Ayr and Kyle Academies in Ayr are to undertake a trial to share a Head Teacher after Councillors agreed to pilot a revised management structure within the two secondary schools.
The decision was taken by South Ayrshire Council following a consultation on the proposal, which is designed to help ensure all pupils are given the best possible opportunities that can then translate into increased attainment, more positive outcomes and improved life chances.
Feedback from the consultation showed that those who responded were generally opposed to the proposed approach. In total, there were 22 responses by e-mail or letter from a pupil population of just over 1,200.
However, Councillors approved the bold move in an effort to directly address the challenges of a small school roll at Ayr Academy, the related isolation of subject teaching staff and an urgent need to raise attainment.
The decision means Lyndsay McRoberts, Head Teacher of the larger of the two schools – Kyle Academy – will work across the two school sites, with both schools retaining their own buildings, staffing, pupils, identity and ethos.
Lyndsay will be supported by an individual Senior Depute Head Teacher in each school – one in Ayr and one in Kyle – who will deputise in her absence.
The new arrangements will provide scope to deliver improvements for the Ayr Academy community that benefits pupils, staff and parents/carers alike by raising attainment, while maintaining standards at Kyle and sharing learning and experience.
Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: "Educating our young people is a massive responsibility and we want to do everything we can to help every child reach their full potential.
"I appreciate this is a change for all concerned – and I thank all those who took the time to let us know their views – but we also know that we can't continue in the same vein. That simply wouldn't be fair on our pupils, staff, and parents/carers.
"This is about two very different schools, working together and learning from each other for the benefit of both school communities, and I look forward to seeing a positive impact over the period of the trial."
The trial gets underway from Monday 7 November and will run until the end of the 2017/18 school year. It will be monitored throughout with pupils, parents and staff advised of progress.