The first schools at Otterburn and West Woodburn First School have agreed to join forces and federate from April 1.

A consultation, headed by governors, had been carried out with parents in the two first schools.

Tina Henderson, headteacher of Otterburn First School, who has been acting head of West Woodburn since the start of the academic year, will now formally take on the leadership of both schools.

She said: “The schools have worked together for some time and this process will enable stronger collaboration. Bringing them together in this way will provide both with many new opportunities, from children working together across the collaboration to shared teaching, staff development and projects.

“Both schools currently have a strong ethos of care, good behaviour, creativity and hard work. This strong ethos and the deep sense of community that currently exists within each school will be maintained, encouraged and further developed.”

The stated aim of the federation is to ensure that the children have access to successful, well-run schools that provide an excellent, well-rounded education and to work in partnership with parents/carers and the wider community.

Coun. Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Forming federations like this is proving to be very beneficial for small rural schools in Northumberland. By sharing resources, skills and expertise they are able to not only maintain but to enhance the quality of education and experiences for their children. They are able to benefit from economies of scale and provide best value for money.

“I am pleased to wish Otterburn and West Woodburn success in their future joint working.”

After federating West Woodburn will remain as a first school and Otterburn will extend its age range to become a primary.