Governor Newsletter July 2018
On behalf of the senior leadership and governance team I would like to wish pupils, parents/carers and staff a restful and enjoyable summer holiday. We look forward to seeing most of you return to us in September, but to our Year 6 Leavers, and to those who are moving on to other schools, we wish you every success in the future.
Ofsted outcome for Littleham
It has been another busy year for the governance team with our second Ofsted inspection which now completes the inspection cycle for the federation for the next few months. As stressful as the experience can be when you have to demonstrate the hard work and success of pupils and staff, it is a time to look at what went well and what we can do better at. Our inspector was a HMI with a respected reputation and knowing her high expectations I feel very positive that the Littleham team did well and should be really proud of the outcome. A successful inspection involves a contribution from everyone, pupils, parents/carers, staff and leadership so thank you for the part that you played in securing a positive outcome for Littleham.
The Governance Vision
Our vision as a governance team for both our schools is:
Ensuring sustainable schools, providing high quality education in our local communities
What does that actually look like and how can we judge that we are achieving our vision?
I am thrilled and delighted that for the first time, since the local learning community increased the number of places for reception children we are over our Pupil Admission Numbers (PAN) in Woodbury Salterton. Pupil numbers in both of our schools have increased. Many of these children will be living in or near our local communities and we welcome everyone.
We have two Ofsted judgements in the last 12 months recognising our schools as “Good” under the new inspection regime – with areas exceeding good in safeguarding and leadership.
With school funding being very challenging, with many schools both nationally and locally going into financial difficulties, I am proud to say that we are well managed; with oversight from our Executive Head Teacher, Federation Business Manager, Rachel Evans who is ably supported by our two Finance portfolio lead governors, Katie Olney and Tim Wood. We may have to operate in a very tight financial envelope and our staff team go over and above at all levels ensuring our sustainability.
Our core responsibilities
As Governors we have three core responsibilities and these are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
We are well led, and we can demonstrate that school funding is well spent on achieving the best outcomes for our pupils. We also perform our duties in holding school leaders to account.
Working on your behalf
This year we have continued to ensure that the performance of our teaching staff is monitored including the Executive Head teacher, to ensure everyone is reflecting on what they do and what we can do better. As governors we all visit both schools and have met with members of the senior leadership team (SLT) and asked probing questions as we seek to ensure the best outcomes for your children. We are a listening school on all levels and when issues are brought to the leadership’s attention, including governors we do listen and want to improve things where we may not always get in right. As governors we are not shy to ask difficult questions on your behalf and I am pleased to say we have positive and constructive conversations with school staff. When you are concerned about anything in school remember go to your class teacher first or your head of school the Head of Learning. Both your Executive Head Teacher and Governors are there to support this process and can be involved if we can’t resolve the matter early on.
What is happening with GDPR?
We will be writing to you in the new school year about how we take care of your child’s personal information to ensure that we show we are compliant with the new law about managing data, sometimes referred to as GDPR. Those of you that have come across this new legislation will know that all organisations including schools have to now implement a range of requirements to comply and we have to ensure we have your consent and manage your data securely. This may impact on aspects of school life including photographic material, but we will keep you posted and we are working closely with other schools in the learning community and county council to ensure we are doing this properly.