar venture, piloting two projects: Good Shepherd and St John's primaries in Ayr, and Gardenrose primary in Maybole linked to Fisherton and Minishant primaries.

Roy Weller, who chairs the Broughton primary school board, said the arrangement could have positive benefits particularly if the two schools could work more closely together. The relationship between parents and the head was crucial to the success of the policy, Mr Weller said. The headship of the combined school is to be advertised.

In her evaluation of the pilot project, Yvonne McCracken, an adviser with Scottish Borders, said the most significant finding was the improvement in teaching and learning resulting from the fact that the head could manage without being constantly interrupted during class teaching.

But she acknowledged that the arrangement depended on greater communication between home and school, and on clarity about the respective roles of the head and assistant heads.

Graeme Donald, assistant director of education, stated that while there was enormous potential for shared headships the size of the schools (Broughton has 92 pupils and Newlands 65), the distance between them and the views of parents would all have to be taken into account.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now