Governors’ Report for the Spring and Summer terms in 2017
First of all, I apologise for not doing a separate report in the Spring term, as I usually do, but somehow time got away from me. I have tried to keep this report from turning into a book!
As Governors, we have a clear vision for the future of the school and its pupils and this can be found on the school’s website. We know the school well because we regularly come into school to look at what is going on: to talk to children and staff about their work; to look at their books; to talk to parents and ask for their opinions about the school through questionnaires. Those responses, from 99.9 % of parents this year, are looked at carefully and acted upon wherever possible. Thank you again for all your thoughts and comments!
Working with parents and all the staff, we want to help build a creative environment, where everyone feels valued and supported, so that everyone can thrive. We also try to make the school site as safe as possible. This takes a lot of discussion and planning!
In April, we worked with the staff to update the School Development Plan, which provides the focus for teaching and learning for the coming year. This was based on the annual LA’s Summary report on the school and the school’s own Self-Evaluation plan. This feedback helps us to focus on the school’s strengths and areas for development.
In December, we helped to set appraisal targets for the Head. She is responsible for putting the plan into action and making sure that it works. This means constant monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching and the learning experience so that all the children, from those who need specific or extra help to those that are more able, can make good progress.
After that, we checked to see if the plan is working and make changes, where needed. Every term, the Head writes a report for the Governing Body to update us on the progress of the plan and its impact on the attainment and progress of pupils and on the quality of teaching and learning. We check the report by checking the data, asking questions, taking learning walks around the school, attending meetings with the Senior and Middle Leaders, looking at attendance with the EWO and reviewing the Head’s appraisal targets to see if they have been fulfilled. All the staff, the Leadership team, the Governors and the Local Authority are involved in the checking process to ensure success for the pupils and the school.
We have attended training courses to improve our skills or update our knowledge to make sure we are as effective as possible. This has included Financial Health and Efficiency, Governors in a Pupil Disciplinary committee, improving Governors’ effectiveness, Governors’ responsibilities for Safeguarding, and Safer recruitment (update). We also attended the Raise OnLine session at school, which showed us the new method of explaining the essential data that the LA and Ofsted use to make judgments about our school. As our last Ofsted inspection was in 2013, when we were found to be GOOD, we need to be ready for a phone call at any time now.
One of our statutory duties is to make sure that all policies and procedures are in place and regularly updated. These have recently included policies on Gender Equality and on Behaviour. In March, we considered and updated the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) policy. The impact of this essential policy makes John Randall the warm and welcoming school that it is, with polite and friendly pupils who work hard and have concern for others.
We take Safeguarding and Health and Safety issues very seriously. Mrs Harrison is our governor for Safeguarding issues. She has worked with the Head and Deputy (who are both Designated Safeguarding Leads) to complete the Section 11 Audit. Ms Meredith is our H&S governor and regularly walks around school to discuss any H&S issues that need sorting and then checks to see if they have been done. Both report back to the Governing Body.
Finance is administered on a daily basis by our Business Manager, Mrs Codling and her staff. With her, the Head and 3 governors, we form the Finance committee and meet every term to monitor the spending of the school budget. Recently, we have had to make extra money available to extend the repairs to the drains, but we still had enough to order replacements for the “elderly” whiteboards in each classroom and to erect a new canopy in the KS1 outside area.
In addition, at every meeting we monitor the spending of the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) or find out how the money has impacted on the pupils’ learning. The PPG makes a huge difference to what the school can offer the pupils at John Randall and you can see how all the money is accounted for, on the school’s website. Two big successes, funded or subsidised by PPG, have been the Breakfast Club which is very well attended and the continuing work of two specialist TAs who are helping EYFS and KS1 pupils make remarkable progress in their language and communication skills.
We also monitor the additional sports funding, and the School Fund accounts are audited and presented to the Governing Body on an annual basis.
We have already seen several changes at school this year and we will see some more, as we go on into 2017 – 2018. We said goodbye to Mrs Broadhurst at the end of the Spring term and we are saying goodbye again this term. We want to thank Mrs Sue Smith who is retiring after many years as a TA and hope she will enjoy a well earned rest. The same best wishes go to Mrs Sandra White who is retiring too. Mrs Smith from Yr3 and Miss Farr from Yr1 are also leaving to take up new posts elsewhere and we wish them every success for the future.
Finally, and not least, we would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Helen Middleton for all the time and hard work she has put into guiding and helping the staff to make John Randall such a happy and successful school. She deserves a good long rest, but we are sure she has made plans to be very busy indeed, but in a different way! We wish her well.
We look forward to September with a new Head to help the school carry on meeting the challenges and opportunities of next year. You can keep up with all the news on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. We would like you to log on to Parent View to give your views.
Previous Newsletters can be viewed by clicking on the links below