Thrive Federation Information
Cornfield, Herons Dale, Oak Grove and Palatine Federation of Special Schools
In 2012 three special schools, Cornfield, Oak Grove and Palatine came together to form a
Federation (COP) to work closely together to enhance support and learning opportunities for our
staff and young people
In September 2017 the Federation of Special Schools was strengthened and expanded to include
4 schools when Herons Dale School joined the Federation. Together the four schools form the
Thrive Federation of Special Schools and they have one governing body, chaired by Geoff Palmer.
The aim of the Thrive Federation is to ensure all of our young people from 4- 19 years of age can
benefit from “Learning without limits”. There are a number of policies that apply across all four
schools and other policies are operated at a school level.
The Federation was formed out of a desire to work closely with other schools and to maximise the
potential of sharing expertise, experience and resources to benefit students and staff in the four
schools. Regular opportunities for shared INSET days, the potential to share costs of specialist
staff/resources, etc and the opportunity for Headteachers to work closely together are very
The Federation Governing Body (FedGB) is the legal Governing Body and has equal
representation from the four schools, including the four headteachers. It meets at least once each
term.The Governing Body is legally bound by agreed Statutory Responsibilities and Terms of
Each school has its own DFE number and its own delegated budget.The FedGB has an agreed
Schedule of Delegation, through which responsibility for the day to day management of individual
schools is delegated to the Headteacher and Management Committee (MC).
Each MC must meet at least once a term and reports directly to the FedGB but is responsible for
its own schedule of work and organisation, within their own agreed Terms of Reference.
Cornfield School provides education for 9-16 year olds with SEMH as a primary need and is led by Mrs M Davis as Headteacher.
Herons Dale School provides education for 4-11 year olds in a generic primary special school environment and is led by Isabel Robson as Headteacher.
Oak Grove College provides education for 11-19 year olds in a generic secondary special school environment and is led by Phillip Potter as Headteacher.
Palatine Primary School provides education for 4-11 year old in a generic primary special school environment and is led by Catriona Goldsmith as Headteacher.