Camelsdale Primary School was approached by the outgoing Headteacher of a small rural locality school which had been unable to recruit a new Headteacher on several occasions. The Governors of both schools agreed to Camelsdale’s Headteacher taking up Executive Headship on a two day a week basis. The impact of this support meant that the school maintained financial viability.

A senior teacher was given leadership responsibility, the curriculum learning journey was reviewed, a system was put in place to improve reading and another to track pupil progress more carefully. An Ofsted inspection during this time judged the school to be “good.” There was a raising of standards and progress over time. It also provided staff within Camelsdale with greater leadership opportunities in the Headteacher’s absence. Both schools benefitted from the sharing of staff, resources, training and expertise.

After five terms a middle leader from Camelsdale School was seconded to the school to work alongside another new middle leader at the school on a Co-Headship basis. This enabled good opportunity for leadership development of both middle leaders with the Executive Headteacher now acting as mentor and coach. The impact of this work led to the appointment of one as the new Headteacher of the school, whilst the second middle leader took up an acting Headship initially in a Surrey school and then as a permanent Headteacher in a Hampshire school. The school continues to thrive.

This case study demonstrates how school to school support can impact not only on the quality of teaching and provision for the pupils, but also on the leadership development of staff in a rural school setting where such opportunities can be limited.