The future of education in the small rural primary school is frequently under review and one option open to LEAs is to federate schools in an area to form a larger unit under the management of one headteacher. In this study the processes involved in six instances of school federation in Wales are examined. Of these, two federations are well established, two are recently formed and two have reverted to become single schools once more. The article reviews the 'small school' debate and identifies key features that could be retained and created by federating schools. Experiences and perceptions of headteachers and governors involved are examined and salient features of a stable federated school are discussed. The initiation process is also examined and factors that might contribute to the stability of a federated school are identified. The study concludes that federation has the potential of combining the best features of the small rural school with those of a larger unit.
How to Cite:
Thorpe R. & Williams I., (2002) “What Makes Small School Federations Work? An Examination of Six Instances of Small School Federation in Wales ”, Wales Journal of Education 11(2).