Narborough, Sporle and Castle Acre primary schools joined forces to become one of the newer federations in West Norfolk between 2011 and 2013.
The schools combined forces under one executive headteacher, Malcolm Brockway, and one governing body, with Narborough and Sporle joining in 2011 and Castle Acre in 2013. The schools created the Nar Valley Federation of Church Schools but still retain their individual sites.
Mr Brockway said: “It’s a different way of working, an element of the intimacy is inevitably lost, but we have had a real cultural and mindset shift.
“The children really enjoy mixing and working with those from the others schools. We haven’t had the chance to do as much of this as we would like yet, but we hope to in the future.”
The decision to federate the schools was made following negotiations with parents, governors and the wider community and Mr Brockway says that the parents are behind the decision.
He said: “The schools were becoming increasingly vulnerable on their own so this was a way of sustaining the three smaller, local schools and to stop us from losing them.”
The headteacher believes that it is the teachers who have enjoyed the greatest benefits as they have the option of coming together, becoming less isolated ad sharing their workloads.
He said: “They feel like they have more colleagueship and there is also more opportunity for them to move up in their careers.
“Now they are employed by the federation, which means they can end up teaching across any of the schools, which can in turn open them up to more career opportunities.”