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Pioneer Federation

Posted on Jul 27, 2017


To visit Pioneer’s website please click here


Dear St Mary’s Families


Following on from our recent meetings and letters about forming working partnerships with other schools, the Governing Body is delighted to tell you that we will be working collaboratively with the Pioneer Federation during the next academic year. The Pioneer Federation comprises of East Hoathly CofE Primary School and Chiddingly Primary.


The collaboration includes the appointment of Pioneer’s Executive Headteacher, Mr James Procter as St Mary’s Executive Headteacher.


Mr Procter has been the Executive Headteacher of the Pioneer Federation since 2014 and has successfully developed the strong collaboration of East Hoathly CofE School, East Hoathly Nursery and Chiddingly Primary. Please have a look at their website for more information:


Mr Procter has worked in Primary Schools in both Lincolnshire and East Sussex and has taught all year groups. He has been a Leading County Teacher, Senior Teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Head of School and now Executive Headteacher. He loves seeing the amazing children in his schools finding their learning irresistible, particularly where the children actively explore concepts, apply skills, ask questions and are motivated by independent discovery. He enjoys working alongside the great staff teams and supportive parents and governors.

Pioneer governors and Mr Procter share St Mary’s vision and values, and this is why governors have chosen this partnership for our school. Working with Pioneer governors, and their whole school team, we will continue to provide every child with a toolkit for life-long learning through the highest quality teaching, with a central focus on creative, innovative and engaging teaching that develops a love and interest in learning. We will continue to aim for your children to value learning as a creative endeavour that underpins their aspirations for great futures and to ensure that we are all focused on seeing opportunities and believing that anything is possible.

We have been working with Pioneer throughout this year on a range of school improvement initiatives. They have trialled our pupil well-being approach and visited our school to introduce The Thrive approach across their schools. We have visited and worked with Pioneer in preparation for our SIAMs inspection as East Hoathly recently was graded ‘Outstanding’ this area. Chiddingly and East Hoathly schools are both graded by Ofsted as ‘Good’ schools.


The collaboration will initially be for the period of one year, during which we will be seeking feedback from the whole school community about the success of the partnership. If the year-long collaboration is successful governors hope to enter a more formal and permanent federation at the beginning of the following year, combining to form one governing body which can focus on the strategic direction and future success of our schools.


As you are aware, it is essential that small schools work together in order that we can support one another in school improvement, and begin to look at financial savings in order to remain sustainable.

As you know Pioneer is just one of the range of schools St Mary’s has enjoyed sharing our skills and experience with, and we have all found the advantages of collaborative working to include:


  • Improved staff retention due to better support and more opportunities for development
  • Improved pupil outcomes
  • Enhanced curriculum experience


Pioneer has developed a very successful Federation over the last 2 years and we look forward to building on this success.


Mr Procter will be working across the 3 schools from September, spending a third of his time in each school and will work very closely with Mrs Taylor who will be based on site at St Mary’s.


He will be making regular visits to the school for the remaining weeks of this term, to get to know the pupils, staff and to meet you. He will also be joining us for Sports Day on Friday. He plans to host a meeting early in September for you to get to know him further.

The Governing Body and school team are very excited to be working with the Pioneer Federation and Mr Procter. There is much expertise, energy and enthusiasm across the three schools and we are really looking forward to the benefits this will bring to all of us at St Marys.


With very best wishes,


Lorna Simm

Chair of Governors



Our Vision and Aims for the Partnership


Our joint aims and aspirations:

  • Our partnership brings clear benefits for the children of all schools
  • Shares and develops staff expertise across all schools
  • To try out different and innovative ways of working
  • To raise the aspirations of children, staff, parents and governors
  • To secure strong strategic leadership
  • Maintain and develop individual characters, ethos and distinctiveness of each school but also to use differences to enhance the experience for children from all schools.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • The schools retain their own identity and character
  • Trust and good relationships are not compromised
  • That raising achievements and developing high quality teaching and learning remain a key priority
  • The quality of education and curriculum provision is enhanced
  • The high standards of pupil behaviour are maintained
  • The confidence of all stakeholders is retained and secured for the partnership.