Federation & collaboration

Schools and academies in the Diocese of Leeds are involved in a range of federations and collaborations.

Federation and Collaboration


Federations are binding agreements between Governing Bodies of different schools.

Two, or more, schools join together with a single Governing Body and Executive head teacher.

Each school maintains its own independence.  It is accountable for its own budget and the children registered on roll.

A Scheme of Delegation is in place for each school.  It says what the leadership and governance responsibilities are for each school.

Federations usually have one executive headteacher responsible for all the schools in the federation.  Each school might have a head of school, leader of teaching and learning or senior teacher who has majopr leadership responsibilities.

The schools are inspected by Ofsted as separate schools.  However, inspection often takes place at all the schools in the Federation the same time.

Church schools and non-chuirch schools can federate.

Approval from the the Diocesan Board iof Education must be sought for any federation.


Federations are created for many different reasons.  They might include

  • Schools that have developed strong positive working relationships over many years might federate to protect positive collaborative working for the future.

  • Schools that are different phases but very close to each other (maybe on the same site) federate to support the children’s learning from one phase to another, for example an infant and junior school or a first and primary school.

  • Small schools in rural areas might federate to share staff expertise and skill.

  • Urban schools that serve the same local area might federate to help develop similar learning expereinces for every child in the area

All federations rely on positive and outward looking governance structures.



Collaborations between schools can meet manyof the same challenges that federations do.

Collaborations are made through mutual agreements and do not have legal agreements.

Governors agree a Memorandum of Understanding between the schools to protect the relationship.

A school or academy in a collaboration can dchoose to leave the collaboration in line with the memorandum of Understnading.

The governance, leadership and funding for each school remains separate.

Governos must take care to make sure the working conditions of shared leaders and teachers are reasonable.

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