TWO of the best primary schools in the region have embarked on a new era in education sharing for the first time best practices and a head teacher.
Wendy Aitken will become head teacher of Cockerton C of E Primary School in Darlington and High Coniscliffe C of E Primary School on the edge of the borough from February 9.
For the past eight years Miss Aitken has been head of the 104 pupil High Coniscliffe Primary School which is rated outstanding by Ofsted.
She will divide her time between this school and Cockerton, whose former head has secured a new job in Yorkshire.
The 200-strong Cockerton Primary School is rated good with outstanding features and the both schools plan to move forward retaining their individuality but sharing the expertise of highly-rated teaching staff, resources and facilities.
Both boards of governors, parents, children, the local authority and the diocese have welcomed the move which is expected to see the schools go from strength to strength.
Miss Aitken trained at Durham University and taught in Peterlee and Reid Street Primary School, Darlington. She will be supported in both schools by strengthened leadership and management teams.
She said: “I think this will be fabulous. Both schools are blessed with delightful children, talented staff, fantastic sites and incredibly supportive parents. We are so lucky.
“The second I walked through the door of Cockerton Primary School I knew that both schools had a very similar ethos. While they will retain their individuality, everyone will benefit from the exchange of ideas and expertise in a lovely atmosphere of friendship and learning.”
Chairman of High Coniscliffe governors Jeffrey Rogerson said: “The possibilities for collaboration are endless and this is a truly exciting opportunity for both schools.”
Chairman of Cockerton governors Jackie Murray added: “This arrangement will enhance and expand the already excellent work in the two schools. The splendid day-to-day educational experiences will continue thanks to the excellent teaching support and guidance they receive from our school teams.”
Parents are invited to drop in to meet Miss Aitken at Cockerton on Friday (Jan 30) at 9am or attend the school’s family worship at 2.30pm.