On the 21st September 2017 Herons Dale School joined the Federation of Special Schools compromising Cornfield School, Oak Grove College and Palatine School. Together the four schools form the Thrive Federation of Special Schools and they have one governing body, chaired by Geoff Palmer.


  • 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.
  • Cornfield School provides education for 9-16 year olds with SEMH as a primary need and is led by Maria Davis 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.

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 beneficial.


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 Reference.


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.


The Chair of the Thrive Federation Governing Body is: Geoff Palmer.

Click on the logo below for attendance for each committee