One of the sites has since closed and, in September, Dunbury became a 4-11 primary school as a result of Dorset's re-organisation programme. Ofsted visited earlier this year and described the school as "good, with many good features".
"Federation is a strong answer to the problem of small rural primaries,"
says Simon France, who took over the Dunbury headship last year. "I didn't want to lead a small rural school.
"I've worked in small primary schools and I know that it's very hard to do the head's job effectively. When federation is proposed parents fear that their school is being halved, but in fact it's being doubled."