New partnership as South Holland town and village schools to work together

CHANGING TIMES: Children and staff at Gedney Church End Primary School where head teacher Luke Whitney is to leave next week after seven years.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG200716-129TW.
CHANGING TIMES: Children and staff at Gedney Church End Primary School where head teacher Luke Whitney is to leave next week after seven years. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG200716-129TW.
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Primary schools in Lutton and Gedney are to form a new and temporary partnership with their neighbours in Long Sutton next term.

It comes after Luke Whitney’s decision to leave his role as executive head teacher of both Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Primary Schools next week, with governors unable so far to recruit a suitable successor.

I had a job to do which was to get both Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Schools up to a good overall standard

Luke Whitney, executive head teacher of Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Primary Schools

Instead, the two schools are to be supported by Long Sutton Primary School whose head teacher Bill Lord will act as interim executive head teacher of all three schools from September.

Mr Whitney said: “I had a job to do which was to get both Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Schools up to a good overall standard.

“When we were inspected by Ofsted in June 2016, both schools were judged to be ‘good’ and I thought that was the time for me to step back and allow someone else to push both schools towards a standard of outstanding education provision.

“The governing body has been working very hard to try and recruit a successor but finding someone with head teacher status isn’t easy and the governors have not been successful.

“So as a group of schools, we’re very grateful to Long Sutton Primary School for stepping in and agreeing to have three good schools working together.”

Details of the arrangement are still to be finalised but it is likely that the governors will continue to act separately for all three schools, including Long Sutton which was also rated ‘good’ by Ofsted after an inspection last July.

In a joint letter to parents, Mr Lord and chairman of governors Chris Wesley, said: “The governing body of the federation of Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Schools has approached our governors for short-term support as it has not been able to appoint a successor (to Mr Whitney).

“Mr Lord will oversee the management of all three schools but will maintain a high profile at Long Sutton Primary School, working with children, meeting with parents and attending our key events.

“This is not something we have rushed into and we have worked very hard to ensure that we continue to provide the best education we can to your children.”

Mr Whitney added: “We’ve been able to retain all of the staff at Lutton St Nicholas and Gedney Church End Primary Schools so in terms of the day-to-day running of the schools, they’ll be exactly the same.”