Garras and Sithney primary schools are joining together to share a headteacher.

Garras headteacher Anne Shipman, who has led the school for the last 16 years, is retiring at the end of the school year this July.

Governors have been working with other primary schools in the area that had indicated they would be happy to share their existing head.

After a number of visits involving children, parents, teachers and governors it has been agreed that Sithney School headteacher Susan Evans would take over responsibility for both schools as an executive head, with the ultimate aim of forming a federation of the two schools.

Both schools are already members of the Helston and Lizard Co-operative Education Trust and have much in common, including receiving a 'good' grading in their Ofsted reports and having successful pre-schools on site.

Julian Rand, chairman of the governors at Garras, said: “I believe the whole process has been a very positive experience for both schools.

“We are all delighted and excited that Susan Evans will be taking over from Anne at the start of the new school year.

“There's a real 'buzz' throughout both schools at the prospect of working closely together in the future. Anne Shipman has done a remarkable job at Garras School and we wish her the very best in her retirement. Everyone is now looking forward to supporting and assisting Susan in her new role and working closely with Sithney School in the future.”

He added that both governing bodies received “excellent help and guidance” from the Helston and the Lizard Peninsula Education Partnership Trust, of which both schools were founder members. Brett Dye, head of Parc Eglos School, in particular was “very supportive.”

Susan Evans said executive headship was becoming “increasingly popular” and described the process of joining Sithney and Garras was “professional and cordial from the outset.”

She added: “Both school families have spent time in each other's schools to get to know each other and begin to plan an exciting shared future.”

Describing Ms Shipman as “a respected and valued colleague,” Mrs Evans said she aimed to build on her legacy and “grow a forward thinking and happy partnership.”

She said: “There are so many similarities between the two schools; it feels natural and comfortable. We feel very lucky to have found each other. It's certainly a responsibility to cherish.”